The 4 R’s, they’re for the Environment too? I knew schools had 3 – Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, but I’d forgotten the ones for the environment . . . Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, and Renew.
Dear Earth is a story told in letters, with back matter that’s all about those 4 R’s. They inspired this post. I decided to review the book, and then write about those R’s in my blog.
My Review: http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/review-of-dear-earth-from-your-friends-in-room-5
Part 1 – REDUCE – That’s when you use less of something whenever you can, whether it’s plastic or energy. If you’re a kid, what could you do to make a difference?
Energy is tricky. You’re not driving a car, yet. But, you could turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. You could turn off the TV when you’re done watching. Both things reduce the amount of electricity your family’s using, and best of all, YOU’RE helping the planet! You go, kiddo!
Where do you use plastic? It’s in almost everything from toys to packaging. You could buy fewer toys by picking only the ones you really, really want. I love clothes. Here’s how I buy less. First I ask myself if I really want it (I don’t need any clothes. Ask my husband). Then I make myself wait a week or two after I see it. If I remember it, and I still really want it, I might go back and buy it. If I don’t, I just saved money to buy something else, and that’s a great thing!
Whenever you buy something, look for a way to buy it with less packaging. Did you know you’re paying for each box, plastic container, or cords that it’s in? Here are a couple of things you might see at your house. Which one has the least packaging?
Part 2 – Recycle – That’s when you save things like paper, plastic, glass, and metal. They’re picked up, taken away, and made into something new.
Recycling looks different in different places. It depends on where you live. Some towns pick everything up once a week. Mine does. Every Thursday I put out a tub for paper, and a tub for everything else. Other places have a recycling calendar. You put out different tubs on different days.
If you’re a kid, how can you recycle? First, ask your parents what to save. Then look before you throw things away. If you find something to recycle, make sure you put it in the right tub.
We reduced packaging in Part 1. Now, is there anything you can recycle? Look for paper, plastic, glass, and metals.
Part 3 – Reuse – That’s when you use something again and again until it finally wears out. You could return, reuse, or recycle this coffee cup, but if you’re a kid, what could you reuse?
Think juice box. You can’t reuse them, but you could pick out a cup that you could use over and over again. Think paper – if you used the front, you could draw or write something on the back. I do that with every video script I write.
Think crayon! When they break in two, you get 2 crayons, and you can color differently with them. Like on the side. It looks cool, with a different kind of texture. You can’t do that with a brand-new one. These are all little things, but lots of kids, doing lots of little things, can help the planet! You go, kiddo!
In this post, we’ve reduced and recycled. Look at those packages again. Do you see anything you could reuse? Get ready to get creative!
Kids are creative! I bet you can think of more ideas to reuse trash. My suggestion, before you throw something away, think of how you can use it again!
Part 4 – Renew – That’s when you can make something new again, or you use resources that will never run out. They’re always available, like the wind and the sun. They’re both considered clean energy, but they have problems too. Did you know bats are endanger because of windmills? The blades hit them when they’re out hunting for bugs to eat.
You can’t build windmills or solar panels, but can kids help to renew our planet? Think about cleaning up someplace where people litter. It could be a playground, a beach, or a street in your neighborhood. Think planting a tree. They breathe in the carbon dioxide we give off, and they give us oxygen. We’d die without it.
Think composting! That’s what you can do with leftover food, leaves, yard clippings, even newspaper. You put them in a box, or in a corner of your yard. Then you let nature take over. Decomposers like worms and bacteria will break down that waste and turn it into fertilized soil that you can use in your garden. Maybe, that compost heap is already there!
One of these packages can’t be renewed, but the other 4 can. Can you find the nonrenewable package?
The Juice Cans are the only nonrenewable, but you can recycle them. The other 4 – Juice Box, Egg Cartons, Valentine Box, and Milk Carton are made of cardboard. You can plant more trees to replace the ones cut down.
My conclusions . . . I was born in 1959, before the 4R’s. Back then people were beginning to think about pollution and the environment. No one recycled when I was a kid.
Fast forward 60 years, and people are using the 4R’s. Imagine where we’ll be in another 60? Green energy is new, but so was the automobile in the early 1900’s. Look how far they’ve come! I think the same will be true for green energy. It takes time and innovation to build new technology.
For now, I’ll keep doing those small things I’m doing, but I’m not alone. Lots of people all over the world are doing them too, and that gives me hope that things will improve. Here’s to tomorrow!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!