The Children Are Our Future

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the second month of 2019 and trying to remember what New Year’s resolutions we made this year. There’s still time to re-visit them and maybe make a few others. We’re hoping the younger generation will have greater success in keeping theirs.

Global Recycling Day 2019

New Year’s resolutions aren’t always a sure thing, but let’s make this one last. Youth and education are at the center of the second Global Recycling Day’s 2019 theme “Recycling into the Future.” This year’s program centers on the power of youth, education, and innovation in ensuring a brighter future for the planet. Looking ahead to the March 18th event, the Global Recycling Foundation is asking children across the world to make better recycling practices one of their 2019 New Year’s resolutions.

Read more about Seven Recycling Promises to Become a Global Recycling Citizen here.

Read more about the Global Recycling Foundation here.

There are also some great ideas and inspiration for children and their families this year.

I Want To Be Recycled

Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council are partnering on the “I Want To Be Recycled” public service advertising (PSA) and awareness campaign. The bi-lingual, multi-media campaign illustrates that an individual can “Give Your Garbage Another Life.” The website has lots of information and the “Super Sorter” game.

Read more about I Want to Be Recycled here.

Ryan’s Recycling

Ryan Hickman was about four years old when he accompanied his dad to their local recycling center and cashed in a few cans and bottles. That was the turning point for this young man who today, at age nine, heads his own company – Ryan’s Recycling. Ryan started in his Orange County, California, neighborhood and his efforts soon expanded to people in the town of San Juan and his county. Ryan is passionate for recycling, and works to keep the cans and bottles from reaching the ocean and harming the environment.

Since he began, Ryan has recycled nearly half a million cans and bottles. About three years ago, the company started selling tee shirts and Ryan donates the money to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center – over $8,000 in two and a half years.

Read more about Ryan’s Recycling here.

 Really Get Back to Nature — Go Hiking On a New (Reclaimed) Trail

Greenville, South Carolina’s Lake Conestee Nature Park is connecting its 12-mile trail network to the nearby site of a former municipal landfill, providing a connection between Lake Conestee and several service roads on the former landfill property and will ultimately lead to a series of one-way trails with observation points. The 100-acre landfill, closed by the city of Greenville in 1995, is one of the tens of thousands of closed municipal landfills in the United States. The city will constantly monitor levels of contamination and signs will mark safe/unsafe areas.

Read more about the transformation here.

Read more about the Lake Conestee Nature Area here.

And if the New Year involves some closet-cleaning (or if you’re a follower of Marie Kondo) …

Crayola Markers

While the entire marker is not recyclable, it’s possible to recycle the plastic marker barrel after removing the tip and the reservoir.  The marker caps can be recycled at recycling facilities that accept #5 plastic.

But if you have drawers or cabinets full of old markers (or if, like me, you don’t want to sit there and take them apart), Crayola has developed a process to convert markers to energy — a “ … process that repurposes the entire marker, regardless of the different kinds of plastic or how they are assembled ….” And Crayola has partnered with K-12 schools across North America in ColorCycle, an initiative to encourage collecting used markers that will be repurposed by the company.

Not only do they take back used markers, you can find lesson plans and other information about the program on their website. (ColorCycle)  They’ve added a couple of financial inducements – FedEx Ground picks up the markers and Crayola pays for the shipping. And until March 2, 2019, they are offering a discount on online orders with the code: RECYCLE.


This popular company has a different problem with petroleum-based plastics – they’re the product, not the packaging. But last year Lego announced that they are joining other companies looking to reduce plastic waste. Their goal is to build its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030.

An article in the August, 2018, New York Times, reported “Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing)”. Lego already uses plant-based materials in flexible parts of a small percentage of their products. A team of researchers is working on ways to make changes in their product while keeping it the same Lego the world has loved since the 1950s.

Legos are one of the things that can easily be reused (in Stuff!, the December, 2018, M-PASS blog we highlight reuse). They can be passed along to younger children in your family or your neighborhood; or you can donate them to a school, nursery, or secondhand shop. 

For a local perspective, we talked to 12-year-old Talia Camp to get her thoughts on recycling. At this 6th grader’s school, she and her peers work together to educate others about recycling. When asked if she talks with her school friends about recycling and the environment, Talia said, “Yes, all the time. I stay on them at lunch to put the cans in the single recycling bin we currently have at the school.” Talia’s biggest worry is for our oceans and wildlife: “It concerns me to think animals are living in and consuming our trash. We are contaminating what we eat.”

M-PASS will fill your company’s or organization’s needs to contribute to a more sustainable world. You can, in turn, take it home (if you haven’t already).


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