Closing the Loop with Kinnaird Elementary

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Today’s lesson at Kinnaird Elementary was all about conserving resources by recycling, reusing and reducing the amount of stuff we buy. When we throw an item into the garbage, we also throw away all of the natural resources or raw materials that make it up. Lane said it was cool to see how the 4 "R"s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling and Rethink) can help us reduce our impact. Ms. Landis’ Grade 4 class spent the lesson researching everyday items including a lightbulb, pencil, soccer ball and a pop can. In groups, the students looked into the raw materials needed to make their item, the countries these materials come from as well as some of the environmental impacts associated with the extraction and production of their item. After some serious discussion, the groups presented what they had learned to the rest of the class, focusing on alternatives to throwing these items in the trash. Recycling was determined to be the best option for pop cans: recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy needed to make new aluminum ore! For pencils however, the class decided the best option was to reduce the number of pencils we buy in the first place and to really fully USE our pencils before sharpening up a new one. Some of the highlights of the class included a number of cool ideas for reusing everday items. Taylor said she "learned that we can make art with the things we don’t use anymore". Another neat discovery was that we can actually recycle lightbulbs in Castlegar by taking burnt out bulbs to the Bargain Bin or Mountain High Lighting. Kristin thought that was the coolest thing she learned today!