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New York Recycles Poster Contest Theme Background & Ideas!

Theme: New York Recycles!

New York Recycles is our way of promoting recycling and buying recycled in New York State. Events that encourage recycling and buying recycled take place all year. These events lead up to a celebration on November 15th called New York Recycles Day. New York Recycles Day is part of the national event America Recycles Day. Check out our website for more information on New York Recycles!

Suggestions for posters - Show items that can be recycled in New York and/or how to recycle these items. Don't forget items that people might not remember to recycle or know how to recycle, such as clothing, plastic bags, cell phones, and rechargeable batteries! You can also show recycling facts and tips on how to recycle both common and uncommon household items.

Theme: Choose Reuse, Not Single Use

Waste reduction is so important that it's the first of the three R's (reduce, reuse, recycle). Waste reduction means decreasing how much waste (garbage) you create. Choosing reusable items instead of single use items is one way to reduce your waste. Choosing reusable items instead of single use items helps the environment because it not only reduces waste but also conserves natural resources and can also help reduce litter.

Suggestions for posters - Whether you're at home, at school, at sports practice, on the go or somewhere else, show us which reusable items you choose to use instead of single use items! Examples include using reusable bags instead of single use plastic or single use paper bags, using reusable water bottles, choosing reusable utensils instead of disposable ones, packing your lunch in reusable containers instead of throw away plastic baggies and reusable straws instead of plastic straws.

Theme: Worm Your Way into Composting

Composting is a way to recycle things that come from nature. People often compost yard trimmings such as leaves, grass clippings, weeds and branches, as well as food scraps (apple cores, banana peels, carrot tops, etc.) from their kitchens. The result of composting is dark, crumbly compost! Adding compost to the soil can help plants grow strong and stay healthy. Lots of creatures live in compost piles including small insects, bacteria, fungi and worms. As they eat the materials in the compost pile they turn it into compost. Worms also help by digging tunnels allowing air into the pile, which the creatures need to do their work of making compost. While outdoor compost bins and piles don't need worms, they help break down material more quickly. The most common indoor compost system, a worm bin, certainly needs worms, and lots of them, to break down the materials into compost.

Suggestions for posters - You can draw a picture of a worm bin with worms eating organic material (leaves, food scraps, etc.), draw a picture of a compost pile with worms and other creatures (small insects, bacteria and fungi) eating organic material or draw a picture of compost being used in a garden, flower bed or tree planting.

Theme: Recycle Right

We all know that recycling is important but recycling right is just as important. A materials recovery facility is an important part of the recycling process; this is where your recycled items end up after you put them in your recycling bin. Did you know that if you put the wrong items in your recycling bin that they can possibly cause jams in the recycling equipment and make it so materials can't be recycled? These jams can also be dangerous for workers. It's very important to know what materials can be recycled in your community and to put only those items in your recycling bin.

Suggestions for posters - Students should research what is and is not accepted for recycling in their community to learn what they should and should not put in their recycling bin either at home or at school. This information can be found on your recycling hauler or local transfer station's website or through your local recycling coordinator. Students should create posters that show what can be put in their recycling bin either at home or at school as a way to help encourage others to recycle right!

Theme: Your Dream Green School

Do you dream green? Have you ever wished your school could be a green school? Now is your chance to be as creative as you want to be and show us what your dream green school would look like and be like!

Suggestions for posters - Students are encouraged to think of all of the different ways it means to be "green" and showcase that in their dream green school. From recycling and composting to solar panels or rooftop gardens and energy efficient lighting, the options are endless. We can't wait to see what you create!