April 9, 2014
10:00 am EDT
With the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the evidence continues to mount that the planet is getting warmer and the time to act is now. Everywhere people are asking what they can do to fight climate change. April 22 is Earth Day and it’s the perfect time for all of us to act on climate.
There are a lot of things that people can do in their daily lives to fight climate change. We can promote clean energy, take public transportation, drive fuel efficient cars and reduce our use of energy. But one of the most simple and effective things we can do is to recycle.
People don’t often think of recycling as a way to fight climate change, but it is. Recycling reduces the need to mine and process new materials — activities which produce greenhouse gas emissions. And by reducing the amount of trash we send to landfills, we cut both carbon dioxide emissions from incinerating waste and methane emissions from trash decomposing in landfills, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Recycling paper products also reduces the need to cut down trees that trap greenhouse gases.
Each year around Earth Day, EPA honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting and enhancing environmental quality. This year, one of the exemplary recipients of an EPA Environmental Quality Award is Eva Radka, the founder and president of Film Biz Recycling, which has diverted nearly 450 tons of materials from film, television and theater productions away from landfills since the non-profit organization was created in 2008.
New York City has a thriving entertainment industry and it’s always exciting to walk by a movie shoot on a city street with its props, cameras and lights. But many of the materials from these productions go to waste. That’s when Film Biz Recycling steps in. The company accepts donations of props, costumes and set materials and redistributes over 60 percent of the items for reuse through a network of charitable and non-profit partners in New York City. To support its charitable donations, Film Biz Recycling operates a retail store where customers can find “repurposed” props, nearly new household goods, period furniture and costumes. It also rents recycled props and wardrobe items to the production industry and has a zero waste policy that ensures no donated materials go to waste.
Big ideas, creative thinking and hard work are needed to fight climate change and recycling is one part of the solution. Whether you have an innovative idea like Eva Radka or simply recycle and compost at home, you’re part of the solution too. So join us as we act on climate and lead the way toward a restored and healthy environment.
Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.
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