The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines recycling as “the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products”. Every day, Americans produce 5.91 pounds of trash. This adds up to about 2,157.15 pounds of waste every year. How much of this waste could be saved and turned into new products? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 75% of waste expelled by the American people can be recycled, only about 34% is actually recycled properly. The American recycling crisis is one of the many contributing factors to climate change.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality concludes that recycling can be a successful method to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. By increasing the recycling efforts in Nebraska, we can reduce our carbon footprint that is leading us towards an unstable environmental future.

On the individual level, Nebraska residents can reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing products made of recycled materials and sharing the problems with the American recycling system. By making small changes into our lives, Nebraska can have a big impact on our local and global environment.

The Chris Janicek Campaign is committed to exploring all opportunities to slow or stop the damage that is being done to our Earth. With so little time left to stop irreversible damage to the environment, we must make immediate changes in the recycling industry. These changes can include posting more obvious recycling bins downtown Omaha and Lincoln and providing incentives for small and large business to recycle.