|1. Reduce and Reuse.
Buying less is one of the best ways to reduce trash. Like buying toys or food that is packaged in the smallest amount of packaging, or none at all. Don’t buy stuff that you’ll need to throw away, like paper plates or plastic utensils.
Also, there are lots of ways to reuse items instead of filling up our trash cans. We can pack “Earth safe” lunches with reusable lunch bags. Rechargeable batteries can be used over and over. Washable dishes can be used for years. Reuse a sponge or rag for cleaning up spills instead of using paper towels. How many shopping bags do you collect each week? Use a reuseable one instead and help the Earth.
|3. Shop Green.
When you shop, check out the Earth safe items before you check out. Look for products made out of recycled materials or that are reusable or that can be easily recycled. School notebooks, napkins, toilet tissue, and all kinds of paper products are made out of recycled paper. Even toys can be made from recycled plastic.
Buying "green" also means buying household products that are not toxic or hazardous. Lots of paints and cleaning products are very hard to dispose of and can hurt the Earth and the people on it. Read labels carefully! Buy safe paints!
Recycle means making stuff that would otherwise become trash, into useful items. Park benches and building materials can be made out of recycled soda bottles. Old paper can be made into new paper, so be sure not to throw paper (even junk mail) into your trash. Soup cans can be made into something new - like a swing set, so don’t throw them away. Recycle them!
New things are becoming recyclable each year. Did you know that juice boxes are recyclable in some cities? Be an internet detective and learn where you can recycle plastic bags, styrofoam, glass, plastic bottles, steel, aluminum, newspapers, and other items in your city.
4. Compost Power.
At home or school find a spot to make a compost pile. It’s a way to turn dead leaves and plants and even certain kitchen scraps (no meat or milk products) into rich “power dirt” instead of dumping it into your garbage. Every few weeks add a little water to the pile and mix it all up. In a few months your “power dirt” will look like soil and act like a fertilizer for your lawn or garden.
When you mow your grass, you should keep grass clippings on the lawn - not in the trash. It’s good for the lawn! In some communities, some of the big stuff like large branches can be dropped off at composting centers. Find out what Kentwood Elementary did with BEartha! Check it out!
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