Impacts of Waste on the Environment

Yesterday, you were 4.5 lbs of trash. Today, you are 4.5 lbs of trash. Tomorrow, you will be 4.5 lbs of trash. The average American creates 4.5 lbs of trash per day according to The Green Book, written by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen. This simply means over the course of your life, you will total six hundred times your average adult weight…in garbage.

While waste is a problem, it isn’t even our biggest impact on the planet. Americans use twice as much water and energy per person as anyone else in the world. We all depend on the environment, and without it, the earth cannot sustain life. Why are we wasting it? As someone who became aware of how much the environment needs our attention, I decided to try to help you to better understand how much needs to be done in order to make a difference by recycling.

In order to understand why there is a need to “Go Green”, and to understand what it means, we must first understand how wasteful we as Americans are. Then, we must have a better grasp on the reasons why Americans tend to be wasteful. Finally, it needs to be known that there are small, simple steps that everyone can take to make a difference without completely altering our lifestyles.

So how wasteful are we? By 2025, the world must increase its water supply by 22% in order to meet its needs, while 40% of the drinking water supplied to homes is (literally) flushed down the toilet. Every two minutes in the shower uses as much water as a person in Africa uses for everything in their life for a whole day drinking, bathing, cooking, and cleaning.

According to the NY Times best seller, The Green Book, 2.5 gallons of water a day is used for irrigation on golf courses-that’s the same amount of water used to support 4.7 billion people, which is close to the entire world’s population. Public schools use more than $6 million annually in energy, with 25%, or $1.5 billion wasted because of energy inefficiency. This equals enough money to hire thirty thousand.

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Impacts of Waste on the Environment. (2018, Sep 01). Retrieved from