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