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Recycle? Precycle? Which Cycle Is Best for You?
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
By – Judith Gorgone, founder of Planetpals.com
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 4-8
- We all know by now what the term “recycle” means. Everywhere you go you seem to hear the term and see the symbol. But, better than “recycling” is PRECYCLING!
- Precycling is a good way to reduce the amount of recycling you have to do. It’s a simple concept that came out of the seventies, when the whole earth movement started. The idea is this: If you take a little action before you buy items, you won’t have as much waste!
- Today, packages are getting smaller and smaller to keep costs at the same level. That means a lot more recycling has to be done. Not to mention, the exorbitant number of water bottles and convenient “single packs” available for people to use daily. It all adds up to more recycling. But you can end that cycle of trash by practicing a few precycle tips. Precycling is not just good for earth but can also be healthier for living things!
Here are some PRECYCLE BASICS to help you be more earthly wise:
- Bring reusable bags to the store with you . Cloth or paper will do!
- Buy Large Quantities. If you buy products in bulk or in large sizes and quantities, you can put them in smaller containers as you need them and this uses less containers.
- Buy products with the least amount of packaging or none at all. Items packed in multiple containers may look nice, but they are a waste!
- Buy products packed in recycled packaging. If you have to use a container, it might as well be green. Additionally, you help support green corporations. (Important: make sure you look for the recycled symbol)
- Don’t buy disposable items (plates cups, diapers, batteries, etc.) They only fill the landfill more. It’s a little more work, but worth the effort.
- Buy less paper towels and napkins or none at all. Use cloth ones!
- Buy long life and concentrated items (batteries, bulks, etc.) This saves on packaging as well as product.
- Don’t purchase anything made of styrofoam or packed in styrofoam. It contains polystyrene, which is the most difficult material to break down in our landfill and is considered a hazardous waste.
- Buy items in cardboard. aluminum, steel, glass, and plastic containers marked 1 (PET or PETE) and 2 (HDPE). These containers can be recycled more easily.
- Read labels for ingredients. Stay away from chemicals that harm our plant and animal life and poison our land.
- Get lots more ideas at
- about recycling, precycling and saving earth. Not just for kids!