For kids growing up in the U.S., recycling has just become a fact of life—a habit that's done without much thought, like making the bed or brushing their teeth. But tossing that empty soda can into a blue recycling bin makes more of a difference than they might realize.
It's easy to forget the very real impact that each piece of paper, tin can, and piece of plastic recycled has on the planet. Here's a perfect example: The energy saved from recycling one aluminum can could power your television for three hours.
In even better news, recycling has really taken off. If you stacked all the aluminum cans recycled in 2010 on top of each other, the stack would be 1,454 times taller than the Empire State Building.