Stashing Your Coins is Hurting the Planet

Are You Sitting on $90?

ChangeCoinstar, a national coin counting and vending equipment supplier, is challenging individuals to become greener by reusing change.

Its Change for our Earth” program encourages this new form of recycling, educating consumers on the environmental benefits of putting coin back into circulation, thereby reducing the need for limited natural resources used to create new coin.

Coins are made to be reused. And with an estimated $10 billion in coin sitting idle in U.S. households, reusing even 10 percent could supply roughly 15 billion coins, contributing significantly to the countrys coin needs.

Environmental savings can be measured in the form of water consumption, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste material. For example, reusing 15 billion coins translates into the following estimated environmental saving equivalencies:

  • Water from 82 million showers
  • Energy from 4.1 million 60-watt light bulbs
  • Carbon emissions reduction from 12,619 cars for a year
  • 5.3 million pick-up truck loads of waste material (overburden)

Coins are one of the most durable products in our economy and, unlike paper bills, have a lifespan of 30 years or more. And with the demand for currency rising, its more important than ever to reuse an existing resource, said Alex Camara, senior vice president and general manager of worldwide coin at Coinstar, Inc. “Its as easy as looking for change at home in coin jars, dresser drawers, and under sofa cushions and reusing it” all adding up to a greener planet. The average household coin cache is around $90.

Coin can be put back into circulation by using it in daily transactions, donating to penny or coin drives, converting at self-service coin counting machines, or taking coins to the bank.

Individuals can estimate the environmental savings associated with their loose change by using the Change Calculator at the Change for our Earth Web site at. For more information about Coinstar, visit

Check out our Green Pages for information on money saving tips that help the environment. Once there, click on the Green Forum.

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