300 Million Tons of Carbon

Every year the recycling industry in America saves 300 million tons of carbon emissions from entering the environment, says Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the EPA.

Consider that impressive number. We’re so focused on creating new green technologies to save the environment! Yet simply being more mindful about recyclables can make a huge difference in our carbon footprint.


Image by Chris Satchwell

Smart companies are already thinking along this path, and are engineering products for sales, and then to be recycled. This sustainable route can actually be quite profitable. A recent Harvard Business Review article noted that several companies have already made sustainability via recycling a cash positive venture, including HP.

To that end, ISRI created a four-step Design for Recycling policy to foster sustainable manufacturing:

1. Making Consumer Products Recyclable

2. Reducing Environmental Risks from Consumer Products

3. Controlling Special Environmental Problems

4. Assistance to Manufacturers of Consumer Durables

Never mind waste. Think of consumables as resources that can be reused intelligently. And if you are a business owner, profitably!

Geoff Livingston is a regular contributor to the Live Earth blog.