Did you know that securely shredding your old documents does more than just protect your identity? It also helps save the planet! Each ton of recycled paper can save about 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 400 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water. Let’s break those numbers down into some more concrete measurements.
The average household throws away 13,000 papers a year — mostly packaging or junk mail, both of which have personally identifiable information on them. Since the median tree contains roughly 15,000 sheets of paper, then most households are throwing away just under a tree’s worth of paper that should be shredded and recycled to keep their identities safe.
The median American consumer uses 90 gallons of water each day, according to data from the U.S. government, and Statista found the average household is 2.52 people. So that means the average household uses about 227 gallons of water a day. Each ton of paper recycled at Shred Day saves approximately three days’ worth of water for an average household.
Did you know that the American Petroleum Institute says the average American uses two barrels of oil a month? At 42 gallons of oil per barrel, that comes to 2.8 gallons of oil a day. Each ton of paper recycled from Shred Day saves more than 4.5 months of the average household’s oil use.
Additionally, the average household uses 30.5 kilowatt-hours per day. The power saved by Shred Day could power a home for 53 days, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
BBB’s next Shred Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the Afdent parking lot at 4041 Parnell Ave. in Fort Wayne. Bring documents like pay stubs, credit card solicitations, old medical receipts, insurance explanations of benefits, canceled checks, ATM receipts and bank and credit card statements to be shredded securely on-site and recycled.
The event is free, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Todd Briscoe Dentistry and W.A. Zimmer Company. A $5 donation to the BBB’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is recommended, but not required. The Foundation provides scholarships for university students, educational resources to combat fraud and the Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.
Marjorie Stephens is president/CEO of Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Indiana, Fort Wayne. Phone 918-2076