Like many great things, America Recycles Day (ARD) started in Texas. Kevin Tuerff and Valerie Davis had a vision of dedicating one day out of the year to bring attention to recycling. Kevin and Valerie worked hard at promoting this idea within their community, but they wanted it to grow on a national scale. On October 22nd, the two pitched America Recycles Day to the NRC Congress, and it was immediately embraced. So it began, Americas Recycles Day, the only national-recognized day, kicked off on November 15th, 1997. (Source: https://recycle.com/history-america-recycles-day/)
A few years after ARD was established, the efforts needed to spread the word about recycling were given to Keep America Beautiful. Keep America Beautiful developed a different recycling theme each year. In the early years, the theme revolved around buying recycled, looking for recycled-content products, and encouraging letter-writing campaigns to manufacturers. Now following roughly the same format, Keep America Beautiful promotes the benefits of recycling through events and their #BeRecycled Pledge. The #BeRecycled Pledge is a promise to participate in a recycled lifestyle, by;
- Recycling at home and work
- Buying Recycled goods
- Reusing and Re-purposing items
- Educating and encouraging friends and family about recycling
Since 1990 the national average rate for recycling increased from 16 to 34 percent, but we know that this number has the potential to grow substantially. You can contribute by participating in the Keep America Beautiful initiative and getting involved. Keep America Beautiful has gained almost 80,000 online and written pledges across the United States. America Recycles Day is celebrated in every state with thousands of events for anyone to attend. Many KTB affiliates have organized events and registered them on the interactive ARD event map. Want to get involved with recycling in your community? Use KAB's interactive map to find an event near you. Be a part of something great and get started today! Are you ready to take the pledge?
Blog Post Written By Karrington Ortiz, Communications Intern.