Completing Recycling Advocate Patch Program® is a suggested prerequisite for earning your Recycling Delegate Pin. Your advocate experience will help provide you with the knowledge and skills that are needed to become a delegate for recycling. You can also opt to complete the Recycling Advocate requirements during the time you earn this Delegate pin.
Requirement 1: Choose It!
There are three steps to recycling. Your project can consist of one, two or all three steps.
- Step 1: Collection and Processing. There are several methods for collecting recyclables. Including curbside collection, drop-off centers, and also deposit or refund programs.
- Step 2: Manufacturing.
- Step 3: Purchasing New Products Made from Recycled Materials.
Points to Consider When Choosing A Recycling Project:
- Will you choose a specific project or better recycling practices in general?
- If choosing a specific product, what will the product be?
- What are the laws governing recycling of this product?
- What is Household Hazardous Waste? Helpful Link: Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
- Can oil be recycled? Helpful Link: How it Works: Recycling Used Oil and Oil Filters
- Can tires be recycled? Helpful Link: How to Recycle Tires
- Is it safe to use recycled tire crumbs on playgrounds?
Helpful Link: Federal Research on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields
- Can Paint be Recycled?
Helpful Link: How to Recycle Paint
- Organize a Household Hazardous Waste Community Collection Program
- Collect unused paints from neighbors and ask a home improvement center to mix them for you. Then use them to paint over graffiti or beautify a public area.
- Offer to do recycled crafts once a week with the kids at your school’s aftercare program. Set up collection boxes at the school and ask the students to bring in items.
- Make sleep mats for the homeless from plastic bags and get residents at the senior center involved.
- Make crayon recycling bins for restaurants and schools. Collect and send the crayons to The Crayon Initiative.
- Host an upcycling neighborhood block party. Everyone puts out items they no longer want and then they use their skills to help turn them into new items.
- Team up with Crayola and your local elementary school to organize a marker recycling initiative.
- Create an office/school supply recycle center in your community. Also check because your local library may be willing to donate space.
- What are your skills and talents?
- Do you need a mentor or adviser? Who will it be?
- Will there be legal or permit issues to resolve?
- How many others can you recruit to help?
- Will your volunteers need special skills or training?
- How many hours can you devote to the project?
- Will there be a project deadline?
- How much money will you be able to raise for the project?
- Can you get a sponsor to help with the costs?
Requirement 2: Plan it!
Setting goals will help give you a long-term vision and short-term motivation. It helps you to organize your thoughts and determine exactly what needs to be done.
- Decide exactly what you want to accomplish and give your project a name.
- Break it down into smaller steps.
- Set up a timeline.
Although smaller projects can be done alone, many projects will require a team. As the project delegate, one of your most important roles will be building a successful team. Helpful Link: 7 Super Steps to Recruit Volunteers.
- Find a mentor with experience in your project area.
- Enlist an Advocate to help you recruit volunteers. Consider using a volunteer release form especially if you are working with children. Helpful Link: Volunteer Release Form
- Decide which jobs you can do alone.
- Will you have teams?
- How many people will you need for each team?
Budgeting allows you to create a spending plan for your project. Sticking to your budget ensures that you will have enough money for the things you need to complete it. If you copied the table above you will see there is a section for budgeting.
There are many ways to raise money. If you are working with an organization such as Girl Scouts* check first to see what is allowed. Helpful Link: A Beginner’s Guide to Fundraising
- Consider GoFundMe, CrowdRise, DonorsChoose, or Kickstarter.
- Organize an event like a car wash, bake sale, or benefit dinner to raise awareness around your fundraiser.
- Host an event such as a walkathon, run, or bike rides.
- Ask local businesses and community members to donate items for a silent auction or a live auction.
- Sales of customized products like tee shirts, pens, and buttons will not only raise funds but generate awareness about your project.
- Invite the local media to your fundraiser or at least supply them with a photo and caption after the event.
Specific ideas for Recycling Fundraising
Get clever with your ideas. Think of things related to your cause. It will help bring awareness and set up a “fun” atmosphere, while raising the money you need to complete your project.
- Host a “trashion show” with clothes made from trash.
- Give recognition gifts for sponsorships. Set donation levels such as $20 for a recycling pin, $40 for a tee shirt.
- Host a Craft Fair for Upcycled Items
- Have a bake sale of cookies made with recycled cookie cutters. Make extra cookie cutters and sell those also.
- Ask friends and neighbors if they would be willing to donate their deposit bottles and cans to your cause.
- Offer recycling services to small businesses in your area for a small fee.
- Make upcycled corn hole games. Ask neighborhood kids to paint them. Host a tournament and the winner gets their pick of the upcycled games. You can then sell the rest.
Requirement 3: Do It!
You should now be ready to put your plan into action. After completing the plan, remember to also thank the community.
Ways to say Thank You:
- Personally thank individuals and businesses who helped. A handwritten letter is always nice. Helpful link: How to write a thank you letter.
- Thank the community as a whole with posters.
- Create a follow up press release and include the names of individuals and businesses who participated. Helpful link: How to write a press release.
- Give certificates of appreciation.
- Thank the community as a whole on social media.
Congratulations on completing your recycling action project! The Recycling Delegate pin makes a great reward for completing your project. It also makes a great gift to program sponsors and mentors.
See all our current Delegate level pin programs:
Related Fun Patch Ideas:
Note: Many of the links provided to assist with completing our Patch Program®s are external and do not imply an endorsement or recommendation. At the time of publication, external content was vetted to the best of our ability. Your views and ideas may vary and we do not intend for you to substitute our opinions for yours. Research the topic thoroughly before beginning a project. As always, make sure children access the internet only under safe-surfing conditions.
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