Clean Up The Earth!
Recycling is a word that you hear a lot these days. Chances are your parents, teachers, and even some of your friends believe in recycling. Maybe they even recycle on a regular basis; but have you wondered what exactly it means to recycle? When and why did people start recycling in the first place? Recycling means taking something old and turning it into something that's new. This can be a soda can, a plastic bag, or even some of your old toys.
Recycling has been around for years and some believe that it goes all the way back in time to 400 B.C.! But, over the years people didn't always recycle. When times were hard people recycled their old items because they couldn't afford to buy something new. When people made a lot of money, times were good and they forgot about recycling. Instead, they threw away their old items and would buy something new. Today people recycle for a lot of different reasons, no matter how much money they have. They understand that it's important to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Some people call this the "Three Rs," and it means to reduce how much garbage you make, reuse some things if you can, and recycle what you can't reuse to turn it into something new for someone else.
Benefits of Recycling
There are plenty of benefits when it comes to recycling. These benefits are good for everyone, even animals and the environment. Recycling creates jobs so that grown-ups can make money for their families. It also makes the streets cleaner by reducing the amount of litter. Garbage is usually dumped into landfills. These are big plots of land where garbage is dumped over and over again. Excess garbage causes pollution in the air and water. It also uses a lot of energy. Reducing the amount of garbage that goes into the landfills, reducing pollution, and saving energy are all benefits. Recycling also saves animals too. Did you know that birds can get trapped in plastic? This can hurt them badly. Saving animals from getting hurt by human trash is another major benefit of recycling.
- Kids Recycling Zone – Facts About Recycling
- RecycleZone – Why Bother?
- Upcycling Your Recycling
- What's Up With Trash?
- Why Recycle?
What Can be Recycled
Most things that you come into contact with can be recycled. Sometimes, the people who've made an item will put a recycle symbol on it so that you know that it is recyclable. It might also say on the package that it can be recycled. Other things you might not be so sure about. Some of the common things that you can recycle include items made of glass, plastic, paper, aluminum and steel. Don't forget your electronic items! These can be recycled too. Things like cellphones, game consoles, and old computers shouldn't be thrown away. Instead, they can be taken to recyclers that accept these types of items. Leaves, grass and other parts of a plant can also be recycled. So can leftover food scraps, like vegetables and peelings from fruit. If you mix these items together you can create compost. Compost is what you get when food scraps mixed with leaves, twigs, grass and plants that have died. This mixture of garbage is put in a special container until it breaks down. What's left is the compost and when mixed with dirt it can make it more nutritious. This is useful when planting a vegetable or flower garden.
- NIEHS Kids Pages - Recycle
- Children of the Earth United - Paper
- EekoWorld: Garbage and Recycling
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Just for Kids - What are Recyclable Materials?
- Ollie Saves the Planet – Recycle
Recycling has a positive impact on the environment. Excess garbage creates air pollution. Pollution is one of the reasons for global warming. Global warming is the changes that are happening in the climate around the world. This means that places that used to be cold are starting to get warmer. It also means that places that used to be warmer are starting to get colder. By recycling garbage and other items, you can help slow down climate changes. Recycling also prevents chemicals that are in some items from leaking. Chemicals can make people sick and may even get into the water. It also reduces the amount of trash that ends up in landfills. Much of the garbage in landfills can take over 1,000 years to break down and decompose. Because items are being recycled, less natural resources are being consumed.
- Recycle4Kids: Environmental Facts
- Kids Love LA and Keep it Clean – Fun Facts Environment
- KidsFace: Mission Recycle
- Washington State Department of Ecology Kids Page: Recycling Facts and Trivia
- Fun Zone: Why Should we Recycle?
How to Get Involved
Now that you've read about recycling, you might be excited about helping out. There are many ways that kids can participate in recycling. If your parents don't already recycle, teach them what you've learned and tell them you want to do your part. If you have a garden, learn about composting. When you go shopping with your parents, help them look for items that are recyclable. Talk to your parents about donating your old toys and clothes to charity. There are a lot of kids that don't have enough clothing or toys of their own. You can help another kid stay warm or make them happy, just by recycling things that you don't use anymore. If you like to make art or crafts, you can use recyclable items for a fun project, like a bird house.
- Green Planet 4 Kids: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at Home
- Ta Te Tu: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Kids Can Recycle Beverage Containers Too! PDF
- The Five Elements of the Big Green Help – Recycle and Precycle
- EEK! Recycle and Beyond: What You Can Do
- Recycling Organizations of North America
- National Recycling Coalition
- The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers
- Northeast Recycling Council
- EPA: Recycle City
- National Geographic Kids: Recycle Roundup
- Look After Your Planet Game
- My Garbology – Where Does the Waste Go?
- Kids Be Green.org