This post is Grassroots, meaning a reader posted it directly. If you see an issue with it, contact an editor.
If you’d like to post a Grassroots post, click here!

October 22, 2020

Earth Day 30 Years Ago: About Our Sustainable Planet Awareness

The first big experience I had with recycling was on Earth Day thirty years ago, when I went on the Washington DC downtown mall rally surrounded by crowds as far as the eyes can see. This was 1990.

Let me set the stage.  The band, 10,000 Maniacs, played before Actor Tom Cruise came to the podium in front of the Capitol to advocate on the idea of recycling that could help save the planet.  There were recycling prop bins for glass bottles.  Plastic and paper weren’t widely recycled yet in households, and wouldn’t come on the scene for years.

That particular Earth Day, along with thousands of others, I witnessed the recycling revolution take off.  The “green” movement swept America and we never looked back as the world took part and did their part.

On an individual level in my house, I noticed in 2006, that I had an overflowing, recycling bin, more full than the trash can.  This became a regular occurrence as more items could be recycled.

Fast forward to 2013, I worked for a non-profit foundation to advocate corrugated packaging materials that at the time were 90% recyclable.  In a survey study conducted with manufacturing structural engineering and graphic design college students, the findings showed that working for a company that valued sustainability and environmental consciousness, was more important to students than company perks.

Our society has shifted deeper.  In Washington DC, they take recycling seriously.  Just a few years ago, DC banned businesses from using styrofoam takeout containers in restaurants, before their Virginia and Maryland neighbors followed.

If you’re a business owner, and there is remaining soda left in a soda can, and that was found in one of your trash bins, a recycling auditor hired by the city could fine your business.

I know this because I had attended court on behalf of a business on these charges.  The judge gave leniency in line with principles I learned years ago in business law class, that intent and details of the case, matter.

There are gray areas, but what we do know is that climate change is in our control. Scientific data can be found everywhere, and you can watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2016 documentary “Before the Flood.”  We need more ambassadors opening up the thoughts and dialogue of how devastating global consequences are from climate change and our people not taking social responsibility.

Today in 2020, it’s a mystery about what happens to the items we set out to recycle.  Where do they end up?  In America, as citizens, we still don’t know how most our recycling is processed after it gets shipped overseas. There are so many open ended questions we don’t have answers to.  The good news is we can work towards greater eco-friendly, green ways if we choose in collective consciousness.

Just something for us to consider, as we go about the week wondering about our planet’s future and our human existence.  A greener planet is a happier, sustainable planet!

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Brandy p  |  Contribution: 975