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How to involve students with recycling through an environmental education program

Updated on July 2, 2011

This bag is really Kool!

This colorful bag is made from a recycled Kool Aid drink pouches. This is why this bag is literally kool and is great for advertising
This colorful bag is made from a recycled Kool Aid drink pouches. This is why this bag is literally kool and is great for advertising

Getting students involved

Based on this design, students created their own home-made recycling bag! (top left)
Based on this design, students created their own home-made recycling bag! (top left)

How do you educate young students about recycling?

With the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle becoming the part of everyday life, people are seeking new ways to be environmentally friendly. I was really surprised when I saw this colorful and attractive bag displayed at a local park.

The bag is made from recycled Kool-Aid packets, collected and reused by local students. Apparently the bag is made by a company called Terracycle, which collects drink pouches and gives them second life as a fashion accessory with a powerful message: "We take recycling seriously"!

Local environmental education club poster

A poster made by local Environmental Education Club (EEC)
A poster made by local Environmental Education Club (EEC)

What can we learn from this?

Obviously kids are the ones who would be drinking Kool-Aid from pouches, and these pouches are strong enough, and will probably take a long time to recycle. How can we reuse something that cannot be easily recycled? We re-purpose it! This is a really innovative approach to recycling, and I'm glad there's a company doing that!

What can american companies learn from terracycle example? First of all, the bag is a fashion accessory, which is practically a walking advertisement! Plus it looks really cool!

Second, this program really keeps stuff out of landfill and shows how ordinary things can be turned into extraordinary objects.

Third, through partnership with a local club, a home-made product has been made by children! This is truly amazing!

PS. Sorry for out of focus pictures - they are taken by a 6 year old camera that I'm trying to keep out of landfill! It works most of the time, but has trouble focusing...


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