Sometimes - taller than houses, living longer than humans.
Updated: May 25
It’s truly extraordinary – I’m made from something that can be taller than houses and can live for longer than humans, and yet, I’m probably found in every home on our planet …. what am I? Have you ever thought about how much paper you, your family or your classmates use every week? How about in 10 years’ time … will there still be paper being used for drawing, writing, books, packaging, toilet/kitchen roll, labels, cards … what do you reckon?
You’ve probably heard of the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This week’s challenge is to undertake at least one action relating to paper in each of these categories.
Reduce – Collect the junk mail that comes through the door. Can you write a letter or email to ask some of your junk mail providers to remove you from their lists? If your parent/carer agrees, you could put up a ‘NO JUNK MAIL – I’m helping combat climate change’ sign by your letterbox. Can you say no to receipts or paper bags (take your own reusable one instead) when you go shopping? Can you make sure you use both sides of the paper when writing/drawing this week? Can you persuade your parent/carer not to buy anything online this week – to reduce cardboard packaging?
Reuse – Can you help write the shopping list on the back of an envelope you receive in the post this week? Can you wrap any presents with pages from a magazine or comic? Could you make a pile of scrap paper that can be used for lists and/or staple some pages together to make a notepad? Ask if you can carefully open any big envelopes that arrive in the post this week – store them somewhere so they can be reused in the future.
Recycling – Do your toilet roll tubes make it to the recycling bin? Can you make sure that they don’t end up the in the bathroom bin that goes with the ‘landfill’ rubbish? If you have your own composting system you could add some old shredded newspaper to your compost – it’s a great ‘high carbon’ compost material providing a source of energy for the compost microbes – but don’t add too much! What do you think of this novel way of recycling paper by ‘sucking the ink off paper’– watch this space and see if it takes off!
Sometimes a fourth ‘R’ is added - ‘Rethink’. You could talk to your parent/carer/teacher about this one. Can you change to using recycled paper for printing (when you really need to) - it might look a bit ‘off-white’ – but does that matter? Could you swap to an ‘eco’/recycled toilet paper? Can you choose products/brands that are intentionally trying to reduce their packaging?
When you have completed this challenge, let us know - HIT THE RED BUTTON!