Recycle Pictures

What do billboards, food products, and mall cafes have in common? Besides advertising, recycle pictures!

These little, green pictures – the three arrows arranged in a way that they all point at each other and form a triangle – are found nearly everywhere these days (check out the variations to these recycling logos).

What is the importance of these logos and why are we seeing them in more and more places?

Well, these recycle pictures are a very good sign for a positive future.

Seeing more of these pictures means two things. One, more people are conscious of their waste and how to dispose of it properly and hence companies are motivated to provide the relevant information. Two, companies and corporations too are becoming more conscious about the way their consumers dispose of their waste, and are doing their part by educating their consumers. This is a fantastic combination to have, both corporations and consumers playing their part, even if it is on a small scale.

So where did the recycle pictures come from? Where did they originate?

Well the famous three-arrowed logo was first used over three decades ago. Hard to believe that it took this long for the meaning behind the pictures to take effect for the majority, but it’s true (although actually, the practice of recycling started long long time ago. Read more about the history of recycling).

It happened like this. Earth Day 1970 brought forth the culmination of a growing environmental awareness that was sweeping the country. The Container Corporation of America (CCA), a paperboard company, used this growing awareness to promote their company. They held a nation-wide art contest searching for a picture that exemplified their new-found foothold in recycling and the use of recycled materials. This was a win-win for the CCA. Not only were they promoting their own company, they were also promoting awareness about environmental consciousness.

The contest in Aspen, Colorado attracted over 500 participants. A 23 year old University of Southern California student by the name of Gary Dean Anderson took home the prize and a $2,500.00 scholarship, for the creation of the recycling logo (heavily influenced by the late, great M.C. Escher and the Mobius Strip). Not too bad for creating the recycling logo that is plastered everywhere today!

For almost four decades now, the famous green symbol that were created by a college student have grown to carry an enormous amount of meaning. Recycling is nothing to frown at or avoid doing. It is something that needs to be a part of everyone’s daily life. Just like everything else, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. So let’s all tip our hats to Mr. Gary Dean Anderson and continue recycling ourselves and recruit a few new players (ie. your friends and family) to the team.

It is never too late to begin and laziness is no excuse to not recycle (read about benefits of recycling). So, the next time you see one of the green-arrowed recycling pictures, don’t hesitate to become a part of the solution (check out the recycling tips you can adopt), because it is much better than being a part of the problem.

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