Forget ‘America Recycles Day’ make it a Zero Waste Day!

Nov 15 2011

Companies that utilize disposable cans and plastic bottles such as Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Coors, and International Bottled Water have declared November 15th  ‘America Recycles Day’. We are all growing increasingly aware, however, that simply resorting to recycling is not good enough for the health of our environment and oceans. We say forget “America Recycles Day’ and celebrate the more responsible and environmentally conscious ‘Zero Waste Day’!

‘America Recycles Day’ was created by the mega-companies as a tactic to influence public perception and shift responsibility of waste disposal from producer to consumer. Once upon a not-too-long-ago these companies actually cleaned up after themselves. They had an effective system in place whereby they would distribute beverages in refillable bottles which would then be returned by the consumer and reused. But then the big bad cheap plastic bottle entered the picture and everything changed!

With the increased use of disposables came the public’s uncertainty of what to do with the empty bottles. Initially, they were instructed to trash them. Once landfills started fill up, however, people started raising environmental concerns and viola recycling was born.

One of the goals of Zero Waste Day is to help us become more mindful consumers and ‘disposers’. Just because large companies such as Budweiser and Coca-Cola are giving us a pat on the back for recycling doesn’t mean we are doing the right thing. We are still throwing things away! Zero waste Day should be celebrated with the 7 Rs (and none of these are recycle!):

1) Reduce: consume less
2) Return: Look for companies such as Apple and Dell that are taking back old/worn out products
3) Reuse: Don’t be so quick to throw things away even if they are a little banged up…They can still be of use
4) Repair: fix it, don’t ditch it
5) Refill: use refillable bottles. Urge local companies to have a blast to the past and reconsider the refillable bottle
6) Rot: Composting turns waste valuable nutrients
7) Refuse: Stop buying products that support the destruction of our environment


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