While recycling is an effective means of preventing waste, reuse is just as crucial of a step. Resources are inherently conserved by reuse, because it removes the need to buy new products by repurposing those already in-hand.
Earth911.com hopes to make reuse as prevalent and recognizable as recycling by hosting a competition to design a reuse symbol. The winning design will receive a $500 prize, and the symbol will be made a part of the public domain to be reused, remixed and distributed without royalties.
To do this, Earth911 partnered with GOOD Maker, a tool that gives individuals and organizations the ability to tap into the public’s creativity and energy to address an issue that’s important to them.
“GOOD Maker’s platform is the perfect choice to launch the contest to create this symbol. We know their community, which is so focused on the positive outcomes and social benefit of effective design, will rise to the challenge,” said Raquel Fagan, vice president of media for Earth911.
Potential entrants have until Aug. 22 to submit their designs. Then, a voting period will run Aug. 23 through Sept. 6 to allow the public to determine which design is best. On Sept. 13, the winner will be announced. Potential entrants are advised to read the rules and requirements of the contest to ensure their entries are compliant.
“This contest has the potential to inspire people everywhere to rethink what we traditionally call ‘trash,’” said Jen Chiou, general manager with GOOD Maker. “We hope this is the start of a symbol that becomes as well known and has as much positive impact as the recycling logo.”
The chasing arrows recycling symbol, created in a design contest by Gary Dean Anderson in 1970, is one of the most widely recognized symbols associated with sustainability. Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but rather, was designed to demonstrate the three steps in the recycling loop, including collecting, manufacturing, and buying products made from recycled goods.
Over the past four decades, the recycling symbol has been placed on numerous products and is instantly recognizable by the general public. Recycling itself has grown significantly across the U.S., ranging from curbside programs to retail drop-offs, with the ultimate goal of reducing resources wasted every year.