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UMD Sustainability

Earth has no time to waste

April 17, 2017Brinda DewanUncategorizedComments Off on Earth has no time to waste

April at the Office of Sustainability means Earth Month. This year we are using the theme “Earth Has No Time To Waste”. Throughout the month, we will be highlighting some of the different ways that we as a campus and you as an individual can reduce waste in food, energy, and in general. Every week, we will be giving out prizes to help you accomplish your waste reduction goals and all you have to do is add your photo of your favorite place on earth to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tag us and use the hashtag #myfavoriteplace17. So stay tuned and don’t forget to show us your favorite place on Earth for Earth Month!

This week is waste reduction week!

Fact #1: Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year and  only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling.

What you can do: Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, traveling, or packing lunches or leftovers. Choose products that are reusable, or refillable over single-use items.

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Fact #2: Clothing and household textiles currently make up 5.2% of the waste in landfills. The average lifetime of a cloth is approximately 3 years and if the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce by five to ten percent their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation.

What you can do: Consider choosing used clothes. You can find everything from clothes to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignment shops. Often, used items are less expensive and just as good as new.

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Fact #3: Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour!

What you can do: Use reusable water bottles. Not only will you save a of money by switching to reusable water bottles, you will be throwing a lot less empty (and unempty, for that matter) water bottles into the trash.

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Fact #4: Infinitely recyclable and highly durable, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Aluminum is 100 percent recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely. Over 75% of all aluminum foil produced in the United States is used for food packaging and much of that ends up the local landfills.

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What you can do: One of the easiest ways to save energy and money is to reuse that old aluminum foil.  Instead of balling it up and tossing in the trash, lay it flat and wash it with soap and water.  Don’t forget that aluminum foil is also dishwasher safe, so just place it on the top shelf when running a load and you will be left with clean reusable foil sheets.  You can reuse foil sheets time and again, saving you money from having to purchase new supplies.

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UMD Sustainability
The UMD Sustainability website is administered by the University of Minnesota Duluth's Office of Sustainability.
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