After spending the first few weeks of Beyond Recycling learning about where our stuff goes when we throw it away, today we focused on where our stuff comes from in the first place! The students at Kinnaird had no problem pinpointing the raw materials of their paper, kleenex and pencils (trees!) but when asked about the raw materials of an iPod, it took some deeper thinking. We eventually decided that an iPod is made up up stainless steel, glass, plastic, and wires which in turn are made up of raw materials like iron ore, silica, oil and copper. It ALL comes from the Earth whether it looks natural or not! All of our stuff starts with the extraction of raw materials or natural resources from the Earth. To better understand the lifecycle of stuff, we took a journey through the lifecycle of a pair of jeans, starting with the extraction of raw materials through cotton farming on Farmer Serena’s farm. The cotton was then shipped to Jaida’s manufacturing plant where denim was made (using various chemicals and dyes) and sewn into jeans. The jeans were then shipped off to stores, where Marissa went jean shopping. Trevor demonstrated that after we buy a pair of jeans, we wear them until they don’t fit anymore or start to rip. At this point, it’s time for disposal. Sometimes we can take jeans to the thrift store or turn them into rags. Often, they are thrown in the garbage, like Ariana did with an old ripped pair. By the end of our discussions today, we all agreed to think twice before throwing stuff away or buying things we don’t really need. When you throw an item away, you are also throwing away all the resources that were taken out of the Earth to make them in the first place!
It's All From the Earth at Kinnaird Elementary
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