America Recycles Day

Thursday, November 15th is America Recycles Day, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directive and a spearhead movement behind the drive to reduce, reuse, and recycle (RRR).

The EPA is going to great lengths to promote the environmental, and economic impact of better recycling practices across the USA. In one of its reports, it notes that the national recycling rate has gone from a mere 7% in 1960 to a rate of over 35% as it stands today.

Along with the positive benefit to the environment, for every 10,000 tons of recycled material, on average sixteen jobs are created with a salary impact of approximately $770,000. 

Not to rest on past laurels, America Recycles Day continues to encourage every American to become more conscious of their recycling habits, not only on this one special day, but continuously throughout the year, at home, at work, and in both public and wild spaces.

Photo by Bas Emmen on Unsplash

The real benefits of recycling

  • Less waste is sent to landfill sites and toxic incinerators
  • Reusing and recycling saves our natural resources: water, raw materials, fuel, and difficult to extract minerals
  • Reduces pollution from the manufacture of new raw materials
  • Dramatically saves energy – even turning off lights can go a long way
  • Supports local employment and protects natural resources
  • Offsetting carbon footprint can drastically influence climate change stability

How to recycle like a pro

The first thing you should know is what materials are recyclable by your local facility – this information is usually available online from your local municipal council. Once you know this you can set up a plan for the separation of materials wherever waste accumulates, in your home, your place of work, your place of education, or your local community.

The truth is, there are hundreds of ways you can actively reduce, reuse and recycle (the 3Rs) whatever the environment.

Planning is the key, with every member of the recycling community aware of what they need to do.

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

Always have a go-to resource

Whether it happens to be a workplace or place of education or a community, form a committee or nominate an individual to take responsibility for the entire reduce, reuse, recycle program. In this way, there will always be a go-to resource to seek advice, a central location for the collection of information, and are the ones to implement changes and new practices.

The very nature of recycling is innovation. There are always new ways to act smarter and live greener, and usually, everyone has some valuable input to offer. 

  • Don’t be afraid to take on board all suggestions, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
  • Always be ready to explore new avenues. 
  • Follow the lead and advice of the experts.
  • And be conscious of every item you want to trash – it will take time but soon it will become second nature.
  • Every item which doesn’t enter the chain of waste is a boost to protecting the environment.
Photo by Ernest Brillo on Unsplash

Every day is a recycle day

And try to remember, it’s not just at home that you need to be conscious of the 3Rs. 

When you travel to another location, for vacation, business, or just in daily life, try to be mindful of other communities who may be actively trying to reduce their waste footprint.

  • Bring your own water bottles
  • Pick up any litter you may see  – even if you didn’t put it there
  • Use public transportation when possible
  • Try to buy from local stores, restaurants, and artisans – this creates local jobs and helps decrease the transport of bulk, pollution-causing goods.
Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash

A drop in the ocean – your ocean

Everything above is just a suggestion about how you can actively remember America Recycles Day and help to make it an everyday event.

In recent years there has also been a movement away from buying more and more material possessions. People are finally showing their lack of interest in accumulating things/stuff they don’t want or need.

When giving gifts think about using companies like Tinggly who specialize in giving Experience Gifts rather than more ‘stuff’. Along with helping the environment – Tinggly is one of a growing band of companies who are consciously engaged in reducing its impact on the environment.

Every little action we take may seem like a drop in a very large ocean. But, it’s our ocean and the only one we have.

It’s our duty to protect it for ourselves and every living thing on the planet, both now, and long into the future. 

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