Reduce reuse recycle kids

Blogging Bishop

So, in honor of Earth Day 2018 – 10 easy ways each of us can celebrate Earth Day everyday.

  • Follow the 3 R’s. Look for ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout your home. You’ll save natural resources, energy and money, and you’ll reduce waste sent to landfills.
  • Conserve energy at home. From turning off lights and electronics when not in use, to using a programmable thermostat, to changing your air filter regularly, there are many small things you can do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money on your utility bills.
  • Reduce paper waste and junk mail. Think twice before printing things at work and home. You can reduce your mail by using online payment options that avoid paper bills. And there are services that will remove your name from unwanted mailing lists to reduce junk mail.
  • Recycle your electronics. Your old, unused or broken computers, tablets, phones and other electronics can often be recycled for free by stores, manufacturers and local governments, which saves natural resources while also reducing pollution.
  • Give your car a break. Whether you’re commuting to work or running errands, you just might be able to leave your car at home, even a few times a week. Walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation. You’ll save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and get more exercise.
  • Turn off the tap. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or taking a shower, turn off the water when it’s not needed.
  • Replace your bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs may cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they will save money over the long run, last longer, and use up to 90 percent less energy.
  • Bring your own bags to the store. Use a backpack or bag from home, or buy reusable bags that you can keep in your car and use again and again.
  • Buy local. Buying local produce and other items reduces shipping distances from food sourced overseas, and also supports local businesses and communities.
  • Act local. Get involved in environmental work in your local community. Local schools, governments, and non-profit organizations often offer opportunities for volunteers to get involved in cleaning up parks, restoring habitats, and other efforts to make communities greener.

Teaching Our Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rebuy

When kids see the trash from their home being taken away by a garbage collector, it can be hard for them to grasp that this garbage actually ends up somewhere else, like in a landfill, and doesn’t just disappear. But when you adopt environmentally responsible practices in your home, you teach your children not only about where trash ends up, but also how they can work with you to produce less garbage and thereby protect the environment.

Here are some ways to put the four R’s, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rebuy, into practice in your home.

Earth Day Every Day: Reduce

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of waste you create. Take your kids shopping with you and lead by example as you take the following steps to cut down on waste:

  • Say no to disposable shopping bags. Bring your own reusable ones instead.
  • Choose products that have the least amount of packaging.
  • Buy in bulk when purchasing items like laundry detergent, shampoo, pet food, cat litter, and other household items.
  • Buy unpackaged items in loose bins when available, such as tools and produce.
  • Use what you already have instead of buying something new whenever possible.
  • Buy liquid products that are concentrated.
  • Avoid single serving foods that require extra packaging.

Earth Day Every Day: Reuse

To reuse means to continue using the products you have, instead of disposing of them and buying new ones. You can teach your kids to get in the habit of reusing by adopting these policies in your home:

  • Purchase reusable, rather than disposable, products such as mugs, dishes, cloth napkins, and metal flatware instead of paper cups, plates, and napkins, and plastic utensils.
  • Use refillable containers, like water bottles and soap containers, whenever possible.
  • When you must use them, show your kids how to take only as many single-use items, like paper napkins, as they need.
  • Mend clothing and repair appliances and other products so that they can be reused, and have your kids help you sell or donate their used clothing and toys instead of throwing them out.
  • Find creative ways to reuse items you might otherwise throw away. For example, find craft projects for used paper towel rolls, linens, boxes, packaging, and/or empty containers. Or donate them to your child’s school to use.
  • Use both sides of paper when printing from your computer.

Earth Day Every Day: Recycle

Many products are recyclable, meaning they can be made into other products. The environmental officials in your community can tell you about the recycling programs in your area. Teach your kids to place all recyclable items, such as glass, aluminum, steel, paper, and plastic, in the appropriate containers around your home. Sign up for home pickup of your recyclable items or find a local recycling center to drop off these items. Be sure to take your kids along when you do the drop-off. Other ways to teach your kids about the importance of recycling are to:

  • Participate in local environmental initiatives, such as recycling drives.
  • Work with your local environmental officials to establish a recycling program in your area if you don’t already have one.
  • Find local retailers that accept products like used batteries, antifreeze, motor oil, paint cans, plastic bags, and cell phones, and take these items there when you are finished using them.

