How Earth Works

Using Earth 911

Recycling bins are placed on the street to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Earth Day in New York City.
Recycling bins are placed on the street to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Earth Day in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Earth 911 Web site content can be broken down like this: recycling information, local information, information for students, interactivity, event calendar and articles. Here's a brief description of each feature:

Recycling Information: To find a recycling center in your area, look for "Find a Recycling Center" at the top of the home page. Plug in what you would like to recycle and your zip code, and it will link you to a list of nearby sites.

Local Information: If you want information for a particular state, click the drop-down menu on the left under the words "Act Locally." This will lead you to articles, events and local environmental organizations in your particular state.

Information for Students: If you click on "for students" under "Think Globally" on the left side of the home page, you can access resources for both students and teachers. For example, teachers can learn how students can create recycled paper as a classroom activity. Students can get information on how to start their own Earth 911 club, complete with downloadable logos. And this section also includes links to national contests for students.

Interactivity: In this day in age, interactivity is important in maintaining a successful Web site with repeat visitors [source: Nielsen]. Earth 911 offers interactivity to users in the form of an email newsletter as well as the opportunity to upload their own ideas and stories. By registering an account with Earth 911, users can comment on articles and even provide their own content, once given appropriate permission. Earth 911 active users include government employees who post local programs, companies that specialize in the disposal of products and environmental writers. Users can also watch video public service announcements on a variety of topics.

Event Calendar: The event calendar on the home page highlights popular upcoming environmental events. At the top of the homepage, you will see the word "search." If you click on the word "event" under "search," it will allow you to search for events by keyword. For example, April 22 is Earth Day, a national holiday that celebrates the importance of the environment and the need to take action. If you search events by keyword "Earth Day," you'll learn about the Free Colusa County Oil Filter Exchange Event, among other events, where residents of the California county are encouraged to recycle their used oil filters.

Articles: You can search for articles by keyword as well. Another way to find articles on different topics is to click on the sitemap at the bottom of the home page. This will link you to a page that lists different topic areas. Click on a topic and you will find articles that cover it.

Government and Public Sector Agency Resources: The writer found this information difficult to access from the home page. The easiest way to get there is to plug into your browser. Here you'll find trend-tracking reports on environmental issues.

"Think Globally, Act Locally" is a term you hear often. Earth 911 offers advice on how to do both, and in the next section, you'll learn how Earth 911 helps users to think globally.