America Recycles Day

GO GREEN TIP #95

Recycling Tips for America Recycles Day

 

Today, November 15, is America Recycles Day, a day devoted to encouraging US citizens to recycle more waste and buy more recycled products in hopes of creating a greener American economy.

 

Started by non-profit advocacy organization National Recycling Coalition in 1997, America Recycles Day has been managed by Keep America Beautiful (the guys behind the famous crying Indian commercial) since 2009, and has grown to include thousands of events held across the country. Their #1 purpose? Preventing litter, reducing waste, and keeping our communities beautiful.

 

Here are a few interesting facts about recycling in the US, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • 251 million – tons of trash in the United States
  • 53.4 – percentage of all paper products recycled in the United States
  • 32.5 – percentage of total waste recycled in the United States
  • 100 – approximate percentage of increase in total recycling in the United States during the past decade
  • 95 – percentage of energy saved by recycling an aluminum can, compared with manufacturing a new one
  • 4.6 – pounds of trash per person per day in the United States (most in the world)
  • 1.5 – pounds of recycled materials per person per day in the United States

 

American Recycles Day Logo

 

Here are a few ways you can do your part on America Recycles Day to make the USA a bit greener:

 

1) Go to the ARD website, enter your zip code and Join An Event in your community. In the area near our home, for instance, we were able to locate more than a dozen different events ranging from Aluminum Can Round-ups benefitting local schools to Metal and Electronics Recycling offered by the City of Kennesaw.

 

2) Visit the Earth911 site to learn ways to dispose of unusual household products ranging from paint thinner and used batteries to broken computers and cell phones. Many common household items contain horrible chemicals that seep into the ground and contaminate a community’s drinking water, but Earth911 can help you locate a place to recycle them safely.

 

3) Got something to get rid of that others might be able to use? Goodwill will take just about anything you’re willing to donate. But if you don’t want to deal with the trouble of loading, driving, etc. we recommend Freecycle. There, you can list just about anything (we’ve gotten rid of mirrors, children’s playset, old toys and more) and people will come pick it up!

 

4) Make it a point to buy products made from recycled materials. Do research online to find companies that specialize in eco-friendly items, including Alchemy Goods, Ecoist, Eco-Artware.com, Greenandmore.com, and TerraCycle, Inc. Make sure you money is going to companies that believe in and support the development of a green economy.

 

5) Start composting! It’s remarkably easy, reduces landfill waste, and it’s better for your flowers and home garden. See our Go Green Tip below for tips on how to get started.  –Bret Love

 

16 Responses to GO GREEN TIP #95: Recycling Tips for America Recycles Day

  • mika says:

    Happy recycling day!! Continue the advocacy of Preventing litter, reducing waste, and keeping our communities beautiful.

  • Noah says:

    Now’s a good time to recycle and help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy or future natural disasters. Sadly, you’ll probably be contributing/recycling for years to come.

  • Kurt says:

    Free cycle a great site. Trickier to navigate, though more reliable people on there than Craigslist.

  • Natalie says:

    They tried to arrange a recycling day here in my town in Turkey. They dropped the bags off, told everyone how to recycle but forgot to arrange drop off points or schedule anyone to pick it up so everyone ended up chucking it in the normal bins. Think we are still about fifty years behind you on that aspect!

    • Yeah, we experienced the same thing in Jordan as well. I think that region of the world will catch up in time, we just need to make environmental education more accessible in developing nations and make it clear that reusing, recycling and living sustainably can actually SAVE YOU MONEY!

  • Laurence says:

    Every day should be a national recycling day :) Great tips for practices that everyone should be following!

    • Agreed, Laurence! It’s lame that we have to have a holiday to encourage people to do what they SHOULD be doing all the time. But I think we as a society need to do whatever it takes to raise consciousness. It’s the only way any real cultural shift will ever happen.

  • Thanks for promoting recycling. The biggest disappointment of our RTW has been all the plastic trash on beaches, the side of the road, etc.

    Cheers,

    Michael

    • Yeah, it was shocking how much trash we saw along the side of the road in Jordan. But then there was Dominica, where we never saw a single scrap of trash– MUCH cleaner than the U.S.

  • Bit late for recycling day, but anyway – It might be a help if we included food in the endeavour and started eating up all produce and leftovers on a daily basis instead of dumping it in the trash:)

    • Absolutely! We try not to waste any food at all in our house. We work from home and my daughter takes her lunch to school, so leftovers pretty much always get eaten, and we’ve started saving scraps of waste for compost. Now, if only we had time to plant/nurture some fruits and veggies… tough when you’re traveling all the time!

  • Ramin the Thailand Travel Experience Designer says:

    Since moving to Thailand I really got into this habit of not throwing things away in the first place. In Germany, if something was broken, we just threw it away and replaced it with something new. In Thailand, when a pair of pants breaks, I just bring it to the tailor in my neighborhood and she fixes it. If my camera display isn’t working anymore, I go to that electronics store to have it fixed, and so on. So that’s one more way to reduce garbage in the first place :-)

    • It’s funny how people who don’t have very much tend to be far more conscious of waste. My grandma, who was born during the Great Depression, never threw ANYTHING away, and was one of the first people I knew who talked about recycling, reusing, etc. This was back in the ’70s and early ’80s!

  • Andrew says:

    The daily waste in Germany is pretty well recycled. At least it seems to be. There are 4 different classifications you need to separate things into. Including a bio/composting one. Since these get picked up by different trucks, I can only assume that it all gets appropriately dealt with.

  • Mohamed says:

    While recycling IS great, I also think berfoe I buy–for instance when I buy soda pop (yep, not at all healthy, but can’t do without my diet Pepsi), I buy it in cans instead of plastic.Plastic can be upcycled–reused only once or perhaps twice. Cans can be recycled over and over and over…Our town has a great program too. We are fortunate! With recycling and now composting, we only have about a bag of trash every three weeks. Yay!

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