The next time you are doing something creative, take a look at what happens to the left-overs. It doesn’t matter whether you are painting a picture, making dinner, or cleaning up. Whenever you create something you are making more that you didn’t mean to make – let’s call that waste.
Waste can be the muddy brown water in which you clean your paintbrush, the package your lunch snacks came in, or whatever mess you have just cleaned up. Most people don’t even notice this and just toss it in the garbage. This wouldn’t be a problem if there was only one person on earth, but look at how many people are around your house, your neighborhood, and your school. It’s not just about you.
For example, let’s say you stand in the middle of the cafeteria at your school, all alone, and you want to be as dangerous as you can be. Make fists and wave your arms like crazy. If you’re all alone, you’ll never hurt anyone no matter what. Now, fill that cafeteria with everyone in your school, and have them be as dangerous as they can. What happens? Someone gets hurt.
The waste we make is like that. It’s not much of a problem if one person does it, but if everyone does it you can be sure the waste everyone makes will add up to a big problem. The best way to take care of this problem is to reduce the amount of waste you make. Some things can be re-used, such as glass in place of a paper cup. Still other things like cans can be melted down to make new like a pop can melted into another pop can-that’s called recycling.
Most important, however, is to try to reduce the amount of waste you create, and remind everyone at home and school to do the same. This is your chance to do something that will really help the earth, not just in your neighborhood, but also in the neighborhoods of everyone that you remind to pay attention. Use the resources in the Resource Box to help you help the earth.
Green Guardian for Kids
Environmental Kids Club
Kids Page, pca.state.mn.us/kids
Create Less Trash at School Handout, download at www.reduce.org or call 651-215-0232 or 800-877-6300 to obtain multiple copies.
Ollie Saves the Planet interactive video. To order contact recycleminnesota.org/htm/ollie.htm or call 651-641-4560.
Eco Education, 1295 Bandanda Blvd.
St. Paul, MN, 651-222-7691