The Life Cycle of a Product

Every product you use goes through a life cycle:

Every one of these steps uses energy and creates greenhouse gases. So does disposing of products when you're done with them. The trucks that pick up your trash have to burn fuel, which produces greenhouse gases. In some parts of the country, trash ends up getting burned (often to produce energy), which also produces greenhouse gases. Landfills also emit greenhouse gases—particularly methane and carbon dioxide—which are given off by decomposing waste.

Learn how much energy is used and how much waste material is created for each cell phone (PDF) (2 pp, 651K,About PDF), CD or DVD (PDF) (2 pp, 413K), and soccer ball (PDF) (2 pp, 4.28MB) that you buy.

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