Did You Know? 4 Surprising Eco-facts
What happens to those empty glass bottles after you leave them on the curb?
First, glass bottles travel to a local recycling center, where they’re sorted by color. Then they’re sent to a processing facility, where they’re cleaned (of course you rinsed them well, but this step makes sure there are absolutely no traces of jam or juice or applesauce) and crushed into small pieces called “cullet.” The cullet then moves on to a manufacturing plant that adds sand, soda ash and limestone to the mixture. This mixture is melted down, and then the melted glass is dropped into molds, blown with air and shaped into new vessels, such as jam jars or juice bottles.
How do worms help your garden grow?
When worms crawl through dirt, they bring decaying organic matter with them into deeper parts of the earth. This creates an effective structure for plant roots. Burrowing worms also bring more air into the soil -- which helps roots penetrate deeper -- and assist in the movement of water throughout the soil. As they come back up to the surface, worms also transport rich minerals from the lower regions of the soil into the upper layers, where the plant roots can access the nutrients.
How much junk mail do Americans get each year?
Catalogs, direct mail pieces, happy birthday postcards from the dentist: Junk mail is a very real thing. According to ForestEthics, a nonprofit environmental organization, more than 100 billion pieces of junk mail land in American mailboxes each year. That means 848 pieces of mail per household! What’s the effect of all that junk mail on the environment? The production, distribution and disposal of junk mail create more than 51 million metric tons of greenhouses gases annually -- the equivalent of more than 9.3 million cars. That’s a lot of reasons to switch to email notifications!
How much gas do Americans use each year?
Of course you love your car, but it can guzzle a massive amount of gas each year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans use 140 million cars to travel almost 4 billion miles every day. And to keep us cruising, we use about 137 billion gallons of gasoline each year. The easiest way to cut down on that gas -- plus save some money -- is to get your family biking or walking whenever you can.More Simple Steps Slide Shows