Join us as we investigate the fascinating world of recycling. What happens to your plastic bottles when you put them in your bin? What are some creative ways to reuse odd objects? How can recycling encourage positive community growth? What can we do to reduce our consumption in the first place?
Interview with Laurie Nichols of Greenacres Foundation
Laurie Nichols is an Environment Educator at Greenacres Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also a graduate biology student at Miami University. Laurie shares her top tips for recycling effectively with Jonathan. These include making sure your recyclables are loose (not in a plastic bag), are clean and dry, and conform to your municipality's recycling guidelines. She tells us where we can take plastic bags to be recycled, how to conduct research about how to recycle, and how to reduce our consumption in the first place. Laurie also made some really helpful videos, which you can see on our website at https://recyclingrevealed.wixsite.com/recyclingrevealed/.
Interview with Bob Henkel of earthday365
Jonathan interviews Bob Henkel, Program Director at earthday365, about the ins and outs of curbside, single-stream recycling. Did you know that putting your recyclables inside plastic bags can result in your entire bag's worth being diverted to the landfill instead of being recycled? Including plastic bags of any sort can result in machine malfunction and worker injury. Bob takes us through what all is actually recyclable through most curbside programs (paper, flattened cardboard, plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, metal food and beverage cans, and food and beverage cartons) and some of the common misperceptions. He also shares how recycling, though it is just one of the many positive actions we can take as consumers to promote environmental sustainability, can act as a gateway to broader community enrichment.
earthday365's mission is to provide "distinctive programs [that] empower you and your community to create and celebrate a greener St. Louis – every day." In addition to their landmark annual Earthday festival (one of the largest in the country), they provide online education, collect recycling and compostable materials at festivals to divert waste from landfills, and certify restaurants that provide green dining experiences with environmentally responsible materials, practices, and energy consumption.
When he is not sharing his formidable store of recycling knowledge, Bob Henkel works to empower women, eradicate racism, and promote responsible environmental ethics. Jonathan first met Bob when Bob gave a talk on recycling at Jonathan's local library. Jonathan's wife then encountered Bob as her facilitator for a course about white privilege. Bob works with groups such as Outward Bound and the Girl Scouts to encourage wilderness adventure and team building. He is also certified in permaculture design and sustainable building. We are truly thrilled to have him as our guest for our first episode of Recycling Revealed.
Resources from the episode:
This episode was produced by Jonathan Spencer, a graduate biology student through Miami University's Project Dragonfly. If you want a transformative, collaborative education in community-based conservation science, check out https://projectdragonfly.org.