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Source Reduction Trash Talking: Waste by the Numbers
Sorted recyclables
Tour waste
During the fall tour in Michigan, the Green Team worked with Schupan Recycling. Schupan is a national leader in recycling and sustainability. They quantified our waste which we diverted from the landfill through our compost and recycling program. The numbers are remarkable and the positive impact we are having on Mother Nature is something we can all celebrate!

Before we get to the statistics, let’s first take a moment and GIVE-IT-UP for Amma’s Green Team sevites! They’re a bunch of hard core, waste warrior, Gaia groupies, who leave no bin unsorted in their quest to help the planet. They rally when the garbage gets tough with grit, humor and enthusiasm, always coming out on top of the compost heap! They are the epitome of compassion for nature, in action.

Rinsing rock star sevites
Rinsing Rock Star Sevites
Devi Bhav overtime
Devi Bhava Overtime
Dynmaic duo
Dynamic Duo
In Michigan, the only plastic the Green Team collected were PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)plastics #1 and #2. These are the only plastics which have a legitimate end market and currently being recycled. We also tweaked our signage to include visual examples for each receptacle.

Many people reported the visuals helped alleviate their confusion at the recycle stations. This resulted in a drastic reduction in cross-contamination and less time sorting. This resulted in a drastic reduction in cross-contamination and less time sorting. We worked once again in conjunction with the dishwashing department who rinsed all of our tin cans, plastic jugs and glass jars containing food residue. There’s a special place on Vrindavana for all of you rinsing rock stars! Each of these small changes had a big impact. Our recycling was cleaner and had market value, increasing the probability it would get recycled. A win-win for everyone, especially Mother Nature!

And now, the numbers - drum roll please…

Waste collected and diverted from the landfill in Michigan: (stats provided by Schupan)

  • Steel cans – 52 pounds
  • Glass – 153 pounds
  • Plastic film – 19 pounds
  • Mixed plastic and aluminum – 78 pounds
  • Organics – 1,451 pounds

Here’s how our waste diversion impacted the environment: (stats provided by Schupan)

  • 21 gallons of gasoline saved
  • 3 cubic yard of landfill space saved. This is the equivalent of 606 1 gallon jugs of milk
  • 389 kilowatt hours of energy saved. This is enough power to power your iPhone, at one full charge per day, for the next 56 years!!
  • 4,581 pounds of CO2 saved

If we multiply these numbers by 11 (the number of cities each year where we have a tour waste management program), these numbers become staggering. We are diverting approximately 15,961 pounds of food scraps from the landfill and saving 50,391 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere during each of Amma’s North American tours.

Next year we will be eliminating the 19 pounds of plastic film by switching to reusable pallet wraps. We are continuing to reduce single-use plastics and will be switching from plastic drink bottles to metal and glass, which are closed-loop recyclables. Becoming sustainable is a collaborative work in progress.

Together, we can all make a difference!

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