By Ashley Phillips
Green Right Now
This Sunday, Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day, a nationwide initiative by Keep America Beautiful and the National Recycling Coalition. In its 12th year, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to not only recycle, but buy recyclable products. There is more garbage going into landfills now than ever before. Recycling can not only slow climate change, but preserve and protect the environment around us. Everyone has the ability to do their part.
“The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment,” states their website.
Last year the amount of energy saved from recycling aluminum and steel cans, plastic PET and glass containers, newsprint and corrugated packaging was equal to:
- The amount of electricity consumed by 17.8 million Americans in one year.
- 29 percent of nuclear electricity generation in the US in one year.
- 7.9 percent of electricity generation from fossil fuels in the US in one year.
- 11 percent of the energy produced by coal-fired power plants in the US.
- The energy supplied from 2.7 percent of imported barrels of crude oil into the US.
- The amount of gasoline used in almost 11 million passenger automobiles in one year.
It is easy to get confused on what can and cannot be recycled. There are quite a lot of items that are acceptable such as: steel cans, aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, junk mail, plastic beverage bottles, milk jugs, glass bottles and jars, cereal boxes, other clean and dry cardboard boxes. Do not forget that your old electronics are also accepted at many retail stores including Best Buy. Stay away from items such as plastic grocery bags, Styrofoam, light bulbs, food-soiled paper, wax paper and ceramics because they cannot be recycled by your typical municipal recycling program.
(You can return plastic bags to many groceries, and Home Depot now takes light bulbs for recycling.)
Take the pledge to not only recycle, but to tell others about the benefits.
There will be events held all over the country Sunday, find one near you.
If you already recycle at home, transfer that same philosophy at work or school. It is nice to have a day to remind us to recycle, but do not stop at one day, make it an everyday practice.
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