Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 69 - Start a recycling program at your building, school, or home.

I personally have always encouraged others to ‘GO GREEN’; there are so many reasons why we should recycle, not to mention, society (for the most part) makes it so easy to do so in today's era, that there really shouldn't be a motive for why you don't recycle. In addition, recycling also has numerous environmental benefits such as it saves energy, conserves natural resources, saves wildlife & animals from becoming extinct, limits pollution, & supports several sectors of the economy to name a few.

The biggest concern for me is deforestation…

Did you know that 95% of forest areas in the US alone have been cut down, & over 50% worldwide? This is only going to get worse as regions of the world become more commercialized.

Forests cover 30% of the land area on our planet and they produce vital oxygen & provide homes for people & wildlife. Many of the world's most threatened & endangered animals live in forests. With the decrease in forest areas, wildlife that previously lived there have nowhere else to go & die as a result. Can you imagine being run out of your own home? It would be devastating & animals don't deserve it either! The National Geographic reports that rain forests could completely vanish in a 100 years at the current rate of deforestation; here are some astonishing facts:
  • 46-58 million square miles of forest are lost each year – that’s equivalent to 36 football fields EVERY MINUTE!
  • Around 17% of the Amazon forest has been lost in the last 50 years.
  • More than half of the world's timber & 72% of paper is consumed by 22% of the world's population.
  • Over 30 million trees are cut down every single day in the world.
  •  Over 5,000 products are made from trees.
  •  In the time it takes to read this article, an area of Brazil’s rain forest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed.
  •  It takes 200 years to grow a forest tree. It takes 20 minutes to cut it down!
Now that I have your attention, it’s easier than you think to start a recycling program in your office or school; to be honest I was a little concerned that this would be one of the more difficult deed’s to do. When I searched under Google “how to start a recycling program” I got so many results & most were easily attainable.  There are 4 simple steps to take:

1)      Designate a room in your office where you can place recycling bins; I designated the copy room and put a bin for paper as well as plastic which is what we mostly consume here.

2)     Contact your County Recycling Coordinator; by law your County is required to provide the opportunity to recycle at least 4 out of the 8 following materials: newspaper, glass, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, steel cans, cardboard, office paper & yard trash. Your local Recycling Coordinator will be able to provide you with specifics on what materials are accepted in the county program as well as a service provider’s contact information.

3)     Plan a meeting for everyone in your building or office to announce the program, teach everyone what goes in which bin, encourage & praise participation & follow-up via memo & newsletters as often as possible. Consistency is key to any successful program.
  • Today, I had an management meeting with all of our staff including security  & housekeeping advising them that beginning today we are to implement a RECYCLE POLICY with no excuses (I handed out memos of what items are recyclable). To encourage the new strategy, we will be doing a survey at the end of each month and the employee who has done the most recycling will get a $25.00 gift card to the restaurant and also a tenant of ours, The Cheesecake Factory.

Take action today as well & start a recycling program at your office, school or even at home. Trust me it’s easy and rewarding; start today to make a better future for your children tomorrow; and if you don’t plan on having children, at least save the poor little animals in forests throughout the world!! Don't know where to begin? Below are some links that will give you more information on where to start...

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi

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