Activities

Make your own Recycled paperPicture of colored recycled paper made from these directions

Paper that has been used and treated for use again is recycled paper. Paper from homes, offices and schools can be collected, sent to special recycling centers, and remade into usable paper. This process can take place over and over. Every year we cut down more trees to meet the world's demand for paper. Recycling will help save trees from being cut down.

What you'll need

  • a blender
  • a whole section of newspaper
  • 2 and a half single newspaper pages
  • 5 cups (1.2 liters) of water
  • a pan 3 inches (7.6 cm) deep
  • a piece of screen to fit inside the pan
  • a measuring cup
  • a flat piece of wood the size of a newspaper's front page
  • waxed paper

How to do it...

  1. Tear the two-and-a-half pages of newspaper into tiny strips.

  2. Place the strips in a blender with five cups of water. ASK PERMISSION TO USE THE BLENDER. HAVE AN ADULT SUPERVISE THIS STEP. Cover the blender and blend the newspaper and water.

  3. Pour about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water into the pan. Pour the blended paper pulp into the measuring cup.

  4. Put the screen into the pan. Pour one cup (240 ml) of pulp over the screen.

  5. Spread the pulp evenly in the water with your fingers.

  6. Lift the screen and let the water drain off.

  7. Open the newspaper section to the middle. Put the newspaper on a waterproof surface. Place waxed paper in the center of the newspaper. Place the screen with the pulp on the waxed paper. Close the newspaper.

  8. Carefully flip over the newspaper section so the screen is on top of the pulp. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.

  9. Place the board on top of the newspaper and press out extra water. Open the newspaper and take out the screen. Leave the newspaper open and let the pulp dry for at least 24 hours. When your paper pulp is dry, peel it off the waxed paper and write on it!

Eco-Facts

Now you know how to make recycled paper. Wood pulp, the raw material used in most paper production, comes from trees. More than 1 billion trees are cut down each year to make disposable diapers! Recycling efforts are increasing worldwide because of our concern over the deforestation of the earth. Discarded items, such as computer paper, grocery bags, milk cartons, boxes, and newspapers, are now collected, cleaned and recycled.


Don’t let go of that balloon!
Each time a helium balloon floats away, it may end up hurting animals and fish. Helium balloons eventually fall back down to the earth and strong winds can blow them to our oceans. A sea animal may try to eat the balloon, and that could kill them. Balloons can also wrap around small animals and hurt them. No matter how much fun it is to let your balloon fly - don’t. If you want to fly something fun that won’t hurt animals try flying a kite.

Brush your teeth green!
Of course just brushing your teeth won’t save the planet, but there are things you can do while brushing that will help. You can save lots of water by turning off the sink faucet while you're brushing. Also, stay away from pump dispenser toothpastes; they add much more waste to our landfills than a normal tube. Some companies are even making toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes that you can recycle. Take a look at your local co-op and see what’s available.

Have any old toys? Don’t throw them away!
Before throwing that old toy away, see if a friend of yours might want to trade one of their toys for your old toy (always ask an adult before doing this). If no one wants your toy, donate it to a thrift store or charity that gives toys to other children who may not have as many cool toys as you do.


All about water

Eighty percent of the Earth is covered with water, yet only 3 percent of it is fresh water, and less than 1 percent of all water is okay for human consumption. The rest of the water is salty ocean water, or fresh water that is frozen in a glacier. And of that tiny 1 percent of fresh water we can use, an even tinier amount is used as drinking water. Many places in the world are reaching the limits of their water supplies. As populations rise and the climate gets warmer, more and more people will not have access to fresh water. In fact, it is predicted that two of three people with suffer from water shortages in the next few decades.

Here’s what you can do:

Did you know that every time you flush the toilet, it uses five to seven gallons of water? That means that in a year you will flush about 13,000 gallons of fresh water down the toilet! Luckily there is an easy solution if your home does not already have ultra-low-flush toilets. Find a small plastic juice or water bottle, soak off the label, fill the bottle with water, and close the cap tightly. Place the bottle in the toilet tank, making sure to position so it won’t get in the way of the flushing mechanism. The bottle will fill part of the space in the tank that water would normally fill. This is called displacement. You will save one to two gallons every time you flush! Try this in all the toilets in your home and estimate how many gallons of water your family will save.

Other tips for saving water:

  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth, washing your hands and doing the dishes.
  • Take shorter showers. See if you can get your shower time down to less than five minutes.
  • If you help out with the dishes, fill the sink or a tub with hot water to wash the dishes in. Rinse the clean dishes in another tub of hot water or rinse them all under the faucet at once to reduce the time the water is running. Run the dishwasher when it is full.
  • The same applies to laundry. Run your washing machine only when you have a full load.
  • Water your lawn and plants in the morning or evening. Water evaporates four to eight times faster during the heat of the day. Use a watering can instead of a hose.

How much water does it take to...

  • Take a shower or bath…17 to 24 gallons
  • Brush my teeth…2 to 5 gallons
  • Wash the car…50 gallons
  • Use the dishwasher…8 to 15 gallons
  • Run the washing machine... 35 to 50 gallons for each load
  • Water the lawn with a sprinkler…210 gallons per hour

Have a Green Party

Birthday parties come and go in a whirlwind of shrieking kids, inflated balloons, sugar highs and greasy pizza. Left in their wakes are piles of plastic cups, forks and plates topped with barely eaten birthday cake. A dozen new toys means mounds of packaging and wrapping paper will end up in the trash, along with the old toys now being tossed to make room for the new. Why is it that kids' birthday parties too often turn into a frenzy of waste? Having a green party can be as easy as pie. Just incorporate all the eco-friendly changes you have made in your home while planning your party.

Here are some tips to keep it green:

  • Send out e-vites instead of regular paper invitations.
  • Use real silverware, or reuse plastic ones.
  • Use real or bio-degradeable plates and cups.
  • Use cloth napkins.
  • Instead of giving cheap plastic party favors, be more creative and give something that you made, like these homemade crayons, or that will be useful, like pencils.
  • Host a party outside and enjoy the day without depending on store-bought games. Go to the beach, the park or the pool or play games like tag and whiffle ball.
  • Prevent all the waste involved in receiving gifts. Here's a guide to turning the usually wasteful and overdone gift giving aspect of a birthday party into an opportunity to help out one's community.

       Green volusia logo

Katrina Locke
Sustainability and Natural Resources Director
klocke@volusia.org


386-736-5927