America Recycles Day – The 5R’s

America Recycles Day is fast approaching! Since 1997, people across the country have come together every November 15th to celebrate.

The purpose of America Recycles Day is to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and to encourage more people to take the pledge and join the movement to conserve natural resources and improve our environment. In addition to recycling, four other R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse & Repurpose) can and should also be considered on this day.

By conserving and reusing the Earth’s natural resources, we save landfill space and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. More importantly, we ensure that these natural resources will be around for future generations.

The 5 R’s – Refuse –  Reduce – Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle

Refuse : Say no to things people offer you that you don’t need, that you never even asked for.  Refuse to buy products that can harm you, your family and the environment.

How can you REFUSE at home for America Recycles Day ?

  • Just say NO – no to plastic bags, no to the use of harmful chemicals for cleaning, no to the latest new or upgraded product you don’t need.

Reduce: The first step towards the effective waste management is to consume only a limited number of resources, which are essential.

How can you REDUCE at home for America Recycles Day ?

  • Choose items with minimal packaging. For example, purchase loose vegetables rather than veggies shrink-wrapped in foam trays.
  • Give up plastic bags in favor of reusable shopping bags.
  • Support companies that minimize and use eco-friendly packaging.

Reuse: Reusing your old things for a little longer can play a major role in reducing lot of waste in your surroundings. So, the next time you dispose or recycle anything, give a second thought as whether it still has any life left in it.

How can you REUSE at home for America Recycles Day ?

  • Look for items at secondhand stores, yard sales and community swap or “free-cycle” programs.
  • Take a look again at your trash can and ask yourself what uses you can find for the items you’re throwing away. For example, yogurt cups and butter tubs can double as pots for starting seeds or plant cuttings.
  • Rinse out glass jars and use them to store home-improvement and craft supplies.

Recycle: This is one of those R’s that has caught the maximum attention of all age groups. It is mainly due to the number of recycling programs, which are run by eco-groups and municipalities.

How can you RECYCLE at home for America Recycles Day ?

  • Check with your local authorities to find out about recycling programs in your area. While many communities offer curbside pickup for cans, bottles and paper, you may need to take other recyclables — batteries, antifreeze, motor oil and tires — to a collection center or a retailer that accepts such products.
  • You can also recycle food scraps and paper through composting, a process by which such wastes break down into organic matter that is a soil enrichment.

Repurpose: Use something for a second purpose. For instance, prevent a plastic barrel first used to transport olives, soft drink syrups or pie fillings to food processing plants from entering a landfill. We repurpose these and create rain barrels to harvest rainwater.

How can you REPURPOSE at home for America Recycles Day ?

Let’s use this day to promote, educate and encourage our communities to reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse and repurpose!

Are you planning any recycling events or activities around America Recycles Day? Let us know.