Seemingly simple, yet packing a big punch, recycling programs can have a significant impact on reducing demand for new deforestation and addressing climate change:
- Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
- Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution.
- The 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year.
- Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees. If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year.
The Environmental Protection Agency has put together a great group of resources on Setting Up a School or Office, Residential, and/or Commercial Recycling Program.
Those who already have a recycling program on campus can look at ways to increase recycling participation
rates and work to influence the type of paper that is purchased and how much is used in the first place. This can be done through fun educational events, competitions, and passage of paper purchasing policies.