Saving the World One Sample at a Time: Part I

Saving the World One Sample at a Time: Part I

By: Lindsay Ferro & Yvonne Rush Recently the Indianapolis design community has been participating in a program called Zero Landfill. The organization encourages architects, designers, and vendor reps to collect outdated and unused material samples to be donated to local artists and educators who can find a new life for the samples. Many items are upcycled into awesome, one of kind products instead of being tossed away to landfills. Since 2006, this program, along with many design communities, has re-purposed over 1 million pounds of expired samples. Amazing how one small act can have such a big impact! Check out the list below of fun facts to see just how much recycling and upcycling can change our world.

  1. The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year.1
  2. Americans make more than 200 million tons of garbage each year, enough to fill Busch Stadium from top to bottom twice a day. 2
  3. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.1
  4. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod.1
  5. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year. 1
  6. It takes a 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags. 2
  7. The Container Recycling Institute (CRI) estimates that the 36 billion aluminum cans that were thrown to landfills last year had a scrap value of more than $600 million. Over the past twenty years we’ve scrapped aluminum cans worth over $12 billion on today’s market. One day we may be mining our landfills for the resources we’ve buried. 2
  8. A toilet made in 1992 or earlier uses up to 60 percent more water per flush than newer high efficiency toilets.3
  9. Americans throw away enough aluminum every month to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet. 3
  10. Home construction, remodeling and demolition projects are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of the nation’s annual municipal solid waste.4

  If you are interested in volunteering for this great cause or if you have a need for the materials visit ZeroLandfill Indy’s facebook page to stay up to date on the upcoming events in the area. The official “Harvest Day” event will be held this Saturday November 15th!     References:

  1. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-recycling
  2. http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/solidwasterecyclingfacts.htm
  3. http://ecointerior.com.au/segundo-post/
  4. http://www.greenwaste.com/recycling-stats

  Additional Resources:

  1. http://www.designsponge.com/2013/04/how-to-recycle-all-the-things-going-beyond-bottles-and-cans.html
  2. http://vimeo.com/27033795

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