Since Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson back in 1970, Americans have seen an abundance of changes in the way they live. Community recycling is more prevalent than ever, the President is calling for "green jobs" and hybrid cars are all the rage.

The beverage industry is proud to help lead the private sector in the quest for a more sustainable future. Not only are our industry's beverage containers 100 percent recyclable (as they have been for some time), but our companies are finding more ways than ever to "lightweight" or further reduce the amount of material resources it takes to make them.

We're also using our "marketing muscle" to encourage consumers to recycle, a commitment that is a component of our comprehensive Full Circle Plan to reinvigorate recycling in America. You may have heard of Coca-Cola's "Give it Back" recycling initiative or PepsiCo's "Have we met before?" campaign to encourage recycling. Those are just parts of the effort being made by the beverage industry to improve and enhance recycling in communities across the country. Full Circle also is helping encourage best practices on recycling for communities. We're using fully recyclable containers for our products, working to make the convenience of comprehensive curbside recycling available in more communities, and encouraging consumers to recycle more. In short, we're doing our part so it's easier for consumers to do their part and recycle.

And those green jobs of the future that President Obama seeks? Our industry is already providing them. Our companies are expanding their delivery fleets to include hybrid vehicles, creating green jobs not only for those who drive them but for those who make them, design them and maintain them. They are also building new recycling facilities and LEED-certified buildings, providing green jobs for the construction industry. And their state-of-the-art manufacturing processes are saving energy and creating a market for manufacturing companies that can develop these resource-efficient processes.

To learn more about what ABA member companies are doing, check out their Web sites. This Earth Day, we tip our hat to the man who started it all, and salute the millions of people around the world who are learning how easy it is to impact the environment in a positive way. So next time you drink your favorite beverage, remember to "Think Inside the Bin" and recycle the container. Check out the American Beverage Association's recycling site to see "what you can do" to help the environment.

If we all do our part to protect and enhance the environment, we can collectively make a difference. Even if it's by recycling one bottle and can at a time. Happy Earth Day, America. Join us in making a difference, not just today but every day.