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Encouraging Individuals to Be 'Green' by Reusing Change

To commemorate National Coin Week (April 20 - 26) and Earth Day (April 22), Coinstar, Inc. today launched its Change for our Earth(TM) program. This program encourages a 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 country’s coin needs.

According to the Coinstar National Currency Poll, 81 percent of Americans said that they don’t feel guilty about having change sitting around, not being put to use. However, 78 percent of poll respondents said they would make more of an effort to put coins back into circulation if they knew it would reduce environmental impacts.

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, it’s more important than ever to reuse an existing resource,” said Alex Camara, senior vice president and general manager of worldwide coin at Coinstar, Inc. “Coinstar is proud to introduce the Change for our Earth program, and we’re confident Americans can make a difference. It’s 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.”

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

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