Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste
Fighting Global Warming
People can fight global warming by reducing pollution. Because making things causes pollution, making fewer new goods will help. Reusing old items, reducing the number of new things you buy, and recycling as much as you can are all ways to do this. These simple steps can be very helpful and can reverse some of the harm done to Earth’s environment. They can also help to prevent new problems caused by pollution.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste is part of Crabtree’s “Putting the Planet First” series. Using infographics, case studies, and current examples from around the world, the books in this series help readers, young and older, understand the implications of everyday life choices that they and their families make.
The books all follow the standard format for nonfiction, including a table of contents, index, glossary, and lists of further resources on the topic. Measurements are included in both imperial and metric.
The text is clear and well-supported by the colourful photographs, illustrations, and graphs and charts. Each page is filled with well-laid out information. Although I am not usually a fan of text on coloured background, these books make very good use of colour without losing the clarity of the text. Readers will find the presentation of the information in these books very engaging.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste includes chapters on Earth in Trouble – Help Needed!, Too Much Garbage, Reducing Our Garbage, Reusing Old Items, Recycle As Much As Possible, Nasty Plastic, Paper Problems, Wasted Metal, Glass in the Bin, Food Scraps, E-waste, Working Together, and Thinking of the Future.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste does an excellent job of explaining the interconnectedness of our consumer lifestyle choices. Much of the content focusses on how small changes can have a large impact on reducing the waste and pollution that is causing problems around the world. For example:
Many people don’t think about how much rubbish they throw away. In the U.S. and Canada, though, a simple idea is changing things. Office workers are given tiny, individual garbage pails for their recycling.
When an employee’s garbage pail or recycling box is full, they must empty it. The tiny garbage pail fills up quickly. The larger recycling bin takes longer to fill. This makes people think about how much waste they produce and encourages them to recycle more of their garbage.
In addition to providing students with many practical ways to reduce the amount of waste that they produce, Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste also provides readers with examples of the actual impact of small changes. For example, “1 reuseable mug can save … 22.9 pounds (10.4 kg) of waste and … 500 paper cups … in just one year”. The infographic that illustrates this information helps make the message very clear.
One area that students may want to investigate further is the recently recognized problem of synthetic fabrics adding to water pollution. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is discussed in the chapter “Nasty Plastic”, and the harm done to the oceans when the plastics break down into harmful bits of plastic is identified. The facing page is titled “The Magic of Recycled Plastic” and appears to present a solution to part of the plastic pollution problem.
An American company called Thread decided to solve both problems at once. Thread hires people in Haiti to collect plastic trash, which is then washed, shredded, and turned into plastic threads. These threads are used to make fabric for clothing, shoes, and bags.
Unfortunately, we now know that synthetic fabrics produce microfibres which are a very serious pollution problem. Students may want to review the order of the three Rs and discuss ways to reduce plastic so that there is less need to reuse and recycle those types of products.
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste is an excellent resource for teachers and students. Although some students may not have given much thought to the impact of their consumer choices on the planet, the information presented in Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Waste will encourage students to ask questions and take action. Every small change brought about by discussing the content of this book will help by reducing, reusing and recycling more.
Dr. Suzanne Pierson is a former teacher-librarian who currently instructs Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.