How much energy can you save by recycling an aluminum can?

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 11.25.15 AMGrade level: 4 – 5th grades

Skills: Multiplication & Division

Related environmental issues: Reduce, reuse & recycle

Area level: National

To make an aluminum can, using recycled aluminum uses much less energy than using virgin materials.  When you recycle a single aluminum can, you can save energy that can power a TV for three hours.

  1. Jack recycled 58 aluminum cans.  How much energy in TV hours did Jack save ?

  2. To save energy enough to power a TV for 108 hours, how many aluminum cans should you recycle?
  3. Ashley watched TV 2 hours a week. How many aluminum cans does he need to recycle to save enough power for him to watch TV for a month (4 weeks)?
  4. Andrew and his family recycled 91 cans in a month. Does it enough to save power them to watch TV 3 hours a day for 2 months?

Source: Recycle Across America


Answer keys

  1. 164 hours (58×3=174)
  2. 36 cans (108/3=36)
  3. 19 cans (2X7X4=56hours   56/3=18R2)
  4. Yes (3X7X4x2=168 hours  168/3=56cans    56 cans < 91 cans)