And to help your kids understand where the trash does go, the Environmental Protection Agency has a Web site for kids called Recycle City.

Earth Day Every Day: Rebuy

Rebuying means purchasing products that have already been used or were recycled. You can show your kids this concept by:

  • Shopping with them for clothing and other products at consignment or thrift stores.
  • Purchasing products that contain recycled materials, like some bottles, cans, bags, paper, glass and dishware, wrapping paper, and other household items.

By adopting the four R’s in your home, your kids will begin to understand the importance of cutting down on the amount of waste they create. Teaching your kids about environmental initiatives, starting with the four R’s, can help them learn lifelong lessons about environmental responsibility.

22 Ways to Recycle for Earth Day

Earth Day is on it’s way- April 22nd. In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing 22 ways in which we can help improve our earth by reducing, reusing, and recycling. We’ve gathered ways to celebrate and recycle for Earth Day!

*Make sure to get the kids involved and help encourage taking care of our planet for years to come!

1. 50 crafts to make with kids to recycle for Earth Day: I’ve gathered all the fun crafts we’ve made here at Make and Takes that include recycled materials. Add a little glue or paint and you’re set for an earth-friendly craft day! Kids will love this Egg Carton Art idea!

2. Always carry reusable grocery bags: I try to carry a scrunched up reusable bag in my purse at all times. I also keep a few cloth bags in the back of my car. It’s super simple to keep them near you and bring into the grocery store!

3. Sew a reusable lunch sack: find some material that needs a little upcycle and turn it into a reusable lunch sack for the kids to take to school.

4. Grow your own wheatgrass for Easter: you can start growing your own wheatgrass now and it will be long and luscious for Easter time. Put this real grass into your baskets to decorate this holiday.

5. Hit the thrift store: here are 4 tips to making your trip to the thrift store a success.

6. Reupholster furniture: instead of buying something brand new, purchase an inexpensive piece of furniture from the thrift store and give it a little TLC as you DIY!

7. Go green with Halloween costumes: find a neighborhood swap for exchanging your Halloween costumes or make a few calls and see if you can borrow this year. This will help your wallet too!

8. Host an earth-friendly party: from sending electronic invites to reusable dinnerware, you can host a fun and fabulous “green” party!

9. Tips to a greener kitchen: follow these tips to a green kitchen and it will save you time and money, as well as the planet.

10. 4 ways to be green at school: turning your engine off as you wait in the carpool line is just one of the ways Sabrena shares how to be green at school.

11. What to do with all the kids art projects: here are a few ways to reuse and recycle your children’s art projects, as they bring home so many from school.

12. Use shoe boxes in your sock drawer: using shoe boxes in a great way to make dividers for a sock and underwear drawer!

13. Maximize your garden with the Square-Foot method: get the most out of your vegetable garden with this fun to do square-foot method!

14. Compost your trash: save what you can from dinner for the compost and add it to your bin. Or do a little research to see if your city has a compostable program or pick up in your area.

15. Host a recycled art challenge: put together your own neighborhood or school recycled art challenge. This will encourage kids to get involved in reusing items for fun craft projects.

16. Set your clothes out to drip dry: in the warm summer months, or depending on where you live, you can set up a good ol’ fashioned clothes line to go green.

17. Bring plastic recycled containers to the beach: this is a great way to reuse your plastic containers and they make for fun sand castle shapes!

18. Make your own bread crumbs: by using up those pesky ends of bread loaves, you can make your own homemade bread crumbs for all sorts of recipes.

19. Glam up old toys: I love the gold glittery craze that’s hitting everything DIY. Turn your children’s old toys into something new with a little paint.

20. Make plastic grocery bag creations: how about making a fun snowman or bunny rabbit with recycled grocery bags

21. Craft with old envelopes: turn your old envelopes into a fun craft for the kids with these darling puppets.

22. Creative with ways to recycle and craft: watch our video sharing how to use up your recycled materials for crafty projects.

A to Z of Food, Health and the Environment

Did you know that we could fill the Albert Hall in London with our waste every two hours?!

And that we could fill Lake Windermere, the largest and deepest lake in England, with our waste every eight months?

