I often hear from residents that they recycle EVERYTHING they can. But here is a question for you… do you recycle even when it isn't convenient? Let's have a moment of honesty: who has ever had a recyclable bottle or can that you put in the garbage? I know I have (forgive me… it was before I joined the light side). Lots of us don't recycle 100% of the time when it's inconvenient. You may think to yourself, I know I recycle all the time… but consider this: What if you’re out and you only see a trash can around? How long are you willing to hold on to that bottle before you give up and just throw it in the garbage? Ever been to a sports event, concert, or park and not seen recycling containers? When I was on vacation last year, I got a drink in a plastic bottle while walking around a city. When I finished it, I was disheartened to see no recycling containers around. I carried that bottle with me for about 30 minutes looking for a recycling container. When I could not find one, I decided to put it in my bag because I knew the bed and breakfast we stayed at had recycling containers. About a week later, when we got home and I was unpacking, I found that bottle in my luggage… and ended up recycling it at home. My husband and I had a BIG laugh over this. I am not saying that you have to be as crazy as me… but I wanted to drive home the point that you should be recycling away from home, just as much as you recycle at home. Ever been to a sports event, concert, or park and not seen recycling containers? It can be really frustrating to feel like you only have the option to throw something in the garbage, but you do have the choice to take that bottle with you to recycle later. Do you know how many bottles are recycled in NC each year? 80%? 50%? No… it's only 30%. That means that 70% of the bottle waste we generate is being buried in landfills. Recycling is a choice you make. Sometimes it's not always the easiest choice, but when you choose to recycle, you are helping create American jobs. How? When you recycle a plastic bottle, it can become a new plastic item like a bottle, container, or toy, but in Greensboro, it can also become something unexpected… yarn. Anyone wearing polyester? Or ever heard of polyester? Well, it's made from oil based products. The company Unifi is headquartered here in Greensboro, and has processing facilities in Reidsville and Yadkinville that transform plastic bottles into polyester yarn. The cool thing about this is that it's chemically identical to polyester sourced from oil, but created from recycled materials. The uncool thing is that the Reidsville plant that processes the bottles has to source recycled bottles from all over the US, as well as Canada and Mexico. In fact, all of the bottles collected from NC would only run the facility for one day out of the entire year. The plant literally is buying Mexico’s waste, because some are too lazy to recycle. Because I have been too lazy to recycle. Let’s change that. Can you join me in one additional New Year’s Resolution? Recycle all your plastic bottles this year. Simple enough, right? Maybe take it one step further and try to make sure your entire family recycles all of their plastic bottles, even if there are no recycling containers around when you are away from home. For more information and videos about plastic bottle recycling, visit www.yourbottlemeansjobs.org Recycle Away, Tori PS--Email me if you would like to share any of my Ever Wonder Wednesday posts in a community or HOA newsletter. I will be happy to share content and images with you. As always, if you have any additional questions about waste reduction, please do not hesitate to private message or email me at email@example.com.