Have you ever taken a good look at the recycling symbol? It shows three bent arrows in the shape of a triangle with each arrow pointing to the next one. This design was created in 1970 by 23-year-old University of Southern California student Gary Anderson and chosen as the winner of a logo contest. Fifty years later, it is still recognized around the world and means the same thing in every language!
If you look super closely at the recycling symbol, you will notice that the triangle looks like a Mobius strip – a never-ending loop. This is why it represents recycling so well. It means that an item can be made, used, recycled, and then the whole loop begins again when another item is made with the recycled material.
Many of us are great recyclers. We recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, and other items. When we recycle, we keep valuable items out of the landfills. But sometimes, we consumers forget that in addition to putting recyclables in the bins, we are also responsible for making sure the loop keeps going around and around. We do this whenever we purchase products made from recycled materials.
It’s easy to find out if an item is made from recycled materials: just check the label. If you see the words “made from post-consumer recycled content” or “made with recycled materials”, then you know your purchase will keep the recycling loop going. Recycled products also make our world healthier. Just like you can check labels on food to know if it is healthy for your body, you can check the labels on the other items you buy. By choosing to purchase a school notebook or a new fleece jacket made from recycled materials, you are showing the Earth some love and helping to keep it healthy.
The next time you go to the store, keep the recycling loop going by checking the labels and buying products made with recycled content. You will probably find many, many items: notebooks, paper plates, plastic lawn furniture, backpacks, sports clothing, cell phone covers, napkins, toilet paper, and even kitty litter! The more we buy recycled products, the healthier our Earth becomes, so please read those labels and choose products with recycled-content. It will give the Earth a hug!
Photo credit: enot-poloskun | E+ | Getty Images