It’s November and America Recycles Day (ARD) is just around the corner. Celebrated across the country on November 15 every year since 1997, this initiative by nonprofit Keep America Beautiful and its partners aim to bring back the focus on recycling- from recycling aluminum cans to conserving water and energy to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling and reducing waste. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2011 statistics, the recycling rate in the country stands at 34.7 per cent- much below countries like Japan (77% plastics recycling rate), Austria (63%) and Germany (62%). It’s evident that we have a long way to go. The purpose of ARD- Put recycling in the spotlight, not just for a day but every day!

Last year, the focus was on wasted food. Sarah Dominguez, a part of the EPA’s San Francisco Office, shares on the EPA blog- Donating food before it expires is one of the ways we can avoid wasting food. It helps reduce water wastage, energy and methane produced by food waste. If it’s too late to donate, composting expired food helps. Apart from food, proper recycling of materials like plastics, metals, glass, paper and so much more can be carried out to avoid them from being dumped in landfills and incinerators and get converted into toxic waste. It’s a much increasing sight despite bans on dumping, says Earth911.

Recycling Has Its Own Day- America Recycles Day Is Here!

There’s a lot you can do to help make our planet greener. Read on to find out some of the ways you can make 15th November a day to remember.

5 things you can do on America Recycles Day

  1. Take the Pledge

Make a commitment to recycling more by taking the pledge to learn, act and share about recycling on America Recycles Day- Take The Pledge and you can even win a recycled park bench! At the time of writing, more than 45,000 people had taken the pledge. When are you going to take it?

  1. Get Involved in a Community Event

There are hundreds of events that are going to take place come November 15 and with fun activities planned for adults and kids, it’s sure to be one big party! Events include used-book drives, beach cleanups, environmental fairs, paint collection and much more. The America Recycles Day website has information about how you can join an event and be a part of activities running in your town or city. Make Recycling Friday a fun day!

  1. Start your Own Recycling Awareness Drive

Couldn’t find an event where you live? Start your own! Register on the ARD website- Host An Event- and take the initiative to start something new in your community. You can even start a recycling program in your school. Here are some tips by Do Something.

  1. Recycle Everything, Everywhere!

Small steps to recycle at home, school or work can make a big difference to the recycling rates in the country. You may find it easier to recycle paper and cloth than, let’s say, metal. But recycling scrap metal can help reduce toxic waste generated from incinerating metal waste and you can earn money from it too, says a Yahoo report. SIMS Metal Management has scrap metal recycling units across the country that will pay you for your scrap metal. Find the one nearest to where you live andrecycle any unused or scrap metal.

  1. Buy Recycled Products

Complete the recycling loop by buying products that have a high post-consumer value- items used by a consumer like aluminum cans and newspapers and then recycled- says Recycle Spot. This holiday season use recycled materials to make gifts to give your loved ones. Here are some ideas for recycled Christmas gifts. Even while buying groceries, look out for packaging with the recycling symbol. It’s a small action, but recycling may be just the thing that makes the world go round!

You got one day to inform, educate and motivate, says Keep America Beautiful. Make the impact of that one day last for the whole year and the years to come. Jeff Maurer of EPA explains recycling is the simplest thing that people can do- The best way to increase our recycling rate is for each individual to make the choice to recycle more. That’s what we hope people will do on America Recycles Day. This Recycling Day, are you going to commit to recycle more?