A Teacher’s Guide to Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Unit 1, Chapter 1.2, Products. The Quest for Less. S k ills U sed*. S.
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2Recycled/Recyclable-Printed with Vegetable Oil Based Inks on 100% (Minimum 50% postconsumer) Recycled Paper. United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (5305W) Washington, DC 20460 EPA530-R-05-005 June 2005 www.epa.gov/osw 1EPA Activities and Resources for Teaching K-8 A Teacher™s Guide to Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling
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iiDDi is sc cl la ai im me er r: Publication of this document by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not constitute an endorsement of any specific consumer product. LLi in nd da a M M. . B Ba at te es sEEr rn ne es st t T T. . B Bo oy yd dAAm my y C Ca ab ba an ni is ss sAAu ug gu us st t O O. . C Cu ur rl le ey yJJa am me es s L L. . E El ld de er rMMo on ni ic ca a E El ll li is sEEr ri ic c F Fe er rg gu us so on nKKr ri is st ti in n L L. . G Go on ni ia a- -L La ar rk ki in nDDr r. . J Jo oe e E E. . H He ei im ml li ic ch hWWi il ll li ia am m H Ho of ff fm ma an nJJo oh hn n L La ag gn ne es se ePPa at tr ri ic ci ia a M Mc cG Gr ra an na ah ha an nSSh he er rr ry y M Mi id dd dl le em mi is s- -B Br ro ow wn nWWa an nd da a O Ow we en ns sJJe er ri i P Po ol ll lo oc ck kPPe et te er r S Sc ch hm mi id dt tLLi is sa a S Si ie eg gm ma an nHHa ar ro ol ld d S Si is sk ki in nd dCCh he er ry yl l S St ta an nc co oSSh he er rr ry y W We ei in nb be er rg gSpecial ThanksThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste would like to thank all of the teachers and students who contributed their thoughts and ideas to the development of the first edition of this resource in 1998 and 1999. Focus groups with teachers and students were held in Kansas City, Kansas; Alexandria, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. We would also like to extend thanks to a very special group of educators who served as a review panel for this resource during its development from May 1999 through July 2000:In addition, EPA would also like to thank the following reviewers who helped in the development of the 2005 version of this document:MMa ar ry y S S. . A Al ll le en nRecycling and Education Director Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County Glenview, IL AAn na a C Ca ar rv va al lh ho oRecycling Specialist City of San Diego Environmental Services Department San Diego, CAAAn nd dr re ea a E Ea at to on nResource Efficiency Manager Tetra Tech EM Inc. San Diego, CALLe en n F Fe er re en nc ce ePrincipal Mechanicsburg Middle School Mechanicsburg, PA And finally, EPA would like to acknowledge the very special contribution of William E. Gooding, Jr., an AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) intern with the Office of Solid Waste from August 2004 to August 2005, to the Quest for Less revision. We appreciated his hard work and dedication to the task!
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iiiThe Quest for Less Welcome About This Resource The Quest for Less is designed for teachers ingrades K-8 to use as one of the many tools in the development of lesson plans. Activities and con- cepts in this resource can be incorporated into existing curricula, or teachers can create special week-long units on the environment and solid waste or use the activities to commemorate Earth Day. This guide provides hands-on lessons and activ- ities, enrichment ideas, journal writing assignments, and other educational tools relat- ed to preventing and reducing waste. Its multidisciplinary focus includes math, science, art, social studies, language arts, and health. Lessons encourage students to utilize skills ranging from reading and writing to problem- solving and analytical thinking. This resource introduces the idea of naturalresources as a source for many products that become solid waste; explains the quantity and type of waste products create; and reviews the common methods of managing solid waste, including recycling, composting, landfilling, incinerating, and preventing waste in the first place. It also includes some information about hazardous waste.Each chapter in The Quest for Less includes oneor more fact sheets that provide background information on a topic and an index showing the grade ranges, subject areas, and skills used for each activity. Each activity, in turn, provides a suggested duration, materials needed, and other helpful information for teachers. A glossary of terms and a glossary of skills can be found at the end of the resource. Goals of This Resource •To stimulate young people to think critically about their own actions and the results of their actions and to assess their own resource conservation and waste preven- tion values.•To help young people understand the con- nections among the use of natural resources, use of products, waste disposal, and causes and effects of environmental impacts.•To help students understand the hierarchy of preferred waste management options and students’ role in the different options (e.g., reducing, reusing, and recycling are better than throwing things away).•To introduce and explain behaviors that con- serve resources, reduce environmental impacts, and enhance sustainability such as source reduction, recycling, buying recycled, buying with less packaging, and composting. •To help protect children’s health through increased awareness and behavioral changes related to the safe use, storage, and disposal of household products con- taining hazardous constituents, such as cleaners, pesticides, and batteries.•To help students understand the concept of personal responsibility toward the environ- ment and to inspire them to make a positive environmental impact in their home, school, and community. •To make solid waste education interesting, fun, and an integral part of environmental education.
