Trash Talk: Giving Up Garbage and Going Green


Let’s talk about trash. It’s definitely not a normal topic featured on our blog, but with Earth Day around the corner on Tuesday, April 22, we want to discuss the impact of garbage and how it affects our lives.

So, back to trash. Without thinking twice, we toss tons and tons of garbage into our bins every day. In fact, the average American throws away about 4.4 pounds of trash daily making for 1,600 every year, leaving a legacy of 90,000 pounds of trash over a lifetime. If those numbers didn’t grab your attention, check out these stats from the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Americans represent 5% of the world’s population, but generate 30% of the world’s garbage.
  • Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times.
  • Americans throw away enough garbage every day to fill 63,000 garbage trucks, which if lined up end to end for an entire year would reach the moon.
  • Of the garbage Americans throw out, half could be recycled, which is enough to fill a football stadium from top to bottom every day.

Now you’re probably wondering, “How can I make a difference when the problem is so big?” Lucky for you, the responSAabilities committee at SA has some answers.

  • Reuse and recycle.
  • Give up plastic silverware and paper cups.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Shop local and go to the farmer’s market.
  • Utilize reusable bags.
  • Switch your light bulbs to CFLs.
  • Turn off your computer completely at night.
  • Take part in environmental community efforts such as Trash Bash and Downtown Earth Day Tour.

At SA, we’re stepping up our green contribution by hosting Earth Week at our office. That’s right! A whole week from April 21-25 that will be dedicated to implementing and discussing green practices to reduce waste, conserve resources and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Monday we will hand out reusable bags. Tuesday is Shred-it and Recycle Day. Wednesday we will have a guest speaker talk about local bike trails. Thursday we well be putting on our gloves and picking up trash for Highway Clean-up Day. Friday’s activities are surprises that involve green thumbs and tasty beverages. (Check our Facebook page on April 25 to find out the surprise.)

And, not only do we go all out for Earth Week at SA but we also stay green year round. During 2013, SA recycled three tons of trash, saved 104.3 trees through recycling shredded paper, hosted two Highway Clean-up Days, switched to recycled paper products and used green cleaning supplies. We also asked associates to bring their own plates and silverware to use at the company-wide Thanksgiving potluck party to avoid using disposable tableware. After all, it takes over 100 years for one plastic spoon to decompose in a landfill. Check out our infographic below!

The truth is that the things we do every day make an impact on our environment. The good news is that we can work together and make green decisions that lead to a positive change in our ecosystem. Let’s make our earth a better, healthier place not only for our generation but also for generations to come. The world is an amazing place!

ResponSAbility Infographic


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