Heroes

Here are the top 5 reasons people do and don't recycle.

It's not saying you should recycle. But you might more often once you've seen this.

Here are the top 5 reasons people do and don't recycle.

Almost everyone knows it's good to recycle. So why don't we all do it?

A report by Ipsos says that only half of Americans recycle every day, and more than 1 in 10 of us don't recycle at all.


Image by Raymond Bryson/Flickr (altered).

Who recycles on a daily basis?

Among people who recycle regularly, there seems to be strong correlations to education, age, and location, with college grads, older Americans, and residents in the Northeast and West leading the pack.

Via GOOD.

Why do people choose to recycle?

Most respondents do it for the obvious reason: It's good for the planet.

Via GOOD.

But surprisingly, a good number of folks do it because they think it helps the economy — which it does. According to the EPA, which was citing a report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance:

"[For] every 10,000 tons of solid waste going to landfills, 1 job is created. That same amount of waste — kept out of landfills — can create 10 recycling jobs or 75 materials reuse jobs."

Other studies have said that if the U.S. were to achieve a 75% recycling rate by 2030, the country could create 1.5 million to 2.3 million new jobs.

But what about all those people who aren't recycling?

The top reason people said they don't recycle is really more of a failure of state and local governments for not making recycling more available to them.

Via GOOD.

Others gave what even they might call excuses, such as "It takes too long" or "It's hard to remember." I hear that. I really do. But I know you can do it!

And some just think it costs too much to recycle, which is also an issue that governments need to deal with.

There is one reason people don't recycle that we can help with right now: not knowing what to recycle.

And that is OK to admit. But instead of jamming that stuff into landfills (like half of us are doing), how 'bout we try something different?

Via GOOD.

Here's a list of recyclable materials compiled by the EPA.

Bookmark it. Print it. Slap it on your fridge. And refer to it any time you're wavering between the trash and recycling bins.

Oh, and a bonus tip: You know those empty pizza boxes that are kinda greasy and caked with melted cheese? They're not recyclable. But they are compostable.

Check out the full infographic from GOOD magazine:

Feel like sticking around? Here's a great follow-up message. It involves talking animals.


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.