I have written on this blog previously about ways to stay motivated to recycle (Thinking of quitting Recycling? 4 ways to get motivated again). Well, recently I have started to track just how much recycling I am doing on a daily basis. Every time I put an empty can into my recycling center or some paper into the recycle bin at work I have been giving myself a little tick on the notes application on my phone. At the end of the week, I then estimate how much of an impact my recycling has had on the environment based on some guidelines I found online.
One ton of recycled aluminum saves 14,000-kilowatt-hours (Kwh) of energy, 40 barrels of oil, 238 million Btu's of energy, and 10 cubic yards of landfill space.
One ton of recycled newsprint saves 601 Kwh of energy, 1.7 barrels of oil (71 gallons), 10.2 million Btu's of energy, 60 pounds of air pollutants from being released, 7,000 gallons of water, and 4.6 cubic yards of landfill space.
One ton of recycled office paper saves 4,100 Kwh of energy, 9 barrels of oil, 54 million Btu's of energy, 60 pounds of air pollutants from being released, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
One ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 Kwh of energy, 16.3 barrels of oil, 98 million Btu's of energy, and 30 cubic yards of landfill space.
One ton of recycled glass saves 42 Kwh of energy, 0.12 barrels of oil (5 gallons), 714,000 Btu's of energy, 7.5 pounds of air pollutants from being released, and 2 cubic yards of landfill space. Over 30% of the raw material used in glass production now comes from recycled glass.
RecycleMonthly - App?
All this got me thinking that it would be much nicer if I could track all this without having to manually calculate my impact. If there was some way for me to simply click a button on my phone each time I recycled an item and have it automatically work out my running total for the day, week, month and even year. I could then share that information on my social media and actually see my impact in real-time... now that is motivating.
I will probably try to build something small for my own personal use and if people are interested then I am happy to release it to the community.
Let me know on Twitter.