people need to know and stop being ignorant about recycling. Do get off your lazy butt and do your part 😀
The truth is, it will be very difficult to get everyone in North America to start recycling. Many areas still don’t have curbside recycling programs, and even most people that do thanks to curbside programs probably wouldn’t be willing to drive to a recycling center to deposit all of their recyclables. The first step would be to get curbside recycling everywhere. The second would be to better educate people on what items they can recycle. Most people really have no clue other than cans and bottles, and despite the fact that items have a recycling symbol on them, most people don’t know what they mean. We need to make recycling easy for people, or they won’t do it. A curbside, single stream recycling program with clear indications as to what can be recycled is pretty much the only chance.
What would it take … education, education and more education. Kids first, pre-school and even younger, starting in the home by parents and family members being responsible for recycling and setting the example. And for each of us risking standing up to the polluter and the letterer and the dumper and saying enough is enough … STOP polluting, STOP littering, STOP dumping. Simple just STOP. I have had enough, just STOP.
joethegreenguy: I really like your answer that the key is education. However, I”m wondering if there are any example curriculums or other approaches you would suggest for teaching kids about recycling?
I think this will take a lot of education, as stated in the previous answer, but perhaps also incentitives. As sad as it is to say, a lot of people will not participate in something if they cannot see a gain for themselves. They want to receive a gift or tax break or money. One way to address this is to instead fine people heavily for not recycling. This may seem cruel, but in most areas it is very easy to recycle. There is curbside pick-up and very little sorting to be done. People should be given warning and then fined if their garbage is filled with recycleable items.
Education will help the whole process. A lot of times people do not realize how easy it is and that they literally can make a difference. We must address this with children (who will take the message home to their parents) but also people of older generation, including people in nursing homes and retirement communities. Everyone must do their part and a team of very sincere and action driven people must take on the task of education for the general public.
This will be a difficult task, but something that is very worthwhile and necessary!
This would be a very difficult task. It’s nearly impossible to get a few people to agree on something let alone getting all of North America to recycle. There would need to be massive ad campaigns that are simple and to the point. They should focus on using recycling to unite the region. This could help people who are skeptical about the benefits of recycling to see a legitimate reason to do so.
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