I Pledge to Recycle More – America Recycles Day

This year, to help celebrate America Recycles Day (ARD), Keep America Beautiful invited people to give their garbage another life and pledge to recycle more by taking the “I Recycle” pledge online via the ARD website or QR Code.  More than 8,000 people accepted that invitation and shared what they plan on doing to recycle more in 2013 and beyond.

To help educate people about how recycled materials can be transformed into exciting and useful things, all pledges taken online from Jan. 1, through Nov. 30, 2013, were entered into a drawing for one of 10 park benches made from recycled plastic, courtesy of Plastic Recyclers of Iowa Falls! These recycled content park benches are a great example that material can become something new and valuable when it is recycled.

One of the recipients, Bill Roscoe, a teacher from Avenue Elementary School in Illinois, plans to use his new four-foot park bench as the centerpiece in his school’s new garden. The bench will serve as a reminder for the students about the impact recycling can have on their community – and the world. Another winner, David Watson, decided to donate his park bench to his local KAB affiliate, Keep Pearland (Texas) Beautiful.

Additional winners include:

  • Hanover Park Regional High School in New Jersey
  • Metairie Park Country Day School in Louisiana
  • Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia
  • John Vinson from Van Buren, Ark.
  • Radford University in Virginia
  • Teresa Rouse from North Carolina
  • Phyllis Weiss from Georgia
  • Prince William County Government

Congratulations to all our 2013 ARD Pledge Drive winners. Don’t forget to come back and take the “I Recycle” pledge in 2014!

Keep Guntersville Beautiful, Guntersville, AL

Keep Guntersville Beautiful used America Recycles Day as an opportunity to strengthen our recycling relationships within our local business community, media and government officials. We received a gift card from KAB sponsor, Home Depot, and combined it with our own funds to purchase small, RUBBERMAID office recycling bins. The containers combined with others we collected from trade shows, etc. were made into ARD gift baskets filled with a bundle of recycling bags, online pledge instructions, and a selection of snacks. Never underestimate the power of homemade baked goods in helping you to promote your message!

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Philadelphia, PA

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.

“Get Caught Recycling” with Mars, Incorporated Associates – Washington, D.C.

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.

Make your America Recycles Day event successful and unique

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!

One final note: Don’t forget to register your event with KAB. KAB has some great resources available for America Recycles Day, including social media graphics, flyers and press releases.

-Guest post from Justin Fritscher, Principal, FritscherSmith, and recipient of KAB’s 2012 Young Professional Award

Does Your Local School Recycle? Register for Recycle-Bowl!

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.

Game Day Challenge Off to a Running Start

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.

Important Dates
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: helpline@gamedaychallenge.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)

America Recycles Day 2013

Calling all ARD Event Organizers! Registration for America Recycles Day 2013 is officially open and it’s time to start planning all of your collection, education, proclamation, pledge drive and college game day tailgate events! America Recycles Day, which takes place annually on and around Nov. 15, recognizes the benefits of recycling, while providing an educational platform that helps raise awareness about the value of reducing, reusing and recycling – every day – all throughout the year.

Last year, over 1,500 event organizers registered 2,065 events with 2.1 million people participating across the country in America Recycles Day.

This year’s America Recycles Day theme, “I Want To Be Recycled,” directly ties into the Keep America Beautiful/Ad Council Recycling Campaign that was launched in July. America Recycles Day, just like the campaign, is designed to help educate people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being as well as motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers.

To help support event organizers, there are best practices guides for hosting events, activity ideas, downloadable posters and banners, media outreach tools, sample proclamations, and much more available on the ARD toolkit page.

And of course, a big thank you to 2013 America Recycles Day national sponsors Anheuser-Busch, the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies and Waste Management.

Register your event and tell us: How will you be celebrating America Recycles Day this year?