On National Recycling Day, a Smorgasbord of Corporate Celebrations

On National Recycling Day, a Smorgasbord of Corporate Celebrations

America Recycles Day is not Earth Day -- in any number of ways, of course, but most noticeably, today is lacking in any of the big commitments that inundate my inbox for the weeks and months preceding April 22.

Which is not to say that it's a quiet event, only that most of the communications I've received from companies in the last couple weeks, the vast majority of them have fallen into two categories.

1) Self-congratulatory. Company A announces milestone of Y amount of material Z recycled to date.

2) Exhortatory (in a self-promotional way). Company X urges consumers to recycle more of Y (which material, not coincidentally, is also feedstock for company X's business model).

To be sure, it's important for the public by and large to continue having recycling messages and incentives front and center. Recycling is a habit that takes time to build up, but history shows that once that habit gets ingrained -- in the case of paper and aluminum, most notably -- it's not one that people quit.

But at the same time, it all ends up being rather uninspiring.

Despite that, there were a couple of interesting commitments that Corporate America announced timed to today:

• The Alcoa Foundation -- which has set a goal of boosting overall aluminum recycling rates to 75 percent by 2015 -- is partnering with Keep America Beautiful to offer a $1 donation for every download of its Aluminate iPhone app. The donation is capped at $50,000.

Cartridge World has been offering free ink to customers that bring in empty printer cartridges -- reusing those little plastic gadgets can save a significant amount of resources, even if companies like HP have developed ways to recycle cartridges into new cartridges.

Anheuser-Busch has donated $500,000 to Keep America Beautiful, which will support its recycling programs and provide for 3,000 new recycling bins around the country.

• And the initiative that will likely have the largest impact of all of these is one we covered last week: Naked Juice's shift to 100 percent post-consumer recycled content drink bottles for all of its beverages. The company's reNEWabottles will cut down its use of virgin plastic by 7.4 million pounds per year, and cut the carbon footprint from its packaging by a third. And although it will only make the smallest of dents in the mountains of plastic we create on a daily basis, it is a promising start.

Have you seen or heard of any other green commitments for recycling today? Let us know in the comments below.