Monday, September 12, 2011

The Trends Of Recycling

I may be young, but recycling seems to be a concept that's been around all my life. Recycling has lasted throughout human history. Research dates it back to Ancient Greece in 400 B.C. Some became familiar with rationing, recycling and reusing supplies because of shortages during times of war or economic downfall.

My first big memory of recycling was in second grade. In groups, my class was assigned to produce a puppet show. I can't remember why my idea revolved around recycling, or even why it was picked, but our story was based on the The Berenstain Bear's "Don't Pollute (Anymore)."
I'm pretty sure this book is still somewhere in my Mother's house
So we produced a fancy puppet show with papier-mâché Berenstain Bears' puppet heads, made some props with garbage, and I even got to play Sister Bear! Since then, I've been passionate that we should reduce, reuse & recycle. It didn't help that Captain Planet soon came along.
"CAPTAIN PLANET! HE'S OUR HERO!"- For the record, I did not have to look up that lyric.
Mix that with some Fern Gully and it's no surprise I turned out to be a hippie!

I was clearly a tree hugger at an early age.
I can't even count how many years my Mom has used my hometown recycling program. But I can also remember times when recycling was not a common service. Through out the years, none of my apartments recycled. Due to lack of participation and funding, a lot of communities dropped their recycling programs, if they ever had one at all.

But, my new community started a recycling program initiative! I first heard about it at work. Look, we even have bins at the station!
Bins to recycle cans, plastic & cardboard
I recently signed up with the same company, and they will pick up our recyclables once a month for a low fee. They even offer door to door service, just as long as I separate the glass from everything else. I even get to keep the two bins if I ever discontinue the service (which isn't going to happen). Oh boy, I hope my city/county will continue this initiative recycling program!

We are Dreaming Green!
Even better, several local businesses and a few of my friends have recycled for years.
My friend MarthaLynn's beautiful daughter helping the earth. Way to go, Bear.

My favorite local coffee spot not only recycles, they use & wash silverware instead of tossing plastic.

And despite being set to 1850, The Homeplace even recycles!
So why the big stink about recycling? In case you haven't heard all the reasons to recycle, here are a few facts. According to Recycling Revolution, we use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year. And if a can is tossed, it will sit in the landfill for over 500 years.

So while we each produce 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day, let's try to think of ways that could reduce that waste. Recycling Revolution claims, "if all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!" And while many communities do not offer a recycling pick up, most have at least one recycling drop off location. You would also be surprised by what all can be recycled: sheets of paper, tin foil, even Hershey Kisses wrappers!

Let's also consider the benefits of recycling. Besides the obvious environmental impact, we can save energy, reduce landfill space and pollution, and even promote more job creation for a growing industry. Whether or not you believe in humans' involvement, there is no question our climate is changing. But it's ok, because you know what humans do best? Adapt to our surroundings, and use technology & intelligence to our advantage. Recycling & alternative fuels are just a few ways we can do that. So by recycling that can of soda you shouldn't be drinking (but that's a blog for another day), you are investing in our future.

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