What is one thing that all humans have in common? All humans have trash. After looking at what scientists of trash rates and forums on how much trash a person throws away, I have compiled a list of how much trash a person produces.
The average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash a day, 132 pounds a month, and 1,500 pounds a year. Average trash rates are dependent on location. America has the highest trash rates. Scientists think it is important to cut down trash disposal rates to protect the environment.
Trash rates are becoming a major problem in the big cities of America. Read on to learn more about the issues society faces because of trash.
How Much Trash Do You Throw Away?
The short answer to this question is a lot. If you, like me, are from the United States of America, you throw away roughly 4.4 pounds of trash a day. That means you throw away 132 pounds of trash a month which brings us to the grand total of 1,500 pounds of trash a year.
That is a lot of trash. That collects up during a person’s lifetime. The average lifespan of an American is 79 years of age. That means the average amount of trash that has been disposed of on the account of one person during their whole life is 118,500 pounds of trash.
118,500 pounds is roughly the weight of 13 elephants. You will throw away 13 elephants worth of trash in your life unless you think about what that means. Trash doesn’t just disappear. It goes to a landfill and continues to take up space. When you die you are leaving behind 13 elephants worth of trash that will just continue taking up space and hurting the planet.
A good thing to do is to realize how much trash you use and try to condense it. How much better would the planet be if every person tried to remove at least one elephant worth of trash. Recycling can honestly save the planet from so much waste.
How Much Trash Do other Countries Throw Away?
Other countries have different levels of trash. Some countries gained awareness of the levels of trash being produced and noticed the effects the trash had on their environment and decided to make a change.
For instance, in India, the minister of India created a recycling rule. He mandated that any business with more than 5,000 sq m, will have to separate the different kinds of trash into recyclable or non-recyclable. This brought up recycling rates and gave the country something to be proud of in regards to the effort in saving the environment.
America: King of Trash
Which country has the most trash, of course, the United States of America. We have won the trash game. We have the most out of everyone. Now let’s try and win the least amount of trash or the most amount of recycling.
In America, we create 624,700 metric tons of trash a day. That is the weight of 156,529 elephants a day. That is a lot of trash. The country that comes in second to the most trash in the world is China. China creates 520,548 metric tons of trash a day. That means we have more than 26,097 elephants of trash than China.
To make matters even worse China has over 1 billion more people living in it than in the United States of America. So we truly can say that we are the King of Trash.
We have more trash for several reasons. Other countries have rules on reuse as talked about above with India. The United States also is a highly industrialized country. The more industrialized a country is the more trash it will produce.
Why We Should Cut Down on Trash
We need to cut down our trash intake. There are many reasons why trash intake should matter to everyone.
Having so much trash is a huge health risk. Trash when it degrades leaks toxic chemicals that gets into water supplies and the ground ruining necessary natural resources. These chemicals also enter the atmosphere and poison the very air we breathe.
With high levels of trash in public places like streets, trash can travel into draining pipes and clog them. This causes flooding in large major cities. This creates water damage and safety hazards for locals.
When the trash is burned, the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection is six times higher. Waste collection is also a huge drain of financial resources. The United States of America spends $200. billion dollars on waste removal every year. This makes waste removal a huge financial hassle for the United States of America.
How can we Cut Down on Trash?
Scientists have suggested five main ways we can cut down on waste management issues on an individual level.
The first option is to refuse. If you see an item that has an obscene amount of packaging do not buy it. You don’t like opening up all the packaging and throwing it away anyhow. By refusing to purchase such items and bringing awareness of it online you will be saving the environment and not have to go on the hunt for those scissors that you swore you put away the last time you used them.
The second option is to reduce. Do you really need all the stuff you are wanting to buy? Advertisers and Capitalists are trying to shift your opinion and freedom by making you think you do. This will benefit them by gaining more money, but will also hurt the environment by bringing out more trash.
Our next option is reuse. Remember that tin cookie box at your grandma’s home with all of the buttons inside of it. That is reuse. Be like your grandma saving the environment one sour cream Tupperware container at a time.
My family created a garden when I was a kid. One thing I remembered was adding my food waste into the compost pile and watching it turn into nice dirt. It was a lot of fun and made our garden even better the next year. Creating compost is a great way to reduce waste. It won’t degrade and get mixed with other chemicals if you control the degradation process in your own backyard.
Finally, recycle, get one of those green boxes and add all the things that don’t need to be thrown away in it. This will help save our planet by removing more toxic chemicals and letting them be reused to make new items. With these steps, you can help save our planet.
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