For many years, we simply either dumped this waste into landfills (big holes in the ground) or burnt it!

However, we can’t carry on creating this much rubbish, it’s hurting the planet. So we need to find ways to reduce our waste.

It’s easy to do – around 60% of the rubbish that ends up in your dustbin can easily be re-used, recycled or composted.

We can cut the level of our waste by remembering to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle

  • When you’re shopping, always ask yourself, do you need all of that packaging when you’re buying food, or that new carrier bag?
  • When buying food, only buy what you need!
  • Where you can, and when safe, walk more instead of using the car. This reduces the petrol your parents will use!
  • Switch off electrical items, such as your television and games console, when you are not using them – this will reduce the amount of energy you use!
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth – you’ll reduce the amount of clean water being wasted!


  • When you are heading out to the shops, always take with you an old carrier bag. That way, you don’t need to pick up a new one and pay 5p for it!
  • When something is broken, see if you can mend it instead of throwing it away!
  • And if it can’t be mended, see if you can find a new use for it!
  • Give unwanted items to charity!
  • And re-use scrap paper – remember you can always use both sides of a sheet of paper to draw on!


By recycling, we are using materials from things you don’t need any more to make new products.

Did you know that you can make fleeces and shoelaces from old plastic bottles, and that all newspapers are today printed on recycled paper?

And instead of throwing away your food, you can turn it into really useful compost!

  • Always see if you can buy things made from recycled materials
  • Sort all your rubbish so that the glass, tin cans, plastic and paper can be recycled
  • Think about what other things can be recycled at your local recycling centre, like batteries and ink cartridges
  • Use kitchen waste as compost on the garden.

As well as reducing waste, recycling helps save energy.

Some everyday objects you can recycle include:

  • Glass – including bottles and jam jars (but remember to wash them first!)
  • Plastic – not all plastics can be recycled like plastic wrapping cannot be recycled currently. Check with your local council what they recycle!
  • Cardboard – including cereal boxes, packing boxes.
  • Paper – including Christmas and birthday cards, newspapers, envelopes, as well as drawing paper.
  • Mobile phones.
  • Old fruit and vegetables in your compost bin.

If we reduce, reuse and recycle we can save energy and also save money!

Did you know that…?

  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials
  • The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours
  • Up to 80% of a vehicle can be recycled

Recycling also causes less pollution than starting from scratch. For example, if we recycle old bottles we can cut pollution by a fifth and halve the demand for water!

Check out this video for more on how recycling works…

Here’s the SciShow Kids on How Recycling Works:

Header imager source: Kevin Dooley

Here are 10 easy activities for families and kids to reduce, reuse and recycle

Sarah Bowman and Emily Hopkins Indianapolis Star Published 12:05 PM EST Jan 30, 2019

Everyone knows the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But what if I told you that there are actually five? That’s right, before you even get to those three, many folks looking to go green are tacking on “refuse” and “rot” first.

That may seem like a lot, with everything else in our daily lives, and it can be confusing on where to start. But it doesn’t take much, and even just one or two small changes can make a big difference on how “trashy” your family is. So here are 10 things that you can do by yourself or with your family. Outside of lugging your recycling bin to the curb — keep doing that.

Turn those food scraps into compost

So you’re already recycling a bunch of your family’s trash, that’s great, but that leaves a lot of smelly food scraps and dirty napkins in your garbage can. Instead, compost it! (That’s the “rot.”) You can start a compost pile in your back yard in just a few steps and then use it to fertilize your plants. If you don’t have a yard, or another use for the material, there also are some subscription services in Indianapolis — Earth Mama Compost and Green with Indy. They provide you with a bin and then collect your scraps and yard waste on a regular schedule.

Organics and compost are piled together as recycling experts, Kelly Weger, the Lead Service Manager for Sustainability at Purdue University, and Julia Spangler, a Sustainable Events Consultant, go through the Indy Star trash to see how much could be recycled instead of tossed in the landfill, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. The trash audit found that 75 percent of what IndyStar throws away could be recycled or composted. That percentage is typical for the average household, according to the experts. Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar

Participate in clean up

Clean-ups are happening in neighborhoods across Indianapolis. The city partners with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful — called the Great Indy Cleanup — to coordinate with communities, help organize the event and provide resources for the pick-ups. In just the last couple years, nearly four million pounds of litter was cleaned off Indianapolis streets by volunteers. So reach out to find an event in your area, or take charge and plan one of your own. Then get out as a family to take pride in where you live.

