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Take the America Recycles Day pledge
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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November is full of important days: Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, the Georgia-Florida game. But in the hectic days ahead, take a moment to think about America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. ARD is a national day created to promote and celebrate recycling. Through America Recycles Day, the National Recycling Coalition encourages and supports the recycling efforts of local communities and raises awareness by educating citizens about the benefits of recycling. The purpose of the day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and to encourage more people to join the waste reduction and recycling movement to create a healthier natural environment.
Shame on us Americans. Although I truly think America is the greatest country in the world, we are, unfortunately, one of the “trashiest.” The average American generates four to seven pounds of garbage each day! If there has ever been a time in our recent history to incorporate the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” in our daily lives, it is now. We live in a throw-away world, full of plastic, single-use bottles and food packaging. We use a host of electronic conveniences — cell phones, computers, iPods, etc., — that become outdated within a couple of years or even a few months. We also live in a society that promotes instant gratification. You want a new living room suite? Then get one on credit. Toss the old one even if it is in perfectly good condition. There are consequences for generating this much trash.
Why recycle? It is simple.
Billions of people living on planet Earth equals billions of tons of trash.
Billions of tons of trash equals countless items ending up in landfills.
Countless items, including electronics and chemicals, in landfills equals increased toxins seaping into soil.
Toxins in the soil equals damage to soil, waterways, aquatic life and wildlife.
It is really a matter of getting back to basics. Recycling is not a new concept. Until the last several decades, it was a common practice in most households. I grew up in a home where we made food from scratch and ate leftovers. We reused or handed down items, like clothes and toys. We grew many of the foods that we ate as well. We had basic clothes to wear — not closets bursting at the seams with clothes and shoes that might never see daylight. We did not have juice boxes and single use food packets for grits. We made grits in a pot on the stove and made enough for everyone. If anyone had ever told me that we would one day be drinking water out of plastic bottles, I am sure I would have laughed myself silly.
Before the 1920s, 70 percent of U.S. cities actually ran programs to recycle certain materials. During World War II, industry recycled and reused about 25 percent of the waste stream. That is because we had to do it in those time periods. We need to think like this today too.
Recycling must be one of the answers for reducing the 230 million tons of waste generated in America each year. The more we reuse and recycle items, the less garbage ends up in landfills. The more we recycle, the more products can be made from reused resources. We can save production and energy costs and consequently, make less of a negative impact on our environment. Recycling is simply one of the easiest ways that each of us can help make a difference for our environment. This month, take the pledge to recycle and take this first step to make a difference for our environment. Go to
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful projects that need your involvement:
• Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1 p.m.: Liberty County: Home of the world’s largest crayon. The result of our Guinness Book of World Records project to make the world’s largest crayon will be unveiled at Lyman Hall Elementary. There will be an open house that afternoon. Call 368-4888 for information.
• Coastal Living/ Cottage Living Holiday House at Yellow Bluff is loaded with holiday ideas and ideas for living green, too. The house is open for tours from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Admission is $10 per person. Proceeds benefit our local United Way.
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Sara Ann Swida at 368-4888 or
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