Recycling & Sustainability
Keeping Georgia Green
Sustainability and the environment go hand in hand with our agricultural industry. In 2018, Georgia Farmers took a $3 billion loss from hurricanes and tropical storms coming through the Southeast. With climate change causing warmer winters, Georgia blueberry and peach farmers lose yield in their crops. Georgia is the #1 supplier in the county for these fruits, and they're slowly disappearing.
Aside from the larger issues, we can all do our part daily to make a larger collective difference. Georgia has the second largest infrastructure for “end-use” of recovered materials in the US. 120+ manufacturers in the state are using recovered materials in manufacturing. Additionally, Georgia has one of the largest pulp/paper industries in the nation! 15 mills use recycled content; 8 of those are 100% recycled. We have an obligation to make sure these industries are green and continue to contribute positive actions to fight climate change.
Imagine every new plastic product having a renewable lifecycle, going from being used once, to being used again and again. This is the basic idea behind the circular economy, also called "circularity." It is a critical component of eliminating plastic waste while still being able to take advantage of all the benefits plastic provides. At its core, it means reusing rather than discarding materials. Non-profits who advocate for the environment as well as scientists have the goal that 100% of U.S. plastic packaging will be recyclable or recoverable by 2030, and that 100% of U.S. plastic packaging will be reused, recycled or recovered by 2040. This may seem like an impossible goal, but all great change starts with one person deciding to do things differently.
When large Agricultural Companies are not held accountable, it affects more than just their neighbors or their local community. From 2001 to 2021, Georgia lost 3.42Mha (about 10.6 Million Acres) of tree cover, equivalent to a 35% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 1.48Gt of CO₂e emissions. Deforestation not only affects the environmental in negative ways, but triggers other environmental disasters as well. Flash floods and increase damage from hurricanes are the outcomes of deforestation. Additionally, loss of animal and plant species due to their loss of habitat.
This in turn also destroys our infrastructure. The dirt roads and driveways of our citizens rely on vegetation to maintain irrigation, handle runoff & keep roads safe and accessible. Direct sun exposure also deteriorates building fronts, street signs, paint, etc.
In Georgia between 2020 and 2021, 35 children died from heat stroke. Heat related deaths are the #1 killer in Georgia during the summer, and cutting down trees make this worse. Natural shade from the sun not only lessens your energy bill; but it keeps our cars, homes, roads, and bodies of water cooler in the summer. Taking care of our natural world and preventing environmental destruction doesn't just save the planet, it saves us too.
Reducing Plastic and Natural Gas Use
Land Deterioration and Public Health