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ivWelcome The Quest for Less Why Should Kids Learn AboutSolid Waste? Despite the fact that individuals and communitiesare recycling more than ever, each person in the United States continues to generate about 4.4 pounds (EPA, 2003; 2001 data) of municipal solid waste per day! This statistic emphasizes the continuing need to teach the next generation about reducing waste and to energize schools and communities to promote environmental awareness.Because municipal solid waste issues are inti-mately connected with resource and energy use, global climate change, air pollution, water pollu- tion, and other concerns, lessons and activities in The Quest for Less can be incorporated intoother environmental or ecological concepts. For example, kids can learn the connection between recycling an aluminum can and saving energy. They can also learn how their families’ purchas- ing decisions impact what manufacturers produce and sell. And they can learn how the consumption ofmaterial goods contributes to air and water pollution.SourcesIn developing this resource, EPA used the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE’s) Guidelines for Excellencein Environmental Education Materialsas a guid-ing principle. NAAEE’s guidelines address educational standards for fairness and accuracy, depth, skills building, action orientation, instruc- tional soundness, and usability. Information about the organization can be obtained by visit- ing
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vA-Way With Waste, Fourth Edition, Washington State Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program. Available online:
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viiThe Quest for Less Contents Contents UNIT 1AT THE SOURCE: WHERE PRODUCTS COME FROM, HOW THEY’RE MADE, AND THE WASTE THEY PRODUCE. . 1Chapter 1.1: Natural Resources .3Teacher Fact Sheet: Natural Resources .5Nature Romp (Grades K-1) ..11An Ecosystem Escapade (Grades 1-3).13Dr. Seuss and Resource Use (Grades 2-3) .15Sources of Resources (Grades 5-6) 17How Many People Does It Take to Ruin an Ecosystem? (Grades 5-6)19Chapter 1.2: Products..23Teacher Fact Sheet: Products .25A Matching Match (Grades K-1) ..29Tracing Trash Back to Its Roots (Grades 3-4) ..31Putting Products Under the Microscope (Grades 5-6) 35Let’s Go Eco-Shopping (Grades 4-8) .39A Product’s Life (Grades 7-8) .43Chapter 1.3: Waste .45Teacher Fact Sheet: Solid Waste ..47Teacher Fact Sheet: Hazardous Waste .51Beware of Mr. Yuk (Grades K-1) ..55Trash Art (Grades K-3) ..59Weigh Your Waste! (Grades 4-6) .63Trash Time Travelers (Grades 4-6) .67(Hazardous) Waste Not (Grades 5-6) 71UNIT 2WASTE MANAGEMENT: SOURCE REDUCTION, RECYCLING, COMPOSTING, LANDFILLING, OR COMBUSTION..75Chapter 2.1: Source Reduction .77Teacher Fact Sheet: Source Reduction .79Discovering Nature’s Packaging (Grades K-1) ..83Reuse: Not Just for the Birds (Grades K-4) 85Source Reduction Roundup (Grades 3-6) ..87Ecological Picnic (Grades 3-4) .91How Much Lunch Is Left Over? (Grades 5-6) .95
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Contents Chapter 2.2: Recycling .99Teacher Fact Sheet: Recycling ..101Teacher Fact Sheet: Buying Recycled .107Recycling Rangers (Grades K-2) .111Follow That Bottle! (Grades K-2) 113Take-Home Recycling Kit (Grades 2-3) ..117Making Glass from Scratch (Grades 2-3)121Handmade Recycled Paper Planters (Grades 2-6) .123RecyclingSorting It All Out (Grades 3-6) 125Designing the Ultimate Can Crusher (Grades 4-6)129Learn to Recycle (Grades 7-8) ..131Recycling Includes e-Cycling (Grades 4-8) 135Chapter 2.3: Composting.139Teacher Fact Sheet: Composting 141Compost Critters (Grades K-1) ..145Compost Chefs (Grades 3-8)..149Compost Crops (Grades 3-8)..155Worms at Work (Grades 4-8) ..159Chapter 2.4: Landfills and Combustion ..163Teacher Fact Sheet: Landfills 165Teacher Fact Sheet: Combustion 169Luscious Layered Landfill (Grades 1-4) ..173A Landfill Is No Dump! (Grades 3-6) 177Energy Expedition (Grades 4-6).181The Great Disposal Debate (Grades 5-8)187Greenhouse Gases Be Gone (Grades 6-8)..191UNIT 3PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: A REVIEW OF LESSONS AND OPTIONS ..197Waste Race (Grades 2-3) ..201Join the Planet Protectors Club! (Grades 3-6) 203Trash Town (Grades 4-6) 209Locker Leftovers (Grades 7-8) ..213Memorable Media Messages (Grades 6-8)..215Glossary of Terms 221 Glossary of Skills.229 viiiContents The Quest for Less
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Natural ResourcesProductsWaste Where Products Come From, How They™reMade, and the Waste They Produce In this unit, teachers and students will develop a foundation for under-standing the importance of managing waste properly. Students will learn where the products they use every day come from and how much and what kind of waste these products create. They also will learn that waste is not only created by throwing things away, but it also can be produced by human activities such as mining raw materials from the ground and manufacturing goods in factories. This part of the resource will help stu- dents understand why it is important to prevent waste in the first place, recycle, compost, and reuse—activities they will learn more about in the next unit.At the Source UNIT11
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