Hard to recycle: How Indianapolis officials failed residents

Do a trash audit

If you’re not sure just how many recyclables you’re throwing in the garbage can, or think it can’t actually be that much, challenge yourself to do a trash audit. What is a trash audit, you might ask…. It’s a method to analyze your waste stream with the goal of discovering the types and quantities of waste produced within a certain time frame (and how much you throw out vs. recycle). So gather round, channel your inner raccoon, and follow this easy guide with step-by-step directions on how to do an audit, with some potential suggestions based on your results.

Styrofoam cups technically can be recycled, but most curbside services won’t accept them. Here, recycling experts, Julia Spangler, a Sustainable Events Consultant, left, and Kelly Weger, the Lead Service Manager for Sustainability at Purdue University, right, sort recyclables from the Indy Star trash to see how much could be recycled instead of tossed in the landfill, on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. The trash audit found that 75 percent of what IndyStar throws away could be recycled or composted. That percentage is typical for the average household, according to the experts. Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar

Turn off the tap while brushing teeth

About two gallons of water flow from the tap every minute it runs, so that means you could save as many as five gallons of water a day by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. It doesn’t stop there — turn off the tap while washing your hands or scrubbing dishes. Just those little steps could save hundreds of gallons of water in your house a month (and some change in your pocket, too).

Set a good example with reusable items

The order of the R’s is no coincidence — there’s a reason to reduce and reuse before you recycle. If you can fold items like reusable bags and refillable water bottles into your daily routine, you won’t have to worry about recycling the plastic bags and bottles. There are tons of cute and cool designs for both bags and bottles out there — or make it a family activity to customize your own — and then just make sure you keep them by the door or in the car, ready to use when you need.

Missed economic opportunity: Learn more about Indiana’s recycling industry

Remember that not all recyclables or programs are created equal

So I’m giving you some homework: learn about your city’s recycling program. Each one is a little different in terms of the items collected and how they are supposed to be disposed of. That goes for everyday items such as carton containers and plastic bags — which usually have to be returned to a grocery store — as well as specialty items such as electronics. So make some calls and check out your city’s online resources so your family can be the experts on the block when it comes to recycling.

Some of the unwanted items that have been stowaways on bales for Perpetual Recycling Solutions, Richmond, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. Most of these items were found before causing harm to machinery, but if not caught soon enough, they can force costly production delays. Robert Scheer/IndyStar

Opt out of junk mail

How many of you get so many envelopes in the mail each week that you just end up shredding them, or ripping them up, and throwing them out? It’s a pain for you, but it also is wasting a lot of paper. So to save yourself the hassle, and some trees, opt out of all that mail and set it up so you can do as much of your bills and accounts online. And for those others, like junk mail that you never asked for, take the step to register for the do-not-mail list. This one gets to that very first R, to refuse.

Take a hike or just get outside

Indianapolis has a bunch of great parks and outdoor areas throughout the city, not to mention the dozens of amazing state parks and reserves. Exploring one of those as a family is a fantastic way to get outside and show your kids just what it is that you are protecting by going green. And if you want to take it one step further, bring a bag and join the plogging craze — that is, picking up litter while jogging.

Recycling is worth it: Here are four reasons to lug it to the curb

Watch a documentary

Why not make Friday night a family movie night, with a twist. Take the opportunity to sit down together and watch a documentary about nature or reducing waste. Some of our favorites are Planet Earth, The Story of Bottled Water, Flow or the No Impact Man. All of them give a glimpse behind the scenes of waste in the world and can help you as a family to appreciate nature and be inspired to do something about it. You may even come away with some ideas!


We’re adding a sixth ‘R’ to the list: relax! The realization of all the waste we generate can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to turn zero waste overnight. As Polly Barks, a zero waste blogger in Lafayette, writes, “To expect individual perfection when a perfect system doesn’t exist is silly; zero waste is a catchy term for an eco-movement, not a statement of reality.” We live in a system designed to produce waste, so we shouldn’t feel too much pressure to be perfect. Pick and choose what’s right for your family, and maybe set a goal of trying a new one each month. Just remember that even small changes can make a big difference.

