It’s hard to believe that New York City, with residents that produce over 12,000 pounds of waste per day, does not have trash incinerators or landfills. But it’s true. The city that never sleeps, has to ship its waste to other states for disposal. New Yorkers are only
recycling 17% of their trash and as a result, everything else is either sitting in the street, getting shipped off for incineration or headed for the eternal plunk into a landfill. In a city like this, how do I teach my family to keep up the good green fight? I show them innovators.
On their web series, my twin sons Tristin and Tyler, love interviewing people who are thinking outside the (recycled) cardboard box in trying to solve the trash problem. In our search for innovators in the green fight, we found TerraCycle, a company that partners with consumers and major goods manufactuers to reduce the amount of waste on our planet. How does TerraCycle do it? From recycled denim laptop bags to pencil cases made from drink pouches, TerraCycle collects trash from all over the United States and 22 countries overseas and later “upcycles” the trash into new items.
Since 2008, TerraCycle has averted over 70,000 tons of trash from landfills. According to Albe Zakes, TerraCycle’s VP of Media, not only does Terracyle
work with companies to create sustainable product packaging and new products, they encourage consumers to collect trash and send it to them. According to Albe, children are among the top collectors of trash via their schools, girl and boy scouts troops.
Think what this company is doing can’t get any better? Well there’s more. TerraCycle pays for the trash that they receive from regular people like you and I. In 2013, the company expects to receive 1.5 billion pieces of waste.
So as we parents, consumers and waste producers think about our impact on the planet, what kinds of steps can we take to slowly but surely teach youth that taking care of the planet is not just necessary, it can be creative and fun?
Here are a few ways we can teach little one’s to do their part, no matter how small.
-set up your school, church or your family for collecting by visiting www.terracycle.com