Happy Earth Day! Our #1Day1Thing Effort Includes Recycling, But Are Any Of Us Really Doing It Right?

Just 31% of you say you always try to recycle

April 22, 2019
Happy Earth Day! Our #1Day1Thing Effort Includes Recycling, But Are Any Of Us Really Doing It Right?

Happy Earth Day! Our #1Day1Thing Effort Includes Recycling, But Are Any Of Us Really Doing It Right?

He is often called the "Father of Earth Day," and Gaylord Nelson also helped solidify Wisconsin's history in finding ways to celebrate this day. One of Nelson's quotes really hits home for me, “Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water, and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality, and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.”

I decided to ask YOU, if you typically try to recyce, and so far the poll on our Facebook page shows you are doing a better job than everyone else (according to a new survey which we'll get into, below), with an overwhelming majority of you answering "Yes, I try to recycle." There are just a few of you checking the "No, I don't recycle" box of our poll. Hey, those are some great numbers for our area!.

But here's the background on our poll, which we started after the results of a new survey were just released for Earth Day 2019.

How do YOU match up with these numbers? The survey shows 62% of us are worried we're not recycling correctly because we still aren't sure what can and can't be recycled.

Here are two of the top things we may still be getting wrong:

  • 68% of us think used plastic utensils can be recycled. Technically, it's ok, but in the end, it may costs too much due to the utensils getting stuck in recycling machines. Many recycling plants just won't do it.
  • 53% of us believe pizza boxes should go in the recycling bin. Nope. If there's food residue, even a little bit, the boxes have to go into the garbage. 

Here are five more recycling stats from this new survey:

1.  82% of us say we want to be more environmentally friendly. But only 31% say they always try to recycle. Our Facebook poll is already beating these odds. Way to go!

2.  The average resident is throwing out five things meant to be recycled every single week.

3.  A little better news here, as three in ten of us are now using water bottles that are reusable, instead of plastic. And 29% are trying to avoid using plastic straws, too.

4.  83% of us told those taking the survey we would be willing to pay a little extra, if the products we regularly purchase could be more environmentally friendly.

5.  And, you know we'd get to this one, excuses for not recycling. Here's what the survey shows are the top reasons we say we are not recycling:  

  • "It's not convenient."
  • "I don't have space for the extra bin."
  • "I don't have time to separate recycling from my garbage."
  • "I don't have enough information about how to do it the right way."
  • And, get this one:  "I'm too lazy." 

Someone actually responded to the survey, "I'm too lazy?!" Ok, we can do better, and luckily, many of you are already celebrating Earth Day -- today, and every day.

Let us know if you have some ideas to help others get into the groove, and we'll tell you more about the #1Day1Thing effort we are all taking part in at the U.W. Arboretum today.