America Recycles Day

     November 15th was America Recycles Day,  "An annual nationwide awareness event that encourages people to recycle and to buy recycled products."  It was the tenth year of this Special Day and I apologize for not writing this blog on the 15th and for not giving the Day it’s proper recognition.  Organizations that are  helping to make the earth a better place deserve to be recognized and thanked.

     There are many businesses and people out there who are doing their part for the earth and the environment.  Thank you all very much, I appreciate your efforts.   Most people understand there are many good reasons to recycle and only one bad excuse for not recycling, "It’s too much work."   But when an individual or a business makes the conscious decision to not recycle then what does that say to you? 

  • I don’t care how much garbage is in the landfills or has to be incinerated.
  • It’s OK to waste money, energy, and resources and just make things from "scratch."
  • There will be plenty of resources left to last my lifetime, I’m not worried about future generations or the earth.

     The decision to not Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is a major decision.  We do the best we can at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters and are constantly looking for ways to improve.  Minnesota on the whole does a great job of recycling in comparison to other states.  According to this website Minnesota recycles nearly half(47%) of the items discarded and is consistently in the top of the nation.   It just always surprises me when I go somewhere like a shop, restaurant, resort, school or gas station and there is no place to recycle.  I find myself bringing recyclables back home just so I don’t have to throw away a plastic bottle.  Recycling something may not be easy but when you look at just a few of the benefits found on the web then it should be well worth the effort.

  • It saves natural resources. By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to drill for oil and dig for minerals.
  • Buy recycledIt saves energy. It usually takes less energy to make recycled products; recycled aluminum, for example, takes 95% less energy to make than new aluminum from bauxite ore.
  • It saves clean air and water. In most cases, making products from recycled materials creates less air and water pollution than making products from virgin materials.
  • It saves landfill space. When the materials that you recycle go into new products, they don’t go into landfills or incinerators, so landfill space is conserved.
  • It saves money and creates jobs. The recycling process creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators, and recycling can frequently be the least expensive waste management method for cities and towns.

     Each and every one of us can make a difference.  If we continually look for ways to improve and educate others about the importance of recycling then changes will happen.  If we ask the businesses we visit to implement recycling in their store, hotel, etc., then maybe they will.  We can make the world a better place little by little day by day.