So while we take a little break from the traditional Three Rs of school…let’s not take a break from the 3 Rs concerning our environment. Here are a few ways to keep on practicing these important principles this summer.
With trips to the neighborhood pool and bigger trips to the beach or other vacation places, be aware of the additional waste that can be created. What can you bring along to avoid another juice pouch or water bottle being purchased and disposed of. Do we really need to buy all those trinkets in the gift shop that ultimately are lost or broken by the time we get home. Must we purchase another big plastic float that rips before we even get it in the water.
As nice as it is to have new items to break out for the summer season, again is it necessary? What do we have that can be reused? While it was very tempting to discard last year’s bug box still containing what looked like the remnants of the final catch (yuck!), a quick rinse with water and white vinegar restored it to almost new condition. What can we pass on to a neighbor that we no longer use and where can we purchase pre-owned summer wear and gear to give it another chance. Local consignment shops, Ebay, Goodwill and neighborhood yard sales are all great places to give and receive.
Traveling can often present challenges to recycling efforts especially when there seems to be no collection bin around. If you are determined, bring reusable mugs and cups to avoid the chance of a rogue aluminum can or plastic bottle hitching a ride. If traveling by car, have a recycle bag on hand to collect your own items and recycle the next time you see the opportunity, or as crazy as it may sound, save until you get home. With air travel, be prepared for the responsibility of properly recycling as well. More and more airports are providing recycling bins so make sure to look around.
So even though school is out, research ideas to help others learn about the 3rs. It’s never too late to check out TerraCycle and start a recycling program for your neighborhood school next fall. TerraCycle offers national programs called Brigades, to collect previously non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste like chip bags, juice pouches or candy wrappers. Most of the Brigades offer free shipping as well as a donation for each piece of garbage that your school collects. A great way to help others think more about recycling and raise funds for your school.
So even though we may be out of our routine for the carefree days of summer, if we fail to remember our 3 Rs, that plastic soda bottle and trinket will still be around long after the amusement park, pool, or museum closes….and that won’t be any fun at all.