Have you ever wondered about the life of a soda can? More than likely you have not. For some time now, Fellowship Hall has been home to recycle bins in an effort for our church to become more “green.”
The benefits of recycling aluminum cans, (besides receiving spare change from the machine at your local supermarket) include helping the environment by saving energy, time, and natural resources. Producing an entirely new can from virgin material is a heavy burden on all of the above.
More than 100 billion aluminum cans are sold in the United States each year, but less than half are recycled. A similar number of aluminum cans in other countries are also incinerated or sent to landfills.
- There is no limit to how many times aluminum can be recycled
- Aluminum cans are 100 percent recyclable.
- The energy saved by recycling one aluminum can is enough to power a television set for three hours. Recycling one pound of aluminum (33 cans) saves about 7 kilowatt-hours of electricity. With the energy it takes to make just one new aluminum can, you can make 20 recycled aluminum cans.
Not So Fun Facts:
- Globally, the aluminum industry annually emits millions of tons of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
- Aluminum smelting also produces sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide, two toxic gases that are key elements in smog and acid rain.
- The energy to replace one can, which has been tossed into the trash, is enough to keep a 100-watt incandescent light bulb burning for five hours or to power the average laptop computer for 11 hours, according to the Container Recycling Institute.
- In the US alone, if all of the trashed aluminum cans were recycled instead, the electricity saved could power 1.3 million American homes. This is just aluminum (aluminum foil and pans can be recycled as well; they just need to be rinsed thoroughly)! Plastic is a whole other issue, which we can save for another article.
Let’s all make a difference, not only in our church, but also in our homes and the community! Information in this article taken from a Thoughtco.com article by Larry West.
~Nicole DeCintio, Green Team Member