Keep Virginia Beautiful’s “30 Grants in 30 Days” was a great success in 2013! Our nearly 3,000 volunteers worked tirelessly to make the 30 projects a great success, cleaning up 14,057 pounds of debris; planting 705 plants and 109 trees; and installing 25 gardens. Keep Virginia Beautiful would like to thank Lowe’s and Keep America Beautiful for their sponsorship of our “30 in 30″ program in 2013!
Here in Philadelphia, we threw quite an America Recycles Day party!
We partnered with Recyclebank and the City’s Streets Department to fill a major downtown park with recycling facts and resources, as well as representatives from twelve local organizations focused on recycling and reuse. Our Streets Department Commissioner kicked off the day by officially declaring it to be America Recycles Day in the City of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s recycling program has made major progress over the last several years, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to celebrate it and spread the word about how to properly recycle in the City and why it’s so important to do so.
Check out some of our favorite pictures from the day here: http://on.fb.me/17qbt0h.
In celebration of America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful teamed up with recycling leaders in congress who hosted two briefings on the state of recycling and to share our “I Want To Be Recycled” PSA campaign.
In the senate briefing, Sen. Tom Carper told attendees that he is “rabid about recycling,” noting that he encouraged his local YMCA to put in recycling bins and that he brings his banana peel that he eats during his commute, to the office where he can compost it. Carper’s co-chair on the senate recycling caucus, Sen. John Boozman, discussed the economic benefits of recycling and the potential for more job creation. During the House of Representatives briefing, Rep. John Shimkus joked that recycling and its many benefits is one of those topics he and his recycling caucus co-chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, agree on.
Jeff Meyers of Coca Cola discussed his company’s work to grow packaging recovery through bin grant programs with KAB. Through this partnership, Coca Cola has place more than 200,000 bins in schools, parks, offices and other community spaces. Meyers also explained that Coca Cola uses recycled PET bottles to make new bottles and described Coca Cola’s plant-based, recyclable bottle as the “hybrid car of plastic bottles.”
Barnes Johnson, U.S. EPA and Will Sagar of the Southeast Regional Development Council discussed the economic benefits of recycling and the importance of reducing our waste.
Steve Russell of the American Chemistry Council recognized three innovative recycling companies that are creating products with up to 100% recycled plastic, demonstrating that there are ever-growing markets for recycled materials.
On Nov. 12, Keep America Beautiful conducted a “Get Caught Recycling” event on the National Mall and in downtown Washington, D.C., with 80 Mars, Incorporated Associate volunteers.
In celebration of America Recycles Day, volunteers from Canada, the UK, Spain, Sweden and Egypt braved the cold and “caught” people using the recycling bins placed on the National Mall and around the Downtown DC Business improvement District. Those “caught recycling,” including employees of the Captain Cookie food truck, were invited to take the “I Recycle” pledge.
Each year, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and its affiliates celebrate America Recycles Day (ARD) on (or around) Nov. 15. Whether you’re a KAB affiliate or an ARD participating organization, it’s time to start planning for this year’s event, and we have a few ideas for you.
Recycle fashion show: Recycling is fashionable, so why not set the stage for your creative class to show off some art made of recycled and repurposed items. This event promises fun for the participants and attendees and has high potential for grabbing media attention. (We have to credit this idea. We’ve worked with Keep the Rez Beautiful in Mississippi, an affiliate of KAB that holds a recycle fashion show each year as its annual fundraiser. They borrowed the concept from another affiliate in Mississippi, Keep Bay St. Louis Beautiful.) What can your community send down the catwalk?
Monofilament collection program: Monofilament, or fishing line, causes problems when littered. It can harm or kill wildlife and takes 600 years to decompose. Combat this with a simple monofilament collection program. By placing receptacles at fishing piers and boat launches, you can ask people to dispose of monofilament properly. BoatU.S. Foundation works with groups to launch monofilament collection programs that recycle the line. (This idea was also taken from Keep the Rez Beautiful, who started a program earlier this year with 10 bins with the help of the BoatU.S. Foundation.) After you teach a man how to fish, you need to teach him what do to with the fishing line.
