Anyone can recycle

December 10, 2012

I am a college student attending Penn State University majoring in elementary education. As a project for my geography course, I researched ways to lower the carbon footprint in the State College area. One big way my group found that could decrease our carbon footprint is to take an active part in recycling.

We decided to focus on motivating the community to want to recycle and to eventually turn recycling into a social norm. Restaurants and stores could take part in small competitions to see who could recycle the most in an allotted period of time. The winning restaurant or store could then be given a prize or recognition of some sort. We would create a positive feedback loop in which businesses recycle, get rewarded, and continue to recycle in order to continue to be rewarded.

As the businesses begin to recycle more and more without thinking about it, recycling will become a natural habit. Eventually, the need for rewards will cease to exist, as people recycle purely because they have grown accustomed to it. tate College is not the only location that could benefit from the idea of increased recycling efforts. The Pittsburgh area could also initiate competitions between businesses to increase motivation to recycle and to turn recycling into a social norm.

Recycling is a simple way to help decrease the carbon footprint in any area and it is also something that anyone can take part in.

Carly Baker


Anyone can recycle


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