Kara Luggen from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful gave a presentation on the importance of recycling to Jean and Sophia’s (6-9) classroom. Kara’s visit was timely, as the students had been learning about trees and how our forests create oxygen for the planet. Recycling is important. The resources we harvest should not be buried after one use but should be used and reused to their full potential. Kara shared that nearly half of the trash in our landfills is recyclable. We can do better.
Paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle and can go through the process many times while still maintaining its fibrous nature. To prove her point, Kara passed around small pieces of waste paper. She asked each student to tear the paper into small pieces and to notice the fibers that help hold it together. All of the paper scraps were then placed in a blender with water and were pulverized into a slurry. This papery “smoothy” was then pour onto a screen that trapped the paper fibers in it while the water ran through. After sandwiching the pulp mixture between 2 screens, giving the soon-to-be paper a more rectangular shape, students used sponges to press and remove any excess water. Before Kara left the classroom, the students managed to make 2 full sheets of paper that I imagine may be used to write Kara a thank you note for the excellent presentation she gave. Thanks, Kara. We will do all that we can to keep Cincinnati beautiful!