So where is all this waste coming from? Rogers points out the three biggest culprits:
Paper. Every ton, or 220,000 sheets, of paper that is recycled saves approximately 17 trees. The average school tosses 38 tons of paper—more than 8 million sheets—a year!
Food. Just one elementary school creates 18,760 pounds of lunch waste per year. At the same time, the childhood obesity rate is higher than ever; about 9 million kids over the age of six are now considered obese. How does that affect the environment? 67% of kids say they buy junk food or soda from vending machines at school—which means more packaging and more waste.
Energy. Schools use more than $6 billion in energy every year, with 25%, or about $1.5 billion, of it wasted because of inefficiency. That alone would be enough money to hire about 30,000 new teachers!