Remember the old song by Kermit the Frog, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”? Fortunately these days that is no longer true. But it wasn’t too long ago that the concept of being ‘green’ or environmentally conscious was not popular. At Cartridge World in Bloomingdale we seek to encourage everyone to do their part in taking care of the environment. So when did we all become interested in being green?
The start of the environmental movement began in the 1850s with the poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and their writings on nature. John Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson were the first to lobby congress for the environment. Their efforts resulted in the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890. They then went on to found the Sierra Club and the environmental movement had its first organized effort. Theodore Roosevelt was known as the Environmentalist President for his creation of the US Forest Service in 1905, and the designation of 150 National Forests, 51 Federal Bird Reserves, 5 National Parks, 4 National Game Preserves, 21 reclamation projects, and 18 National Monuments.
It is interesting to note that until the Industrial Revolution, recycling was a way of life as it was cheaper to reuse items than to buy new. With the advent of mass production, it became easier to buy new if not always cheaper. During WWII it was considered patriotic to recycle as part of the ‘war effort’. It was not until the end of the war and the start of the economic boom in America that people stopped recycling.
Recycling became a part of the environmental movement in 1970 with the observance of the first Earth Day. Events leading up to this were the burning of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland OH, an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara CA , and a Thanksgiving Day where 80 people died from extreme air pollution. These events occurring in the 1960s all received national attention and began making people aware of the devastating effects our consumption mindset was having on the environment.
With the observance of Earth Day recycling was brought back to the forefront of the environmental movement. It allowed the populace to have their part in protecting the environment. Along with remembering to conserve electricity and water, schools started teaching the importance of recycling paper and plastic products. Images of public waste dumps were shown on the TV to emphasize the impact all the disposable items were having on our land.
Coinciding with the observance of the first Earth Day in 1970 the Container Corporation of America held a contest to design a symbol for their products that showed their commitment to using recycled products. Gary Dean Anderson, a student at the University of California, was the winner of the competition and created the now widely recognized three arrow symbol for recycling. The symbol has now come to signify the concept of ‘reduce, re-use, and recycle’ or the waste hierarchy.
At Cartridge World we seek to embody this concept in helping to reduce the amount of printer cartridges that are ending up in our landfills. With the advent of recyclable materials and the ability to refill ink cartridges we are helping you to help the environment. Earth Day is coming on April 22nd let us help you observe it with recycling or refilling your printer ink and toner cartridges. There is only one planet earth, let’s take care of it.