America Recycles Day is a nationwide annual event held on November 15th. Along with Earth Day, America Recycles Day is an important time for Americans to come together to share green-living knowledge, be inspired, and take steps toward creating a lasting, positive impact on our environment.
It’s also the perfect time to assess our habits, learn alternatives to wasteful systems, and take positive steps to make the way we live more sustainable for the health of our communities and future communities to come.
America Recycles Day should be particularly fun this year because there are more than 2,800 events across the country! If you haven’t yet made your plans, it’s not too late.
Below are five easy ways that you can take part in America Recycles Day!
1. Take the pledge. Beyond just one day, the America Recycles Day movement is really just a starting point to pledge to increase your recycling efforts. By filling out the online pledge, you can vow to reduce your household waste by being better about recycling. For instance, I pledged that I’d work on reducing kitchen waste by recycling more materials, and using reusable containers instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
2. Join an event. With more than 2,800 events across the country, there’s bound to be one near you. The America Recycles Day site has a searchable database where you can find an assortment of events to choose from. In my city, for instance, I found a collection drive for musical instruments, a group collecting used towels and blankets for animal shelters, and several organizations hosting collections of hard-to-recyclable materials like electronic waste and paint.
3. Learn more ways to recycle. One way to observe America Recycles Day is by educating yourself on how and where to recycle some of those materials that can’t be put in your curbside recycling container. My goal this year is to find a place to recycle textiles that are not in good enough shape to be reused or repurposed (I’ve bookmarked this article to get me started). A quick internet search, contacting your municipal recycling service, or simply asking around among neighbors should get you an answer on where to give away, or recycle, some of that stuff you’ve had stored in your attic or shed that you didn’t know what to do with. You might be surprised at what you can recycle at a specialty recycling drop-off center!
4. Spend the day being greener. Even if you can’t participate in an event this year, you can still celebrate America Recycles Day. Try to spend the day being mindful of the choices you make, from bringing your own travel mug to the coffee shop, to packing lunch in reusable containers, to rinsing out that empty shampoo bottle and recycling it instead of throwing it in the bathroom trash. You’ll quickly see how the little ways you conserve can add up to making a big difference — especially if you share your suggestions with friends, neighbors, and family members, and encourage them to join you.
5. Consider planning an event for next year. Mark your calendar now for America Recycles Day 2019 — it’s always on November 15th. Consider hosting your own recycling event through your school, church or synagogue, office, neighborhood association, or any other organization. The movement’s parent organization, Keep America Beautiful, makes it super-easy to execute your event with a free toolkit, including printable promotional and educational materials, tips on organizing and publicizing the event, and more.
Whether you find an event to join or simply observe it in your own way, I hope you’ll join us this year in celebrating America Recycles Day!