Purrrfectly Recyclable: An Eco-Reminder to Animal Lovers

You'd think it would be obvious: Cat food cans are just as recyclable, and recycled, as regular cans, right? It's referred to as canned cat food, after all. But according to a release sent earlier this week from Purina and non-profit advocacy group Keep America Beautiful, studies show that a scant 20 percent of kitty cans are recycled, compared to 54 percent of canned food intended for human consumption.

The company's method of getting the word out on this disconcerting gap? Art made from recycled cat food cans by celebrities.

This week in New York City, more than a hundred artists unveiled the fruits of their labor for the RePURRposed Gallery including Roberta Flack, Twilight's Peter Facinelli, and Kahi Lee from HGTV. Some pieces were pretty cool and have longer lasting appeal; some, well, look like old cat food cans cut up and mashed into weird shapes. (Ah, the subjectivity of art...) But regardless, it's a demonstration of the value of recycling, and just in time for Earth Day.

All of the RePURRposed Gallery artwork will be auctioned starting April 19 at Together We Can Recycle with proceeds going to Keep America Beautiful. In the meantime here are a few to admire:

Purrrfectly Recycled Art
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Purrrfectly Recyclable: An Eco-Reminder to Animal Lovers
Roberta Flack constructed some sort of RoboCat - this futuristic-looking cat predicts a grim outlook for subsequent cuddle time.
Eco-friendly designer Kahi Lee's is inventive - it looks like a pipe from Super Mario Bros. spitting out a piranha flower of pure luminescence.
Peter Facinelli made this kitty-sized motorcycle from recycled cans. Next up: Tiny kitty leather (vegan, leather, of course) jackets?
Actress Jennie Garth made this little aluminum floral arrangement. Try to resist the urge to stop and smell the flowers to minimize the scratch marks.
This line of jewelry is about as "cat fancy" as it gets (and slightly "cat lady").

But back to the importance of recycling -- the statistics Purina provides to encourage pet canned food recycling are pretty eye-opening:

• Recycling aluminum cans saves 95 percent of the energy used to make aluminum cans from virgin materials.

• Recycling one 3-oz. Fancy Feast aluminum can saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for over 2 hours.

• Recycling one 5.5-oz. Friskies aluminum can saves enough energy to power a 30-inch (95W) TV for over 2 hours.

And with an estimated 93.6 million pet cats in the United States, that is a lot of cans and potential energy we're kicking to the curb.
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