The Importance of Recycling During the Civil War
You might think that recycling and reuse of materials like textiles, paper, and metals is a modern idea. In fact, the recycling and reuse of materials was an important part of military action and the economy during the Civil War.
On April 19, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation declaring the blockade of major Southern ports in an effort to prevent goods and services from being traded by the Confederacy.
This action cut off the export of cotton, which the Confederacy depended on for currency. The blockade also reduced imports of food, medicine, artillery, manufactured goods, and luxury items. At first, these shortages were only a minor inconvenience, but as the War stretched from months into years, the inconveniences resulted in hardship and suffering.
From the battlefield to the home front – patriotic Southerners supported the War by reducing the number of resources they used and by finding new and creative ways to reuse and recycle what little they had.
Did you know?
Each year, on November 15, millions of Americans take part in America Recycles Day to raise awareness about recycling and the purchasing of recycled products.