It's our favorite holiday, America Recycles Day!

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Screen capture America Recycles Day

It is my favorite holiday of the year, more comedic than April Fools Day and scarier than Hallowe'en. It’s America Recycles Day. As we note every year, sponsor Keep America Beautiful was founded to teach Americans how to put disposable bottles in the garbage instead of throwing them out the car window, and recycling was invented and promoted because America was running out of room to store all the garbage. So where once they took all those bottles back and refilled them, now it the job of us, the citizens and the taxpayers, to pick them up, sort them into little piles and these days, pay our municipalities to take them away.

They have brilliantly convinced us that it is our job instead of theirs.

Here is the full rant with the history of KAB and recycling, all of which is a plot by the big corporations to eliminate producer responsibility for the stuff that they make to us, the consumer and the taxpayer.

In his proclamation of the day, President Obama notes that there is more to the story than just recycling

Having only one planet and limited natural resources, it is imperative we reduce our environmental impact -- particularly when it comes to waste. More than half of everything we throw away gets permanently discarded, packing landfills across our country with trash that can take centuries to decompose and provides no utility. Today, we resolve to raise awareness of the important role that reducing, reusing, and recycling can play in achieving a more sustainable future.

In his closing statement, in fact, he doesn't even mention recycling.

On America Recycles Day, we renew our commitment to making environmentally conscious changes in our lives so that our children and grandchildren can live that better, cleaner future. Let us continue striving to reduce waste, conserve resources, and meet our obligations to our planet and to future generations.

Instead of a day celebrating recycling, we need a week to celebrate all the better ways to deal with the problem of waste, with recycling coming after our favorite Rs:

  • Reduce: Just use less.
  • Return: Producers should take back what they sell.
  • Reuse: Almost boring, but we throw too much stuff out too soon.
  • Repair: Fix and mend things rather than replacing them.
  • Refill: In Ontario Canada, 88% of beer bottles are returned to the beer store, washed and refilled; just south of the border in the USA, the number drops to under 5%.
  • Rot: Compost what is left over, turning it into valuable nutrients.
  • Refuse: Simply refuse to accept this crap from the manufacturers any more.

TreeHugger Emeritus Margaret Badore even made a video of it:

Rethinking Recycling from Margaret Badore on Vimeo.

Tags: Holidays | Recycling

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