It It Or Isn't It? The YEARS Team Answers Your Recycling Questions. - The Years Project

It It Or Isn’t It? The YEARS Team Answers Your Recycling Questions.

By Joel Bach

Do we really need a video telling us how to recycle? Yes, we do, desperately. Because I bet most people think they know how to recycle and actually don’t know how to recycle. I thought I knew how to recycle and then, after researching it a bit, learned that I didn’t. That’s pretty bad considering I used to harangue my parents every day about recycling when I was a kid and now run a company whose mission is to fight climate change.

I didn’t know, for example, how important it was to wash a take-out food container before recycling it. I didn’t know that plastic cutlery couldn’t be recycled. I was confused about whether to unscrew the cap on the mayonnaise jar or keep it on.

What’s the point of recycling if we don’t do it the right way? We’re just throwing stuff out that could be reused. Throwing a perfectly recyclable peanut butter jar in the trash isn’t just unnecessary, it means we’ve also just thrown away all the energy and resources that went into that peanut butter jar. It means we’re knowingly throwing CO2 into the air when we don’t have to. The alternative makes so much more sense. We just need to know what to do and what not to do.

Of course, recycling isn’t the same everywhere. Each town and city in America has its own rules. That makes it tricky to produce a recycling video that works for all parts of the country. The point is that even the basics need explaining, and that’s what we attempted to do.

Fortunately, a lot of people on my team at The YEARS Project wanted to be on camera for this shoot. It made for a fun filming experience. The team included producer Maya Lilly, executive assistant Morgan Schacker, producer and social media director Matt Rosenbaum, intern Lily Huang, Co-Executive Producer Drew Magratten and operations manager Sam Sedlack.

Recycling is only one small action that we can take. But it’s a big one. Especially if we all do it and we all do it the right way. Currently, Americans recycle only one third of their waste. That’s horrible. We could be recycling three quarters. If we did, we’d have less trash going into landfills, less trash on the side of the road, less plastic in the oceans and less CO2 going into the air.

That’s how important it is to recycle.