Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle…..these are the 3 R’s we are now familiar with to help out the environment. After chaperoning a preschool field trip to “The Dump” last year in Johnston, RI (officially known as the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation), I learned that there is a 4th R in the mix now: Rot! Composting is very important these days, as the RIRRC only has about 25 years left before it runs out of space to store Rhode Islanders’ trash. We can help add time to that estimate if we focus on doing the 4 R’s faithfully.
The trip consisted of a tour of the center, an answer and question session, a small hands-on museum for kids, and a bus ride through the landfill (all the way up to the top of “Mt. Trashmore” where you can see from Providence to Newport). The kids had a blast, and they learned so much (although I think the adults learned even more!).
I try to do a pretty good job with reducing, reusing, and recycling, but know I can always do more. I have all the trendy bags to take to the grocery store (even the small ones that fit in my purse), but I am not always faithful about using them. The guilt always sets in when I hear “paper or plastic.” Ugh! The answer is neither!!!
I read a book in book club called, “The World Without Us” by, Alan Weisman. Reading that was a huge wake-up call, especially about plastics and using plastic bags. Read it if you get time! It’s on SALE right now on Amazon for about $10! Totally worth the read!
The field trip was a good reminder about being environmentally responsible. I will be better about using my reusable bags, and I will also continue composting more faithfully.
I will also be better about putting things into the recycle bins appropriately. I learned that the cardboard milk containers I’ve been recycling should go in the BLUE (plastic/metal) bins, not the GREEN (paper) bins! They actually have thin metal lining in the cardboard. Whoops! I also learned that you cannot recycle the cardboard from soda boxes or frozen meals. They have chemicals in them. Lastly, I learned you should not recycle wire hangers, Capri Sun pouches, or ANY plastics labeled 3-7. Rhode Island currently ONLY takes #1 & #2 plastics, but next year they are hoping to take 3-7. Keep an eye out for that news!
Off to refill my purse with my reusable bags! Practice those 4 R’s faithfully!!! We want the Earth to be a better place and last longer!!!
* How are you with recycling? What can you do to improve your carbon footprint? You can calculate your carbon footprint here
(It’s very scary how big of an impact an average family in the United States has!)