Means More Than You Think

Here’s something that you see everyday. Bet you think you know what it means. But you might be surprised!

Let’s start with what it is … you all know it’s the International Symbol for recycling. It was drawn back in the early 70′s by Gary Anderson, a USC student that entered a contest because he needed the prize money. He won and got a few bucks. The symbol became the property of the Container Corporation of America. It’s a little like the flu virus in that it got out into the world and spread so fast that the corporate guys couldn’t keep a grip on it and lost their rights to it. It’s now in the public domain and no one, not even Gary, gets any payments from its use.

We all see it on the bottom of every plastic bottle on the planet. Usually, it has a number in the middle to tell us what type of awful material was used to make the thing. The idea here is to use the old bottle to make new ones because if you just toss it out, it’ll end up in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a garbage heap larger than Texas and float there just about forever. So we try to get folks to let the corporate guys use the material for free to make new bottles that we all buy again at full price. Figures!

Anyway, back to our story. The three arrows actually represent something. Want to guess? Okay, the wait is over … Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle. See how recycle is last. That’s because in the original use of the symbol, recycle was the last resort. Every other alternative is better than recycle … which is kind of funny because, the media machine wants us to think that recycling is the height of environmental consciousness. Well, my friends, it’s not.

Reduce is really the first thing that we should be thinking about. If you don’t need a thing, then don’t take it or use it. Borrow or rent instead of buying you’re not gonna use a lot. Share stuff. Read electronic versions of things. You don’t even have to print out our blogs!

Re-Use stuff instead of tossing it out. Grocery bags are an example here. Water bottles, coffee cups. Styrofoam plates?– What a waste! Think about it. A lot of what we did in the 1950′s was probably stupid and wasteful. Let’s stop doing that.

So that leaves us with Recycle. If you absolutely need a thing and it can’t be re-used, then try hard to get a hold of a thing that can be remade into something useful when you are done with it. There’s only so much stuff on the planet and we’ll quickly getting to the place where we’ve used pretty much all of it and have nowhere left to put the stuff we don’t want any more.

So how does this all relate to SkyPower’s mission to bring solar electric power to everyone in Arizona? Reducing carbon emissions! The folks that want to keep the environment from killing us all know that carbon energy sources could eventually do us all in. Climate change is happening, and burning coal and gas sure doesn’t help. And by the way, the cost to do this is going up.

Think of using the Sun to make electricity over and over again – reusing and recycling the Sun! The symbol’s mobius theme is more intertwined with the Solar Electric movement than you might have thought.



If you have any questions, please call Jay Leopold at 480-290-2040 or email Jay at

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