1000 Flowers for the Planet - #584 Avoid Virgin Aluminium
Aluminium (aluminum) is a toxic product to make but it is 100% recyclable. This makes it a two-edged sword. There has been debate for a number of years about the health risks from aluminium but we can put those aside for this particular Flower suggestion and concentrate on production methods. To manufacture products from virgin aluminium takes a huge amount of energy. For example, twenty recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore. Recycling only one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.
Aluminium is found in many products but the most common one to consumers would have to be the drink can. From the above mentioned statistics it is easy to see that we should put more effort into recycling as much aluminium as possible, to save energy, use fewer resources and keep stuff out of landfill. Maybe you could find different ways of working in the kitchen to prevent the use of aluminium foil - try not replacing your next roll of foil and see how you adapt your habits. But aluminium is also used to make: bike frames, ladders, mail boxes, staples, nails, computer parts, golf clubs, sinks, faucets, screen door and window frames, patio furniture, pots, pans, gates, fencing, car rims, silver lined wrappers on your snack bars, the silver cap on yogurt and the foil that wraps your chocolate. All of these things are actually recyclable, but seldom are – we need to change that.