A
Little Recycling Goes A Long Way (Grade Levels: 58)
Earth Day Concepts: Overview
 What We
Do Adds Up
Recycling
 M&Ms
 Fish Pond
 Answers 
Career Connections
 More Math Concepts
It turns out
that much of what we throw away as garbage that eventually ends up in
landfills can be recycled. This includes paper and cardboard, glass,
and cans that can be recycled and yard clippings that can be com posted.
What's
in a Bag?
When
a person buys something at a store, a cashier usually
puts it in a bag, paper or plastic. Did you know that
plastic bags are generally not degradable? If we throw
them in a landfill and waited 200 years, or even 2000
years from now, and dig them up, most plastic bags would
still be there as plastic bags.
Paper
sacks are reusable and recyclable, but they cost more
than plastic. It takes a 1520 year old tree to create
700 grocery sacks! Almost everyone goes to the store
and buys something. If each of our families decided
that once a month we would not take a bag at the store
(use one less bag than normal), would that be much work?
Would it make much of a difference?
1.
For your class, how many bags would you "save" in year?
2.
How long would it take for your class to "save a tree"?
3.
Suppose you get each student in your school to do this
for a year. How many trees would your school save?
4.
Now suppose that this became a habit for the people
in your school. Sort of like brushing your teeth. And
everyone in your school did this for the next ten years.
How many trees would the students from your school save?
The
News About Papers!
Even
with all our technology, we still use a lot of paper.
5.
In 1996, the U.S. mills recycled 34.3 million tons of
paper. This represents about 45% of the total paper
produced. How much paper was produced in 1996?
6.
In 1989, it was estimated that on average each U.S.
citizen used about 580 pounds of paper a year. The U.S.
population in 1996 was about 265.2 million. Given these
figures, is the average person using more or less paper
in 1996 than in 1986? On average, how much paper
did each person use in 1996?
7.
Estimate how can you figure out how much paper your
school uses per person.
8.
Estimate how can you figure out how much paper your
school recycles.
Resources:
The EPA: Recycle City
50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth. Berkeley, CA,. The Earth Works Group, 1989.
