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Recycling has been identified as the Seventh Resource.

Find out more online at Global Recycling Day from the Global Recycling Foundation. Discover ways to help the planet.

Grand Canyon

Our planet suffers from problems with trash that   is not properly contained. Trash not only affects our lands and oceans but can cause difficulties with our health, endangers wildlife and wreaks havoc with our environment. 

Litter is trash gone wild! We find litter in many places around the world. Litter contains germs. It can entrap or kill wildlife. It can poison our groundwater. It costs lots of money to cleanup. 

We can all find creative ways to recycle and upcycle, doing our part to help save our planet.

TO RECYCLE means to take items that might be placed in the trash and change them into other objects to be used again. For example:  plastic water bottles have been recycled to make carpets, T-shirts and backpacks.

This effort of recycling protects our natural resources, animals and the environment. It also saves money for our families and our communities. Do you find things in your home that you could recycle?

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The United States generates more trash than any other country in the world. Americans throw away more than 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour. See how we can make a difference.

  • Recycling conserves about 95% of the fresh water on earth.

  • Recycling helps protect the air we breathe.

  • Recycling prevents trash from going into the oceans, forests, deserts and parks.

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves energy to run a TV for about 3 hours.

  • To save one tree, we should recycle a stack of newspapers about 3 feet high.

  • About 3,000 pounds of food is wasted in the United States each second.

  • Millions of computers and electronics become a waste product each year.

  • The people in the US only recycle about 22% of the items that can be reused.


TO UPCYCLE means to take trash items and create something that is new and different without  changing the items. For example: A cereal box can be decorated with scrap fabric/old clothes and used as a lunch box. Can you find more ways to use old items in your home and upcycle for a new use?


  1. Organize a campaign about trash and recycling on the school, museum and/or library grounds, as well as in parks, camps and neighborhoods. 

  2. Promote clean public lands (forests, deserts, oceans) by raising money to support the clean up efforts in national and state parks.

  3. Take a field trip to a landfill, city trash location or a recycling factory.  Talk with the workers to find out more about what they do and what you can do to help.

  4. Buy products that have been recycled or make your own functional items. Such as: purse/grocery bag from old fabric or clothing, building blocks from large boxes, etc.

  5. Start a “recycled lunch sack club” at work, school, or camp! Make a “lunch sack” using old clothes/fabrics or other interesting product containers, such as cereal boxes, bread bags, and so on. 

  6. Begin a recycle/upcycle art program. Use recycled items to make art work. Give them as gifts or sell them to raise money for clean-up programs. 

  7. Try using paper bags for making costumes, cereal boxes for making game boards, old newspapers for making wrapping paper, etc.

  8. Make posters from recycled materials to encourage others to recycle.  Hang them in prominent locations at your school, at work, or in the community.   

  9. Use and reuse glass containers for food storage instead of buying plastic bags or plastic containers. Minimize buying individually wrapped food products and get a reusable mug or bottle for beverages instead of using plastic bottles/cardboard cups.

  10. Start a compost bin at home, school or camp. Track the amounts of food being tossed. Use the compost for making a garden to grow seasonal foods.

  11. Try using these items on a regular basis: a) Cloth napkins or towels (make yourself!). b) Fire logs from recycled newspapers c) Fabric grocery bags or reuse bags.

  12. Go on a "trash" hike. Use gloves and/or grabbers to pick up litter in community areas. Place in the appropriate containers to toss or recycle.

13. Reuse mail envelopes, packaging and boxes for future mailings.

14. See how little trash you can generate at home in a week. Try reusing containers and upcycling.

15. Keep a trash bag in the family vehicle. Pick up trash around town. Use precautions.


"When in doubt, haul it out!"

"When you see a piece of litter, pick it up!"

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