01 Apr Was Kermit Wrong? “Its Not Easy Being Green”
In 1970, Kermit the Frog lamented that, “it’s not easy being green.” Forty-four years later, we wondered if Kermit was still right or if times had changed – is it easier to be green today than it was in the decade of disco? This might seem like a strange question to ponder in 2014, but it’s actually very relevant. The same year that Kermit uttered that now famous phrase, Earth Day, the day of celebrating being green, came into being. In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, we decided to find out exactly how much easier it is to be green today than it was in 1970. After a few hours of research, we are happy to report that Kermit probably finds today’s world a much easier place to be green than the one he knew in 1970. Check out the statistics below and we think you’ll agree that, while we have a long way to go, Americans are definitely becoming more green-friendly.
- ln 1970, less than 10% of trash generated in America was recycled; today, we recycle more than 34% (about 1.51 pounds of the approximately 4.43 pounds of waste generated per individual). By recycling, we prevented almost 90 million tons of material from being disposed of in 2011, up from about 15 million tons in 1980.
- Approximately six percent of Americans recycled in 1970. Today, that number is over 50%.
- Waste going into landfills has decreased from 89% in 1980 to about 54% in 2010.
- The pollutant s in our air leading to smog, acid rain, and lead poisoning have decreased by over 60% since the 1970s.
- 98% of lead acid and car batteries are recycled.
- In 2010, recycling, reuse and re-manufacturing account for 3.1 million jobs in America -about one out of every three green jobs.
- America Recycles Day (November 15th) started in 1997 and is used as a day to encourage Americans to reduce, reuse, and recycle their waste.
(The above statistics may be found at www.epa.org, www.earthday.org. and www.ecocycle.org.)
Companies small and large are making a positive impact on our environment, too. Numerous companies have made the decision to go paperless, plant trees, and provide environmentally friendly goods and services. We are proud to say that our company, Lend A Box®, saved three tons of cardboard from ending up in the landfill in 2013! Put another way, by preventing 6000 pounds of cardboard from heading for a landfill, Lend A Box® saved 3.3 barrels (138 gallons) of oil and 19.8 million BTU’s of energy.
While all of this is terrific news, we should not lose sight of the fact that so much more can and should be done. We can each have a positive impact on our world, leaving it a better place than when we found it , which will allow actual frogs (although we love Kermie!) to continue to live happily … and green.
– Janice Gambaccini and Stephanie Zimmerman
Co-owners, Lend A Box®