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Happy America Recycles Day!

November 15 is America Recycles Day, brought to you by the Keep America Beautiful folks. (Remember, the people who offered us up the Native American who cries commercials?) This holiday is basically a nationwide call for Americans to make a renewed (or first) commitment to recycling. Me, I’ve been recycling for years, but I’ve only recently added plastic bags to the mix.

Sure, we’ve been recycling plastic yogurt cups and take-out containers since we first got our yellow recycling pail. But now I’ve started collecting polyethylene — better known as the plastic that bags are made of — too. You know, the ones that comprise a big part of the Pacific Garbage Patch. (Don’t know what that is? Check out this post from last year.)

And it’s not just plastic bags I’ve been stowing away for later recycling. Nope, I’ve been recycling all of the following:

Magazine and newspaper wrap and bags
Paper towel, napkin and toilet paper wrap
Dry cleaning bags
Shrink wrap around food (not to be confused with plastic wrap)
Bread bags including rolls, white bread bags, and English muffin bags
Furniture wrap
Electronics wrap (those plastic bags that are around, for example, a new DVD player)
Cereal box liners
Produce bags (although now I bring my own)
Bubble wrap and deflated air packets (I get a lot of press kits)
Bottled water case wrap (Well, only one since we don’t do bottled water)
Diaper and baby wipe packaging (Again, not really buying this anymore)
General “wrap” such as the film from a roll of wrapping paper, the bags the new phone books came in, and the polybag from my kid’s new toy

I get a big plastic bag and stuff as much as I can into it. After a month or so I take a trip to Lowes like I did today. Then I empty all that plastic into the recycling bin where it is eventually hauled off and made into new plastic bags or plastic lumber. A beautiful thing, right.

Today’s recycling mission was the equivalent of literally hundreds of plastic items. I was amazed as I emptied my bags into the bin. I really made a dent in my own personal garbage stream by taking on that recycling. Trust me, it’s easy to do, and once you get started you just don’t want to stop. Want to learn more about recycling? Check out the official America Recycles Day website. And with that I am off to wish my husband a Happy America Recycles Day! Hope everyone has a good one!

How often do you recycle? If you don’t, what’s stopping you? I’d like to know.

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