Why Do I Need to Recycle? LESSON 1

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1 Why Do I Need to Recycle? LESSON 1

2 Recycling Benefits Everyone The earth has a limited amount of space with limited resources that must sustain us all. We cannot keep wasting our resources and polluting our land! Recycling is the answer. When we recycle our newspapers, bottles and cans, we are saving these materials for future use. When you waste these materials, you could be trashing your grandchildrens future! Recycling conserves energy as well as resources. Recycling one ton of paper saves 4,100 kilowatts of electricity. There are also economical reasons for recycling. Recycling reduces waste disposal costs and creates employment opportunities. What Can Be Recycled? These are just a FEW of the many things that can be recycled and/or reused: Plastic Paper (newspaper, office/school paper, corrugated cardboard, magazines, catalogs, telephone directories and unwanted "junk" mail) Aluminum Tin and steel cans Glass (clear and colored) Yard waste Computers and other electronics Motor oil Car batteries Recycling Conserves Energy We all know that people produce a lot waste and that it s necessary to recycle as much as we can to keep from filling up our nation s landfills too quickly. But did you also know that the simple act of recycling saves as much as 95 percent of energy? Preserving our planet s natural resources and promoting a healthy environment depend on our efforts to conserve energy. Recycling is just one of the many things you can do to stay energy efficient. Did you know? Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours. Recycling 1 glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours. Production of recycled paper saves 60 percent more energy than production of virgin, or new, paper. Production of recycled aluminum saves 95 percent more energy than virgin, or new, aluminum. Production of recycled glass saves 50 percent more energy than virgin glass.

3 How Long Will Litter Last? Aluminum cans years Glass bottles ,000,000 years Plastic bags years Plastic jug ,000,000 years Tin soup can years Disposable diaper years Rubber boot sole years Leather years Wool sock year Orange and banana peels weeks Cigarette butts years How Do You Recycle? By now, we all know that recycling benefits everyone, but are there specific guidelines about what should or should not be recycled? Contact your local recycler for specific details in your area, but below are some things to keep in mind when recycling: Make sure things are clean. Rinse bottles and cans, and keeping boxes out of the weather makes them easier to process. Pay attention to what goes into your bin. A cereal box would be great, but a greasy pizza box might not be best. Make sure you take the caps off of plastic jugs and bottles. Instead of throwing out your yard waste, create a mulch pile to save room in the landfill. Things you probably won t want to recycle: styrofoam, light bulbs, food-soiled paper, wax paper and ceramics. Did You Know? All steel products are 100 percent recyclable. Recycling aluminum reduces energy use by 90 percent. Recycling paper reduces air pollution by 74 percent. For every pound of recycled PET flake used, energy use is reduced by 84 percent and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 71 percent.

4 Test Your Environmental IQ 1. What is smog made of? a. Frog burps b. fog and smoke 2. Factories produce a. pollution b. oxygen 3. Which is healthier a. riding your bike b. driving an 18-wheeler 4. Carbon dioxide is a. a garden shed liquid b. a greenhouse gas 5. Are potatoes a fossil fuel? YES NO 6. A solar farm makes suns. YES NO 7. The world is getting warmer. YES NO 8. Recycling is a. running around in circles b. re-using rubbish and not throwing it away 9. Can you help the environment? YES NO

5 What Can Be Recycled Instructions: Draw as many recyclable items as you can to fill the recycling bin.

6 Litter Bag We all know litter is bad, but is some litter worse than others? Have your students break up into groups of 4-6 and give each group a litter bag containing the listed items in the box below. Each group should empty their bag and discuss how each item should be disposed of (recycled, reused, composted, trashed, etc.), which are the best and worst for the environment, how the items hurt their community if not disposed of properly, etc. When all the groups have finished, have them report their decisions to the class. On the blackboard, keep track of the reasons for choosing items as undesirable. Have them define litter and why they believe litter is undesirable. You Will Need: Paper bag Disposable cup Small glass bottle String Leaves, sticks, etc. Snack/chip bag Plastic six-pack yoke Candy bar wrapper Balloon Orange peel Paper Soda can or bottle

7 Can You Find These Words? There are some materials in our homes that can be recycled. Some of these materials may be found in the puzzle below. They may appear forward, backward, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Aluminum Cans Lead Steel Asphalt Leaves Tin Cans Brass Metals Tires Cars Motor Oil Wood Concrete Newspaper Zinc Copper Office Paper Glass Paper Gold Plastic Iron Rags Jars D E A G N C O N C R E T E P T R M O T O R O I L S F O S I C U W F Z K L U O T N X S R H O V L F C J Z D G W A I E T D R R T I N C A N S L C S I A A R E S C O P P E R N M M B C E U P H E G X O Z O W U E V L L G A D P A P E R S Q N T A T L A P L A S T I C S W I A J L Z T S T P I Z U H T O M L M A W E W B E C U B D E O U S I H R D E G R A G S T E D L N D P Z S N F D A W A O L E A V E S P Q C E O X S U H A J C H C A R S E C T A S S A L G F Y Z I N C

8 Decode the Message Solve the following math problems. Then find the letter in the key that matches the answer to solve the coded message = I = L = K = D = N = E = O = P = C = R = F = S = G = A = T = B = U = Y !!!

9 Color the Can Guy Fast Fact from the Can Guy: More than 50 percent of a new aluminum can is made from recycled aluminum.

10 Don t Trash Electronics Not only are electronics bad to put into the landfill, they are filled with valuable resources and materials including metals, plastic and glass. So, instead of throwing them out, donate them to a charitable organization or recycle them. You ll conserve natural resources, decrease pollution and possibly help someone in need. It s a win-win! Did you know? Recycling one million laptops saves energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,600 homes in a year! For every million cell phones we recycle, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold, and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered. It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuel, 48 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water to manufacture a computer and monitor. A laser ink cartridge can take up to 450 years to decompose in a landfill. Challenge Take a look around your house and classroom. What electronic items do you see that can be donated or recycled instead of trashed? Make a list of these items, and come up with a plan to properly dispose of them when you replace them.

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