Protecting environment means reducing, reusing, recycling, repeating

Celebrate America Recycles Day throughout November by reducing, reusing, recycling and then repeating the cycle year-round. Individuals should incorporate this cycle into their daily routine at work and at home to conserve natural resources. Following these steps will allow individuals to do their part:

• Individuals should reduce the amount of materials they consume to reduce the amount of waste that’s generated. When possible, choose to use reusable items instead of disposable items, such as reusable shopping bags, eating utensils, water bottles and straws.

• Reuse, repurpose and repair items instead of throwing them away. Share gently used items by hosting a clothing swap or giving baby clothes and toys to new parents or local charities. Reuse paper towel rolls (i.e., the cardboard cores) to organize cords, holiday lighting and necklaces while traveling. Repair broken bicycles, technology and other fixable items instead of replacing them. Alternatively, contact local nonprofit organizations that teach job skills such as electronics and bicycle repair to donate fixable items.

• Whenever possible, recycle materials that cannot be reused, repurposed or repaired. For workplace items, use the recycling centers located in hallways and corridors throughout the Pentagon and Mark Center. Individuals who work in the Pentagon can also request a recycling bin for their office by calling the Building Operations Command Center at (703) 614-1597. Individuals can check their community’s recycling policy to learn about what can and cannot be recycled at home to avoid placing too many nonrecyclable materials in the recycling bin.

• Individuals should get in the habit of reducing, reusing and recycling so they can repeat this cycle throughout the year. Also, encourage colleagues, friends and family to adopt this reduce, reuse and recycle practice to help ensure natural resources can be renewed faster than they are consumed.

For more information, visit the Environmental, Sustainability and Energy Branch’s website at or email

By Environmental, Sustainability, and Energy Branch