Guest Blogger: Rachel
Recently one of our fellow employees at RE3.org went to the Carolina coast and wanted to share some things that she came across while out and about at the beach.
During my trip to the beach I went to a popular seafood restaurant where they were doing a fantastic job recycling. They had bins placed behind the restaurant that were being used to contain and store eligible recycling materials. Bins were all clearly marked which further facilitated the recycling efforts for the restaurant’s employees. Although the current ABC law for the state of North Carolina dictates that it is necessary for all facilities serving alcoholic drinks to recycle the containers, this is not always actively pursued by restaurants so it was great to see such active participation.
During our stay, I walked to a store along the beach which sells all types of clothing and souvenir material. Unfortunately, my second experience at the beach was not as encouraging. All of the store’s employees were wearing T-shirts that promoted keeping the beaches and Emerald Isle clean with a recycling symbol surrounding a heart. Naturally, I was interested so I started up a conversation with the clerk asking if the T-shirt she was wearing was made from recycled content. She seemed confused, so I prompted her further saying, “Is it because the store is actively recycling or are you currently carrying items that are recyclable that you are promoting? Or maybe the shirt is made from recycled materials?”
After the discussion she still seemed a little confused so I did some of my own detective work and looked at the tag on the T-shirts in the store. To my dismay, it said that they were 100 percent cotton which is far from recycled. I was really disappointed, because to me that seems a little misleading. I also saw a variety of other products in the store that carried environmental messages (like mugs, etc.) but none of them were produced in an environmental conscious or green way.
I’m all about promoting the recycling and sustainability message, but shouldn’t we follow it up with actually making sure that the products promoting the message follow those same principles? What do you guys think about these efforts?