"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recycling glass & plastic

We recycle every day at our house. Most of our recycling goes into the big bin that rolls onto the street for pickup every two weeks. (I wish they'd pick up recycling every week, trash every other 'cause we recycle more than we throw out!) But there are some items we turn in ourselves.

The project:
Turn in glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic beverage containers we've collected from our own kitchen and from our neighborhood cleanup efforts.

10 minutes

Why bother?
It just doesn't make sense to throw these things in the landfill. Rather than mine and process fresh aluminum, our cans can be crushed and melted and repurposed for any number of things. According to the Energy Information Administration, using recycled aluminum, for instance, uses 95% of the energy it takes to mine and process the ore. Here's a kids' page full of activities about recycling.

Worth it?
It does cost us some gas and time to head out to the recycler, but we generally do this on our way through that part of town. The cash they give us for our recycling more than covers our vehicle expense. We put the cash in the girls' savings accounts - every little bit counts!

Just some of the stuff made from recycled "waste:"

If You Care 100% Recycled Aluminum Foil Roll, 50 Square Feet (Pack of 5)

Oval tray

Aluminum tiles

Door hardware

Stick & Cone Incense Burner

Chairs (80% recycled)

Recycled Glass Products:
Glass tiles

Garden Gazing Ball

Hummingbird Feeder

Counter tops (partially glass)

Recycled Plastic:

Garden Composter

And of course:
Other stuff

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