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Go Green - Help Our Earth!

Trash, garbage, waste, refuse, debris, rubbish. These are all terms for items that we don’t want anymore. We throw them away. Where do they go?

More than half of the garbage we throw away ends up in landfills. Landfills are holes built into the earth with liners to contain the trash. But the trash doesn’t go anywhere; it doesn’t break down. Plus, is there enough room on our planet to continue burying huge amounts of garbage?

Some garbage is burned in an incinerator. This produces harmful chemicals that are released into the air.

Billions of pieces of trash end up in our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Floating trash gathers into huge garbage patches in the ocean. One patch in the Pacific Ocean is twice the size of Texas! Most of the floating trash is plastic, which doesn’t decompose. The garbage patch may be in the ocean forever. Sometimes dolphins, seabirds or other animals mistake the garbage for food. Plastic can’t be digested, their stomachs get blocked, and the animals die.

Keep in mind the three R’s!

  • Reduce – buy and use only what you need
  • Reuse – find a second use for trash
  • Recycle – buy recycled products and take your paper, plastics, and glass to be recycled

So instead of throwing something away, why not try to reuse it? Or recycle it? And reduce - think before you buy. Keep in mind how much packaging goes with the product.

Did You Know?

  • Aluminum can be recycled over and over again.
  • Recycling a stack of newspaper just 3 feet high saves one tree.
  • Every day we throw out enough garbage to fill 63,000 garbage trucks.
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
  • Recycling cardboard only takes 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard.

Check These Out!

Reducing Waste
Flounders, Anne
Where does all the garbage go and why is it important to cut back on waste? Discover why waste is creating problems for Earth and how you can help reduce, reuse, and recycle now. Includes step-by-step ideas for taking action, different points of view, an up-close look at relevant careers, and more.
Polluted Oceans
Lawrence, Ellen
Introduces issues of pollution due to the dumping of garbage, chemicals, and other things into the seas.
What Does It Mean to Go Green?
Aloian, Molly
In this overview book, fact-filled text and child-centered examples explain the threats that the Earth faces and encourage readers to be inspired activists for environmental change.
Helping the Environment
Parker, Victoria
Young readers learn ways in which to help the environment and why this is important.


To learn more, check these websites: 

Benefits of Recycling

Go Green

Garbage Facts

Recycling Facts