NATURE & ENVIRONMENT

Are you confused from so much “green”?

With the human population now exceeding 7 billion and growing exponentially, and our rapid consumption of finite natural resources, the amount of waste produced is reaching unprecedented levels with severe consequences for our health. Recycling and greening the economy have in fact the potential to dramatically reduce environmental degradation, these solutions remain grossly underutilized and poorly understood. While there are numerous other initiatives out to increase recycling rates and eco-friendly behavior, none to date are adequately addressing the leading obstacle to behavior change: confusion. In fact when it comes to recycling, most are surprised to learn that despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on campaigns promoting recycling, according to the EPA, U.S. recycling rates have barely improved in 15 years. Currently less than 10 percent of businesses in the U.S. recycle and less than 35 percent of U.S. households recycle. Michelle Hedlund initiative consists in aligning citizens and businesses around common interests by making recycling more comprehensive and removing the confusion around green. Subsequently her solutions are making the recycled commodities market and the overall green economy more prevalent, profitable and predictable. Her aim is to demystify what environmental responsibility means for citizens and businesses alike in ways that could dramatically increase recycling rates and increase the demand for green products and environmentally responsible businesses in the U.S.

Through her project Recycle Across America!, Hedlund has developed a standardized labeling system to eliminate public confusion at the recycling bin, thereby increasing the amount of recyclables being captured. She is working with schools, property management companies, cleaning companies and some of the biggest waste hauling businesses in the country to widely distribute the comprehensive and consistent standardized labels she developed to help increase recycling capture rates at the bin. She projects reaching a saturation rate of 75% of the market within 10 to 15 years. Moving forward, she plans to leverage the increased supply of recyclable materials to educate the public about next-life products and increase their supply. Finally, she has also created Eco-Profiles, a universal tool that helps the public easily identify organizations that are greening their practices, to begin driving marketshare increases to environmentally responsible organizations. Each of these interventions drives at the same goal and uses a similar combination of simplifying information flows to educate the public while linking consumer-consciousness to market opportunities that can be leveraged for environmental and economic impact.

Recycle Across America_website

 

Website: http://www.recycleacrossamerica.org

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