Sarah Bowman and Emily Hopkins cover the environment for IndyStar.

IndyStar’s environmental reporting project is made possible through the generous support of the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.

Published 12:05 PM EST Jan 30, 2019

Follow The 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

R3 reminds you to follow the 3 R’s–Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! R3 is Central Virginia Waste Management Authority’s (CVWMA) recycling mascot and CVWMA is Central Virginia’s Recycling Authority. Many communities throughout Virginia and the U.S. have recycling programs in place. But, recycling is just one part of the equation. Reducing, reusing and recycling go hand in hand to help us all improve our environment.

How many of the activities listed below do you and your family already do? Can you think of other ways you can reduce, reuse or recycle?

Reduce – throw away less by buying only what you need and by buying fewer disposable and over-packaged products.

  • Use washable dishes instead of paper plates and cups.
  • Use a reusable water bottle instead of single serve water bottles.
  • Bring your own bag to the grocery store.
  • Pack a litterless lunch with only containers that can be recycled or washed.
  • Have furniture, toys, and appliances repaired instead of tossing them and getting new ones.

Reuse – use items over and over or give gently used items to others.

  • Reuse containers, bags boxes, tubs, cups, bottles, and jars over and over before discarding or recycling.
  • Pass down outgrown clothing, books, and toys to younger brothers and sisters, donate to charity or have a yard sale.
  • Collect rainwater in a rain barrel to use to water the garden.
  • Take “garbage” and make it into something new to use or to play with.
  • Take your food scraps and yard waste and start a compost bin in your back yard.

Recycle – as much as you can by collecting recyclable materials to be picked up at the curb or taken to a drop-off location and made into new products.

  • Collect paper and beverage containers and find the best way to recycle them in your community so they can be made into recycled paper and new beverage containers.
  • Have your schoolwork with a recycling partner to collect and recycle inkjet cartridges, cell phones, bottle caps or aluminum tabs.
  • Collect aluminum cans and take to your local metal recycler for redemption.
  • Look for the recycling symbol and buy recycled products like recycled content paper, cards, and paper towels.
  • Encourage your parents to look for recycling centers that accept things like tires, batteries, motor oil, paints, and electronics for recycling too.

Why should we bother to reduce, reuse and recycle?

  • It’s easy – Most localities have curbside pick-up or drop-off locations for your recyclables. Contact your locality or visit Earth 911 to find out what you can recycle and where, and recycle more or start today.
  • It saves natural resources – Plastic is made from petroleum, aluminum from an ore called bauxite, tin cans from mostly steel, and paper from trees. Recycling these materials means fewer natural resources need to be mined or harvested. Glass, steel, aluminum, and plastic can be recycled over and over again.
  • It saves money – Recycling saves fuel and transportation costs and saves on garbage disposal fees.
  • It saves energy – Recycling just one aluminum can instead of making it from scratch saves enough energy to run a computer for 3 hours.
  • It saves landfill space – Our landfills are getting full. Putting only materials that can’t be reused or recycled in the trash will make landfills last longer. Plastic, aluminum, paper, and other recyclable materials do us no good trapped in a landfill.
  • It reduces pollution and protects the environment – Recycling reduces air and water pollution and mining waste because it uses less energy and causes less damage to land and water than mining and harvesting.

Want to do more? Try these activities at home from CVWMA’s Kids page:

  • Recycled Paper Making – make your own recycled paper using old scraps and a blender.
  • Recycled Craft Making – be creative, make new toys, games and other items from your trash and recycling.

Want to learn more? Visit these recycling and waste management links:

  • The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority’s website for a list of waste management resources for teachers and topical information about recycling like recycling for fundraising and junk mail reduction.
  • Virginia Trekkers and find out what happens to your garbage at a landfill by taking a virtual tour of a Henrico Landfill OR find out where your recycling goes by visiting a Recycling Center
  • Earth 911 to search what and where you can recycle in an area near you.

Article by: Stephanie Feaser, Public Information Assistant, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority

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