Earn Your Sea Snail Badge
Now that you know how animals, nutrients, and trash move through the ocean and around the world, let's earn our sea snail badge by learning more about recycling and what we can do about all that pollution!
Where does your garbage go?
Have you ever wondered where your garbage goes when you throw it away? Where is "away" exactly? There is no "away." All that trash goes somewhere. Let's learn about the many ways we deal with all that garbage we throw away.
That's a lot of trash!
The problem of pollution is a big one. It might seem like too big of a problem for one person. That's somewhat true. We'll talk more about how we can take action to get the biggest polluters to clean up their messes later. But there are steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment.
What can I do?
Recycling is one way to keep trash out of the ocean. Every time you throw something away ask yourself, "Where is this going? Can it be reused? Did I really need it or was there a better option?" Asking these questions keeps you curious about your impact on the world around you. It might not seem like much, but small actions add up to making a difference.
Remember the 5 R's to Save the Environment
We often think recycling is number one on the list for being eco-friendly. But in Lucky & Jim's Clean-Up Club it's actually last. Before throwing it in the bin, see if you can do these 4 things in order, leaving recycling as the 5th and final option for disposing of your trash.
Learning to refuse wasteful or non-recyclable products can take some practice. Try saying "no thank you" to single-use plastics, like straws or plastic bags, and things you don't really need. Refusing is the best way to help fix our pollution problem because it prevents it from entering your home in the first place.
The second best option for tackling our pollution problem is to reduce the amount of garbage we create. Start with only buying what you need. Try growing some of your own food to
Try to repair, mend , or patch your items before throwing them away. Instead of plastic grocery bags, try reusable canvas shopping bags that are more durable and can be reused over and over again. Paper towels can be replaced with cloth. Plastic bottled water can be replaced with a glass or stainless steel bottle.
Don't throw that banana peel in the trash! An important step in the 5 r's is composting! You can turn those food scraps into nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden. Even if you live in a studio apartment in a big city, there are ways to compost some of your food scraps, cardboard, and newspaper. Worm bins and Bokashi Bins make great indoor composters and take up little space.
RECYCLE THE REST
If it can't be refused, reduced, reused, or rotted, see if it can be recycled before throwing it in the garbage bin.
LET'S FIND OUT...
You might know that metal, glass and plastic and paper can be recycled. But what about other things like food? Composting is a great way to keep food waste out of landfills and actually improve the soil.
CAN IT BE COMPOSTED?
old flower bouquets
brown paper bags
Many cities offer recycling and even composting services. Where does your glass, metal, and plastic go? Is there a composting option for city dwellers? Does your school recycle? See if you can find out!
Did you find out if your city has recycling services? What type of materials do they collect? Make a list of these materials in your scientist notebook. List the items you had for lunch today, including any packaging such as cans, plastic wrap, napkins, and more. Put a green check mark beside the items that can be composted, a brown check mark beside the items that are easily recycled, and a red x beside the items that must go in the trash.
Record these words and their definitions in your scientist notebook
Books to Explore
YOU DID IT!
You successfully completed level nine by learning where our trash goes and the basics of composting! Don't forget to add your newly earned badge to your achievement chart before getting started on the next level.
Now that you know more about how your trash is handled, let's dive a bit deeper and earn your next badge.