The Kids Ecology Corps teaches the 5 R’s —
Rethinking means thinking about how you use everyday products and figuring out ways you can conserve resources by changing the ways you use those products. Rethinking means figuring out ways you can reuse, renew and recycle products.
- Do you use paper towels to clean with or do you use rags that can be washed are reused?
- Do you take long, hot showers that use lots of water and energy to heat the water or do you take short, smart showers where you wet your body, turn the water off, soap, and then turn the water on to rinse your body? This can save a lot of water.
- Do you leave the water running when you brush your teeth? If you do, you use lots and lots of water. Do you know you can brush your teeth in 2 inches of water? All you have to do is put two inches of water in your cup. Put your toothpaste on your toothbrush and dip it into your cup to wet it. Brush your teeth. Sip water from the cup to rinse your mouth out. You can even rinse again. You should still have enough water to rinse off your toothbrush and rinse the sink. Try it. It works–and it saves as much as 3 to 5 gallons of water every time you brush your teeth.
- Do you plant trees and other greenery that will refresh the air and keep our environment cleaner?
- Do you conserve products like paper and plastic and reuse them whenever possible?
- Do you participate in a recycling program at home, school and/or work?
- Do you use reusable bags when you buy groceries?
Buy wisely to reduce your use of resources.
The keys to buying to reduce waste are:
- Purchase products with the least amount of packaging.
- Buy products in recycled and recyclable containers.
- Buy in bulk and use concentrated products.
- Buy only what you can use and use what you buy
- Use refillable containers such as coffee cups and thermoses.
- Minimize the use of disposable items.
- Think about a product’s “lifecycle” before you buy.
If you rethink what you are doing, and learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials, you also have to remember to do what it takes to recycle. Remembering is the fifth R!
- If your community has a formal recycling program, there are rules about how to separate paper, plastic, glass and other recyclable materials. If you don’t know what those rules are, call the office that manages the program and ask for instructions.
- If your community does not have a formal recycling program, find out whether there is a commercial recycling center near you so that you, your family and your friends can recycle on your own.
- Find out which community government office manages waste disposal. Call them and ask about the community’s rules for recycling. If recycling is not being done and is not being planned, ask how you should go about proposing that a community-wide recycling program be started.