Americans produce 3x more waste than the rest of the world. Here’s how we can cut back.
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The average American produces nearly 5 pounds of waste material—cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, and junk mail—each day. The United States creates significantly more garbage than the rest of the world (roughly 3 times more!), and we're running out of places to put it.

Most people are aware that recycling is important, but knowing exactly what and how to recycle properly can be confusing. Let's face it: we are, as a nation, stretched pretty thin in this particular moment; now we have one more thing to worry about? In a word, yes.

Don't worry though, because whether you're new to recycling or have been doing it for years, there is always something more to learn and endless ways you can help. To make saving the planet a little bit simpler, we compiled a list of small things you can do that will make a huge impact.

Acknowledgment. Most of us go about our day without thinking about the garbage we're producing, so simply tuning in to the choices we make is a big step forward. For example, online shopping increased dramatically in 2020, translating into a lot more cardboard boxes, plastic shopping bags, and Styrofoam takeout containers finding their way into households. That is a lot of trash!

Awareness. Buy from brands with a proven track record of environmental responsibility. Select foods in recyclable containers. Take the time to educate yourself on the best eco-friendly grocery stores in your area, and then... actually shop there.


Another piece of the awareness puzzle is knowing how much of an impact you want to make when you shop. By learning about the P&G Good Everyday rewards program and signing up, you can automatically help support initiatives like the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and do more good.

Photo by Antoine GIRET

Know the rules. Recycling the right way can be confusing, which is why P&G launched How2Recycle labeling across many of their products. The labels can be found on the packages on everything from laundry detergent to diapers, clearly communicating the recycling instructions and removing the hassle and guesswork.

Because different areas have different rules, it's best to familiarize yourself with your town or city's recycling facilities. You can also go online and run a search to find your nearest recycling center.

Break it down. Did you know that it's frowned upon to toss milk jugs that aren't rinsed out into the recycling bin? There are a lot of little, yet important, things to do before an item gets recycled: removing the metal lids from glass bottles and jars, removing the lids from metal cans, rinsing out cartons and jugs, removing packaging tape, and throwing away plastic bottle caps.

Don't toss anything into the recycling bin inside of a plastic bag, and break down boxes before inserting them into the bin.

Take it a step further. According to P&G, "Shoppers worldwide use 500 billion single-use plastic bags each year, which often become part of the estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris floating in our oceans. Because they take so long to break down, they contribute to the deaths of more than 100,000 marine creatures each year that get tangled in ocean plastic."

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

Plastic bags that house dry cleaning, newspapers, and produce can be recycled; so can appliances, lightbulbs, and batteries! Consider skipping the produce bag or bringing reusable bags to the fruit stand instead. You'll look cool, because saving the Earth is cool.

No one said reducing global pollution was easy, but we can definitely make it simpler. By following a few easy steps, each American can reduce the amount of waste they produce. Imagine how drastically the state of our planet would improve if everyone worked together.

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Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
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With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

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via Emily Sophie / TikTok

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

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As someone who has given birth to three children and who was raised by a labor-and-delivery nurse, you'd think I'd have a good handle on the physical mechanics of childbirth. But despite knowing all the terminology and experiencing all the details first hand—uterine contractions, cervical dilation, etc.—I'm a visual person, and most of the birth process happens internally. Feeling it and being told what's happening isn't the same as being able to visualize what's actually happening.

Enter high school teacher Brooke Bernal, who teaches consumer sciences. She shared a video on TikTok demonstrating how she teaches her students about childbirth, which she says is her "all time favorite lesson," using a balloon and a ping-pong ball. It's a simple, but-oh-so-helpful demonstration that even helped me get a better grip on the miracle of childbirth. (Without the baby shooting across the room at the end, of course.)

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