the Jeremiah Tin Can Challenge!
Jeremiah is challenging you to become a recycler and re-user of everything!
The activities below will transform you, your family and your school
into Earth-saving superstars!
Be sure to visit our DID YOU KNOW? section at
the bottom of the Challenge page to find out more about recycling and
Challenge #1 – From Trash to Treasures
Make something new….out of garbage! Get creative - turn a bottle cap
into a locket, a coffee-can into a drum, a milk carton into a bird-house…the
possibilities are endless!
How do you do this, you ask? Do what Jeremiah does. He looks at something,
ANYTHING, and asks himself, “What can this become?” and he turns it
into that. If you imagine it, you can create it!
When you are all done we want to see your creations! Send us a picture
of your favorite (with your parent’s permission!) and you may see
it on our web site to show other kids what they can do. Include your
first name and age. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenge #2 - Family Recycling Brain Booster
Step 1 - Grab a pen, a piece of paper (use the back-side of an already
used piece!) and create two columns: Recycle and Re-Use.
Step 2 - Head into the kitchen. Open the cupboards and refrigerator,
writing down what types of items can be recycled or re-used. Here
are some examples to get you started:
- Cereal Boxes
- Aluminum Cans
- Plastic Bottles
- Eggs Shells (Crush ‘em for your garden soil)
- Yogurt, Cream Cheese and Margarine Tubs (Great to store leftovers
- Fruit and Veggie wash water (put a big bowl under that apple you’re
washing and use the water for your household plants)
Step 3 - Ask an adult to help you find the recycling guide from your
local garbage company. Compare your list to the guide and see if you
have anything to add or take off the list. Also, find out about the
garbage company’s recycling rules, which are different for each garbage
company. For example, some ask you to remove lids from plastic bottles
– others do not.
Step 4 - Post your list in a place the whole family can easily see
and by the end of that week you’ll be surprised how much more your
family is recycling and re-using!
Challenge #3 - School Recycling Supercharge
Thousands of kids go to school…that’s a lot of people who are using
a lot of paper, drinks and food containers. Many schools have recycling
programs. If yours doesn’t – start one today!
Step 1 – Talk to your teacher or principal. Tell him or her that
you want to start a Recycling program. They’ll love the initiative.
Step 2 - Label large cardboard boxes or bins and collect glass, metal
and paper. Make sure to find out the rules from your local recycling
center and post those rules on the recycling containers.
Step 3 - Find out if your local garbage company does curbside pick-up
of recycling and if not, ask for parent volunteers to take it to your
town’s recycling center. Some center pay money for recyclables. It
might be a good way to raise money for the school.
Step 4 - Spread the word through your teachers, your friends and
signs at school reminding everyone to recycle. If your school has
a recycling program, it could likely use a big boost from you!
Step 5 - Organize a contest between classes or grade levels to see
who generates the most recycling for one day. Use paper bags or large
boxes labeled by class or grade level. Talk with your teachers about
a prize you could offer. Make sure you get the word about the contest
through the teachers and signs at school.
Step 6 - Talk to the school cafeteria or hot lunch coordinator about
how to include the waste they generate in the recycling program. Remind
them that aluminum foil can be recycled!
Step 7 - We want to hear about what you did to boost recycling at
your school! Send us an email describing the Jeremiah Tin Can Challenge
at your school so we can share it with other kids through our web
site. Include your first name and age. With your parent’s permission
email us at email@example.com.
Spread the Word
Information is power - If you have interesting garbage or recycling
facts, share them with your family, your friends or your teacher.
It just may inspire them to do more to protect the Earth.
We’d love to hear from you. If you have an interesting fact you want
to share just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your
first name and age (with your parent’s permission of course!). We
may post your fact on our Web site!
DID YOU KNOW?
The Down and Dirty of Trash
Garbage is taken from your house and put in landfills, which are huge
holes in the ground – and some times big mountains of trash! While
some garbage decomposes - most just sits there (often for hundreds
of years), taking up valuable space on our planet, not to mention
polluting our soil and ground water and harming sea life. If we
don’t try to reduce our trash, we could eventually run out of places
to put it!
- The average American throws away over 4 pounds of trash every day!
- More than 2 million plastic bottle are thrown away every hour and
plastic is NOT biodegradable
- Paper takes up 40% of our landfills!
- An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be here 500 years from
- If every person in the United Sates recycled just one-tenth of their
newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year
You Can Make a Difference!
- Instead of throwing something away, think about how it can be reused
– by your friends, your school, neighbors or organizations that accept
second-hand items like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
- Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
- Put your lunch and leftovers in re-usable food containers instead
of bags or plastic wrap
- Rinse and re-use plastic bags
- Buy products with packaging that can be easily recycled
Ocean Garbage Patch Hurts Sea Life
More and more trash is ending up in our oceans. The United Nations
Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of
ocean has 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. That’s on top of all
the other garbage that ends up in our seas – either by accident
(the wind) or intentionally (littering). Once in the ocean, it hurts
sea creatures and birds that mistake it for food or get tangled
- Sea turtles are especially at risk as they often mistake floating
plastic bags for jellyfish – their main prey
- Seabirds sometimes think floating plastic is food and eat it. When
they do it gets lodged in their stomachs and can cause them to die
- Fish gills get obstructed by plastic soda rings, making it difficult
for them to breathe
You Can Make a Difference!
- Don’t litter
- Use less plastic and disposable containers
- Cut each circle of a soda six-pack ring before you throw it away
- Join a beach cleanup in your area. In northern California, we have
something called Coastal Clean Up every September. Ask an adult to
find out when the next one is happening near you.
Garbage Pollutes our Soil…and our Water
You Can Make a Difference!
Some trash is not safe to put in the garbage can! Things like paint,
motor oil, gasoline, many cleaning supplies, computers, household
batteries, old medicines and more are considered hazardous waste.
If these items are thrown away and taken to a landfill, harmful
chemicals can seep into the soil and eventually contaminate the
fresh water found deep underground. This water is called groundwater
and is where we get most of our drinking water. If soil and groundwater
are exposed to the harmful chemicals in these products it can harm
humans, plants and animals.
Pick-up trash you find at your lakes, rivers and streams
- Help your parents find out from your garbage company how to dispose
of hazardous materials
Recycling Turns Garbage into Something New!
Many things can be recycled, which means taking something that has
already been used and producing something new. Glass jars, for example,
are recycled at factories where they are broken into little bits,
then melted and mixed with new glass to create new glass jars or
- A typical family consumes more than 150 gallons of soda, nearly 30
gallons of juice, more than 100 gallons of milk, and more than 25
gallons of bottled water a year. That's a lot of containers -- make
sure they're recycled!
- An aluminum can is able to be part of a new can within six weeks of
- Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator
– which compresses garbage by burning it
- Glass can be recycled forever – it never wears out
- Many products can be made from recycled goods – toys, furniture, paper,
clothes, shoes, crayons, bags, cereal boxes, mouse pads and much more
You Can Make a Difference!
- Recycle everything you can! (Did you know aluminum foil and milk
cartons can be recycled?)
- Find out what the recycling requirements are at your local garbage
company and share that with your family, friends and at school
- Buy products made from recycled materials – it helps recycling programs
- Pick-up bottles you see lying around and bring them home to recycle
- Start a recycling program at your school or community center