What is Make A Difference Day?

National Make a Difference Day is an annual celebration focused on giving back to the community that is celebrated on the fourth Saturday in October. It is one of the country’s largest national days of community services, an opportunity to show support to local non-profit organizations, volunteer at community events, or spread the word about climate issues. National Make A Difference Day will take place this year on Saturday, October 28, 2023. That said, you can celebrate the holiday any day in October and beyond because making a difference is about becoming the change you wish to see in the world.

How To Celebrate Make A Difference Day: Eco-Friendly Edition

From volunteering at a local non-profit in your community like BARC to sharing important facts about recycling on your social media, there are tons of different ways to celebrate the holiday with a focus on sustainability. If you aren’t sure how to make a difference, don’t worry! We have several ideas to get you started.

Volunteer at a Local Non-Profit Organization Like BARC

Making a difference is as easy as volunteering at a local non-profit organization in your community. BARC is always looking for volunteers to help us at events or further one of our key programs focused on diverting useful and potentially valuable materials from landfills. If you are interested in volunteering at BARC, complete the volunteer application form on our website to get started.

Spread the Word: 5 R’s Of Recycling

Spreading the word about recycling to your friends, family, social media followers, and local community is a great way to make a difference. If you aren’t sure what to post, you can share the graphic below about the 5 R’s Of Recycling: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.

The phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” has been used in the discussion of recycling since 1970, when a senior at the University of Southern California designed a button with the phrase and 3 arrows, which has been used since as the universal symbol of recycling.

But that doesn’t paint the right picture of how sustainable practices work in today’s landscape. The 3 R’s should actually be the 5 R’s, according to Bea Johnson, an author focused on sharing her knowledge about living a zero-waste lifestyle. At BARC, we like the focus on this methodology, which is as follows:

  1. Refuse: Refuse what you don’t need.
    Start by refusing what you don’t need, things that will quickly become trash, like a plastic bag at the grocery store or a plastic straw at a restaurant.
  2. Reduce: Reduce what you do need.
    Reducing what you need is crucial after you refuse things you don’t need. This means carefully choosing the things you buy, trying to stick to the basics, and avoiding items with tons of unnecessary packaging.
  3. Reuse: Reuse what you can.
    After refusing and reducing, it’s important to reuse what you can—for example, making salad dressing with an almost empty mustard jar or repairing your favorite pair of jeans instead of buying something new.
  4. Recycle: Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce, or reuse.
    It’s time to recycle items that you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse. Remember to sort and clean your recyclables according to the local regulations in your area!
  5. Rot: Compost everything else!
    Anything compostable should be diverted from landfills. This is a crucial step in recycling because organic materials can create methane gas in the atmosphere if left at the dump.


Sharing information about the 5 R’s with your community or on social media is a great way to spread the word and make a difference

Put Your Skills to Work

You might have skills that could help further a mission that you are passionate about and it’s time to put those skills to work! For example, if you are a skilled handyman, own a business, teach at a school, or make your own clothes, you have a specific skill set that can make a difference! Find a local non-profit or community organization that you’d like to collaborate with and reach out to them to see if they could use your expertise.

Host A Zero Waste Event

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s essential to start planning your next football tailgate, Halloween bash, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas party, Hanukkah celebration, New Year’s banger, or any other event you want to host. Making that event zero-waste is a simple but effective way to make a difference this holiday season. Creating Zero Waste Events is one of the services we love to offer at BARC, starting with DIY up to full-service event waste management. If you’d like help planning a zero-waste event and live in Northern Michigan, fill out the special event information form on our website!

Make a Difference by Making a Donation

One of the easiest ways to make a difference is by making a donation to BARC! By donating to us, you will support our many services. This includes green jobs, compost hauling, rural, curbside recycling services, Zero Waste community events, and the recycling of mattresses that we transform into reusable materials for a variety of industries!

Let us know if you celebrate Make a Difference Day this year by tagging @mybarctc on social media. We can’t wait to see how you change the world!