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Taking care of planet Earth is important to us. Littering, oxygen depletion, and accumulation of trash and waste, have all greatly impacting planet Earth and the quality of life of all individuals, which is why we must do our part to combat these effects.

Trash

Even though some trash goes to landfills or recycling, a majority of our waste ends up spreading itself around the globe by being transported by wind, water, or by humans. Unfortunately, one of the worse culprits is plastic, as it never fully degrades, but simply gets broken down into smaller and smaller pieces which eventually degrade into chemical components having damaging health effects on animals, people, and the ecosystems of planet Earth.

According to the Earth Day Organization, plastic can have serious impacts on our quality of life from poisoning and injuring marine life, to being present in our food which can disrupt human hormones and cause major life-threatening diseases and early puberty: threatening the survival of planet Earth and humans alike.

Trash can travel throughout the world’s rivers and oceans, accumulating on beaches and within gyres. This debris harms physical habitats, transports chemical pollutants, threatens aquatic life, and interferes with human uses of river, marine, and coastal environments. According to EPA, plastic is transported by rivers to the ocean, where it moves with the currents, and is often eaten by birds and fish, leaving toxic chemicals in their tissues, which fill up their stomachs and leads to starvation.

According to EPA the average individual throws away about 4.4 pounds of trash per day! In 2006, Americans alone generated 251 million tons of trash. In the United States alone, 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour, which would be equivalent to about 42,000 per minute, and about 695 per second. Even worse, research shows that it takes 500 years for an average sized water bottle to fully decompose.

Reforestation

Reforestation is the process of replanting trees in an area. Trees help reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, which is why planting trees is important. Trees absorb CO2 by removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen (O2) back into the air and also help to filter the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases.

Deforestation is when trees are cut down in order to make land available for other uses. Areas that have been deforested are prone to flooding because the absence of tree roots makes the soil unable to hold water. Even more disturbing, since the soil has more exposure to the sun, it eventually dries out and cannot be used for farming. Erosion further causes contaminants in the soil to make their way into the water supply and contaminate streams, lakes, and other water sources; hence, depleting the quality of drinking water as well. Reforestation helps to combat damages caused by deforestation. Reforestation also helps protect animals by rebuilding animal habitats. Research shows that trees also help to cool down temperatures in the street or city by up to 10 degrees F.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization an estimated 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest, roughly the size of the country of Panama, are lost each year to deforestation. According to Facts and Details, there are different figures available for deforestation and reforestation rates. By one measure the global reforestation rate between 1990 and 2005 was 2.5 million hectares a year, compared to 7 million to 8 million hectares a year destroyed by deforestation in that period. In the 1990s, in another estimate, it was reported that 14 million hectares were lost a year to deforestation but only 5.2 million hectares were gained through replanting-a loss of 9.4 million hectares of trees per year.

Recycling

As per EPA, recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can have important benefits for the community and the environment.

According to EPA, recycling benefits include:

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries

As per EPA, in 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted only about 87 million tons-recycling only 34.3%. Meaning, on average, Americans recycled and composted 1.51 pounds of the 4.40 pounds of individual waste generated per person per day. Globally, about 300 million tons of plastic is produced each year and only about 10% of is recycled. Even more burdensome, of the plastic that is trashed and not recycled, an estimated 7 million tons ends up in the sea each year. Of the trash buried in landfills, roughly 80% of the items could be recycled. According to statistics, if 1 in every 10 of all American newspapers that were thrown away were recycled annually, and estimated 25 million trees would be saved.

Our Green Soles Program includes both local and global efforts to conduct Trash Cleanups, Reforestation, and Recycling Initiatives because we believe that caring for planet Earth leads to a better quality of life and wellbeing for all. Walk Hard Foundation partners with local city departments, school districts, churches, community businesses, and global partners to conduct these green initiatives in the neediest communities. Walk Hard Foundation believes in alleviating our global footprint by leaving a green step behind.

“Green Soles, improving planet Earth, and the quality of life and wellbeing for all, one green step at a time.”

“Walk Hard towards a better future.”

Walk Hard Foundation

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