Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Does it ring any bells? This punchline has been the cornerstone of any ongoing pollution-inhibiting campaign.
Pollutants tend to be hazardous. They release harmful gas into the atmosphere, and microplastics endanger marine life.
But post-globalization and industrialization, it is impossible to cease production of these completely.
The ancient civilizations engaged in reusing products due to scarcity of resources. The modern man, however, does it to conserve the environment.
Let us narrow it down to the US and see how they celebrate America Recycles Day or National Recycling Day.
When is America Recycles Day 2022?
On November 15th, the Americans celebrate America Recycles Day or National Recycling Day annually. This day aims to raise awareness about the practice of recycling.
Millions come together to show their statistics and find innovative ways to combat inappropriate waste disposal.
Recycling Day History
As society progressed, recycling was extended to households.
So, the younger children would often wear hand-me-downs with lower income brackets.
It was not until 1969 that Gary Anderson invented his Mobius Loop of recycling. “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” connected by green arrows popularized recycling.
At this point, America was recycling less than 7% of its waste. It took more than 25 years for the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to endorse America Recycle Day, 1997.
Interesting Facts about Recycling in America
Recycling can be as simple as storing items in Nutella jars or having a multi-million dollar business devoted to recycling.
While we are not as proficient as the latter, here are some facts about recycling from us:
- Oregon was the first state to begin recycling in the 1970s. The practice began after America celebrated its first Earth Day in 1970.
- The mainstream adoption was marked by a law stating all beverage containers must be deposited.
- History sure does tell us about the ways of our forefathers. In the War of Independence, 1776, the patriots faced a shortage of ammunition.
- With no other choice left, they plummeted the statue of King George III and crafted bullets out of it.
- 1897, the first material recovery facility was established in the US. This officially acted for recovering energy from most used materials. This comes second last in the waste management hierarchy, but it laid the foundation for the idea.
- The first fully functional Aluminum recycling plant was set up in Illinois, Chicago, in 1904. Today, the US recycles more than 65% of the Aluminum it uses.
- During the Great Depression, the recycling business saw a boom. So much so that the phrase ‘Don’t Waste It, Save It” became a household phrase.
- ‘Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without’ were other common ones before Gary Anderson commercialized his loop.
- The numbers, unfortunately, plunged to a new low when China banned recycled imports from the US.
- In 2018, there was a zest and seal for recycling, but the sub-par products were rejected due to contamination. So, thousands of centers shut down as a result. This was labeled a national crisis.
- In 2019, the recycling crisis was amplified with the strike of COVID-19 when global workplaces went into lockdown.
- There was also a decline in the budget allocated to this sector. Fast forward 3 years, life returns to normal, and recycling activities are at an all-time high.
- In 2018, an average American produced 4.9 pounds of waste daily. So, Americans dump 268 million tons of waste annually.
5 Ways to Observe National Recycling Day
If you have not been able to celebrate National Recycle Day yet, here are some fun things to do:
1. Recycle Your Home
Recycling begins on a personal level. Collect recyclable materials from your living space and segregate them in bags by category.
Here you can scrap cardboard, glass, aluminum cans, etc. If you find an excess of disposable materials, set a resolution to curb the usage.
2. Travel to Your Nearest Recycling Center
Usually, leaving the trash in the can would suffice. However, on this day, go the extra mile and deposit waste in a recycling facility.
Make sure to collect a good deal of materials for substantial rewards. You are entitled to these rewards by the government.
3. Post a Picture on America Recycle Day
Post a picture using #AmericaRecycleDay or #NationalRecyclingDay to let your friends know. This is a golden opportunity to spread the word.
So, endorse the good deed and report another individual dumping waste inappropriately.
4. Buy Recycled Goods
To address the elephant in the room, the minute changes would be reflective of your share.
So, check your list for any needed items and look for a recycled alternative. Books, fabrics, packaging, and more!
Fast fashion creates the most waste. Nip it in the bud! Visit a thrift store for a wardrobe makeover on your next visit.
5. Share the Word
Share the importance of recycling with your friends and let them in on the rewards. Create a checklist for the next Recycle Day and make regular updates.
In Addition, you may also like to read:
Reasons to Love Recycles Day in America
Good deeds go a long way. Climate change is real; if you are still not frightened by the effect of neglect, here are some more reasons:
You Can Save the Turtles!
Switching out plastic straws with metal straws is not enough.
You need to ensure that cumulative waste is dumped into the oceans and that the gases released in the air diminish. This can be made possible by recycling.
One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure
What you deem worthy of landfill might be useful for another person. Say, old clothes.
Donate them to a thrift store if your khakis no longer fit you. You can even recover a portion of the cost back.
Recycling Creates Jobs
You can help set up new recycling plants and provide inputs to keep them running. A win-win situation occurs when you get cashback for deposits.
So, to sum it up, you can celebrate National Recycling Day on November 14th. If you have not yet participated in the activities, mark your calendars.
You can recycle old materials and get cash passively. You can also post a picture of your contribution to climate conservation. Do not forget to use hashtags.
Lastly, we wish you a happy America Recycle Day!