Paper or plastic (neither?): Think how much plastic is used to bag groceries each year. A good way to cut down on the plastic bags doled out in your community is by arming your community members with reusable cloth bags. You can work with your local grocery store and maybe have volunteers helping bag people’s groceries with the recyclable bag. Be sure to put both your logo and theirs on the bag.
Hazardous or electronic wastes collection: In a lot of places, disposing and recycling of these items is tough. You can set up a drop-off site, even if it’s just for a day. Your affiliate can partner with your state department of environmental quality and local recycling businesses to make holding this event rather painless, leaving mainly the promotion up to you.
We encourage you to recycle one of these ideas in your community!
Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl is fast-approaching.
The annual K-12 recycling competition, sponsored by Nestlé® Pure Life®, a brand of Nestlé Waters North America, takes place from Oct. 21 through Nov. 15, culminating on America Recycles Day. All participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material they collect during the four-week competition.
To be eligible for cash prizes, registration ends at midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (Schools may register through Oct. 21, but will not be eligible for cash prizes.)
Recycle-Bowl, now in its third year, is designed to motivate K-12 students and members of their school communities to improve their recycling habits. Not only does the competition educate students about the benefits of recycling, it also helps motivate kids to adopt sustainable behaviors early in life.
Schools in all 50 states competed last year, reaching nearly 1 million students across America. The competition’s 2012 national champion was Taylor Primary School in Kokomo, Ind., where students recycled 47 pounds of waste per child.
Whether your school is an experienced “veteran” or a recycling “rookie,” every school can use Recycle-Bowl to support and improve its recycling efforts. Learn more here and help us reach our goal of having 1,750 schools participate in 2013.
Hurricane Sandy’s winds are long gone, but a corporate sponsor, 1.2 million recycled bottlers and 250 volunteers turned a harsh event – quite literally – into a Connecticut picnic.
Volunteers from Nestle Waters North America’s (NWNA) “Project Picnic“ program assembled 100 brand new picnic tables Oct. 3 – part of an effort to beautify Stamford, Conn., a large coastal city directly hit by Hurricane Sandy.
“Nearly a year ago, the whir of generators was heard throughout this city as residents waited for power to be restored following Hurricane Sandy,” said Laura McCafferty, director, corporate communications at NWNA. “That sound had a very different meaning as it powered dozens of drills in the hands of hundreds of volunteers who are making their mark in bettering the community.”
The volunteers included NWNA Chairman, President and CEO Tim Brown, and 250 NWNA employees and representatives. Each picnic table contained 1,200 recycled plastic bottles carefully constructed by volunteers during the all-day event. This project aligns with KAB’s new “I Want To Be Recycled” national Public Service Announcement. . The educational campaign shows recyclable materials can be given another life and become something new when people choose to recycle. Visit iwanttoberecycled.org for more information and to find a recycling center in your community.
A big, green high-five to the 12 schools who held games last week! Good luck to the following schools with games this weekend: Utah State University, Brown University, California State University-Sacramento, Eastern Washington University,Ferrum College and University of Tulsa.
The Game Day Challenge will be announcing results in time for America Recycles Day on Nov. 15 to give schools the opportunity to share results at their final home game. Because of this, schools will need to submit final numbers by Nov. 6 for games up to that point. Please contact the Game Day Challenge helpline with questions.
Have you signed up for the challenge?
Even if your game is a few weeks out, sign up now to list your school with other participants. Check out the list to see who you’re up against in your conference. For registration assistance, consult our helpful guides or drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your Stories
Don’t forget to log in after your games to document weights and attendance. While you’re at it, we want to hear about any activities or events you did as part of your game for possible website and email features. Please share photos with us on Facebook by posting on our wall or tagging Game Day Challenge.
Other Resources for Your Game Day Challenge
Celebrate America Recycles Day at your school. All your recycling events throughout October and November can be registered as America Recycles Day events, and every school to sign up will be entered to win a $50 gift card to support your event.
Check out the online toolkit for specialized resources for colleges, including a Tailgate Go-To Guide.
Thanks and go team!
(Photo courtesy of Kevin Fitzsimmons)