card
156

reduce, reuse, recycle

OLogy Series
tool
card
156

reduce, reuse, recycle

OLogy Series
tool

Want to turn something old into something new? Recycle the materials that you use every day, reduce the amount of stuff that you throw away, and use it over again! Instead of throwing old newspapers, cans, and bottles into a dump, you can recycle them or use them again to create something else. The less you use and the more you reuse, the better off the environment will be.

How Long Have People Been Recycling?
By studying the ruins of ancient cultures, we know that recycling has been around for thousands of years. Long ago, people discovered that they could melt down broken pots or swords and use the liquid metal to make new items. During World Wars I and II, citizens collected used paper and metal, and these materials were used to help the war effort. Since the 1970s, concern about the environment has grown. Recycling has become popular and is supported by local, state, and federal laws. In most other countries, people have to reuse and recycle materials just to survive. Many children make their own toys out of discarded aluminum cans and pieces of string.

How much garbage does the average family in the United States throw away per year?

20 pounds

200 pounds

2,000 pounds

Are you right?

Correct!

In developed countries like the United States, the average family throws away one ton of garbage per year. Most of it consists of packaging materials and paper that can be recycled into other products. Buy things with less packaging!

Eleanor Sterling

Buy fewer things and of better quality so they will last longer. "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" is a good motto if you want to help the environment.

When garbage trucks take your trash away, it disappears from Earth forever.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

The garbage you throw away usually goes to a landfill. It's dumped into deep holes in the ground where it can take thousands of years to break down.

Nature can recycle its own waste.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Nature has its own way of cleaning up after itself! For example, when a mouse dies, fly larvae will eat and decompose the mouse until there's nothing left.

reduce, reuse, recycle
Types of recyclable materials: aluminum, glass, plastics, paper, clothing, food
How: recyclable materials are picked up in a truck and taken to a recycling plant where they will be made into new products
Where: in countries throughout the world
Significance: helps create less waste, puts less stress on the environment, and saves energy

Image credits: Eric Hamilton; Eleanor Sterling: courtesy of AMNH.