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:
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
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GO GREEN TIP: Reuse Coffee Grounds
Though the Great White Shark is far more ferocious on the Jaws DVD than it is in reality, that hasn’t stopped the Western Australia Government from announcing a new “shark migration plan,” which will pay local fishery departments to track, capture and, in the most serious instances, kill the fish if beachgoers’ lives are at risk.
The reason for the change in thought after 10 years of unrelenting protection of the world’s largest predatory fish? A sharp spike in attacks along the Australian coast over the past year. In the past year alone, there have been five Great White Shark attacks. Conversely, there were just 12 over the last century. Just this past July, in fact, a surfer was killed by a Great White Shark near Wedge Island, which sits about 100 miles north of Perth.
“We will always put the lives and safety of beachgoers ahead of the shark,” Western Australia state premier Colin Barnett told ABC radio in late September. “This is, after all, a fish. Let’s keep it in perspective.”
Groups like the Conservation Council of Western Australia initially praised the premier’s tuna-baited hooks and other non-lethal approaches to attack prevention. But once Barnett announced the new kill policy, the Council began creating ripples. “We are concerned that plans to kill sharks that approach beaches applies a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach to sharks,” the council’s Marine Coordinator Tim Nicol said in a statement.
Green Global Travel is also concerned. While we support efforts such as GPS tracking programs and the purchase of more rescue jet skis, taking the kill-them-before-they-kill-us approach not only sends a knee-jerk message throughout the world, but its effects could present long-lasting ecological damage along Australia’s coast. –DeMarco Williams
Most items people purchase are used once, then tossed into the garbage or recycling bin, ultimately wasting materials and money. But if you want to make your household more green, seek out innovative products that can be reused over and over again. The biggest hurdle in going green is usually not knowing what simple steps can be taken to become more eco-friendly. Here, we feature 5 reusable products that will allow you to ditch the disposable versions, allowing you to go green and save some green in the process!
Hummingbirds, which were named for the sound their wings make as they flap, are a welcome addition to any garden. Ranking among the smallest bird species, hummingbirds in flight have the highest metabolisms found in the animal kingdom, with the exception of insects. They are also important pollinators for your garden, and to attract hummingbirds is surprisingly easy. just follow these simple steps:
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 17th, so now’s the time to start thinking about ways to celebrate with dad. Fortunately, there are numerous gift ideas that won’t compromise your ambitions to go green!
SEND AN E-CARD
Thanks to the Internet, these days you no longer have to use paper to send your dad a card and let him know how much he means to you. Go paperless, save a tree, and send him an e-card he’ll get in his email box on June 17th. Some are even free! I enjoy using www.egreetings.com or www.hallmark.com, but there are tons of other great options as well.
MAKE YOUR OWN PRESENT
A great way to go green is to get creative, using what you already have around the house (a.k.a. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) instead of running out and buying something new. Dust off your sewing machine and make a “Greatest Griller” apron out of scrap fabric, or make a photo collage of you and your dad that he can display at home or in his office. Not only will it be a truly one-of-a-kind gift, but Dad will love that it came from you.
Go retro (and sustainable) by visiting your local thrift store or yard sale for some great vintage finds. Reusing what’s already here means conserving energy that would’ve been used to produce a brand new product, not to mention cutting down on the waste of packaging. With a little searching, you can usually find great gifts such as old records, barely worn ties, or maybe some antique collectables your dad would really love.
SPEND TIME OUTDOORS WITH DAD
Rekindling an appreciation for nature serves as a critical reminder of why being green is so important in the first place. Whether your dad enjoys gardening, hiking, playing catch or fishing, get outside with him and enjoy the day! Depending on where you live, he might even receive discounted rates at outdoor attractions such as zoos, parks or horse ranches. Regardless of how you spend your time outside, he’ll enjoy spending that special time with you.
GET A GREEN GADGET
If your Dad is more tech-savvy, there are plenty of eco-friendly gadgets on the market. Minimize harm to the environment by looking for gadgets that last, are biodegradable, and/or can be recycled. Consider products that use alternative power sources, such as a laptop case with a built-in solar panel, or a green surge protector that detects when electronics aren’t in use and cuts off the power (saving dad money on his energy bills!). Even electric razors can be considered green compared to disposable ones, because they last longer and in the long run generate less waste. –Sarah Vied