America Recycles Day and Missouri Recycles Day, November 15!

America Recycles logo

America Recycles Day is celebrated on November 15 to remember and acknowledge the need to recycle. Recycling is one of the main steps we can take to protect our deteriorating environment and this day commemorates this.

 Why America Recycles Day?
These days we’re living in a nightmare. We’re in the middle of a mass extinction event. Carbon emissions are off the roofs, and global warming is disastrously close to making us reach dystopic futures, with many cities in danger of flooding. It is impertinent to take steps against this as soon as possible. Some of the main steps are the 5 Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recover and finally Recycle. Recycle is probably the most important out of all of them since it involves completely repurposing one object to create a new one. If we can recycle most of our waste, we will not need to accumulate more resources to fulfill our needs.

Most biodegradable waste can be converted into compost, or it degrades on its own. But plastics are a whole different beast. They cannot be degraded for millions of years, and even though scientists are trying to find enzymes to degrade them, there have been very few commercially successful options. So our best bet if we don’t want a planet full of plastic is to slow down the creation of new plastics as much as possible and recycle the older ones into new products, so our system isn’t burdened.

Recycling reduces the sheer amount of resources it needs to mine or quarry. It reduces the amount of carbon waste needed in the form of power to fuel machines that extract ores. It reduces the amount of petroleum needed to synthesize plastic. It’s very important since we’re estimated to run out of our fossil fuel resources in a very short time on a global scale. Recycling is pretty easy for a person on the individual level. One just needs to separate their waste based on whether it can be recycled or not and put it in the recycling bin. Just this! Professionals will handle rest, and you’ll have done your part in a quite world-saving activity. It’s so easy and convenient that it’s a wonder most people don’t do it. What is missing is awareness and legislation. Even though a lot of us are environmentally conscious. A lot of the population doesn’t care. This is what we need to change. And this is why America Recycles Day is celebrated every year on November 15th: to commemorate those who’ve worked for the environment, to educate those who don’t know better, and to motivate those who do.

How Can We Observe America Recycles Day:

  • Start Recycling
    Go on a recycling spree! Sort out waste with the family’s children and then go on a trip to the nearest recycling bin. Maybe invite the entire family for an extended day full of America Recycles Day activities. This is a great opportunity to educate the children as well as the elderly.
  • Recycle At Home
    Why not have a fun-filled competition for the little ones? Have a contest, the child who makes the best-recycled creation out of all the waste at home wins! It’ll be a fun bonding activity, and you get to nurture your kid’s interest in art and craft. Post the child’s creation under #AmericaRecyclesDay and show all your friends and family the wonders the young ones can create! Maybe make this a yearly tradition, so it enriches the value of sustainability while giving the children something to bond over every year.
  • Educate Your Peers
    Just talking about the day is enough! Ask people what’s the last thing they recycled, what’s the last thing they did sustainably, get those brains running! It might motivate them to recycle and perpetuate the chain themselves.

Interesting Facts on America Recycles Day:

  • The USA recycles 105,800 cans of aluminum every minute.
  • Electronics like mobile phones often contain trace amounts of precious metals like gold, which are very sought after in a recycling process.
  • Costa Rica holds the world record for recycling the most plastic bottles at 30,162 kilos.

Associations, Organizations and resources
America Recycles Day – www.americarecyclesday.org
Earth 911 – www.earth911.org
e-cycle Missouri – www.dnr.mo.gov/ecyclemo/
Envirolink – www.envirolink.org
Global Recycling Network – www.grn.com
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program – www.HHWSTL.com
Keep America Beautiful – www.kab.org
Missouri Recycling Association – www.mora.org
National Recycling Coalition – www.nrcrecycles.org
The Healthy Planet magazine
Local Recycling Information – Government
City of St. Louis – www.stlcityrecycles.com/
City of St. Charles – www.stcharlescitymo.gov/346/Recycling
Jefferson County – jeffcomo.org/312/Recycling
St. Louis County Recycling Information – www.stlouisco.com
St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District – www.swmd.net
St. Charles County – www.sccmo.org/861/Recycling