Recycling

Our Plastic Problem and How to Solve It | PBS NewsHour

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Directions: Read the summary with your students, watch the video (if helpful, follow along with the transcript) and then answer the discussion questions.

Summary: A movement to ban the use of plastic straws in restaurants is spreading across the United States. Recycling small plastics such as straws is challenging, because sorting machines must first separate recyclable waste from non-recyclables, and materials like straws are often too small to be captured. But environmental experts say that the problem isn’t in recycling, it’s that we make all this plastic in the first place. Humans have created more than 9 billion tons of plastics since the 1950s, most of which is still in circulation today. Using resources to continuously recycle all this plastic effectively cancels out any environmental benefits to the practice. Compostable straws made of materials such as wood pulp have potential, but they’re more expensive than plastic straws and consumers complain that they don’t work as well.

October 6, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

Check out our Daily News Story collection, or find more at PBS NewsHour Extra.

Engineering Trash into Treasure | MIT's Science Out Loud

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Folks at MIT's D-Lab are turning trash into treasure - specifically, trash to heat homes and cook in developing countries. It's not magic - it's engineering!

Treasures of the Earth | Turning Trash into Steel

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Learn how trash, such as hard plastic, can be used to make steel, in this video from NOVA: Treasures of the Earth: Metals. Materials scientist Veena Sahajwalla describes how landfills can be viewed as a resource instead of a burden to society. Carbon-containing materials found in landfills can be utilized to make steel, which is an alloy of iron and carbon. After a decade of research, this "green steel" technology is now being used to recycle millions of tires and is helping to reduce the carbon footprint of steel manufacturing. This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

What Can We Do to Prevent Marine Debris? | Ocean Today

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Unless people change the way they consume and dispose of products, the marine debris problem will continue to get worse. Plastic is one of the main types of ocean trash and hurts the environment, the economy, and health. For example, plastic bags can sink to the seafloor and suffocate coral reefs, a littered beach can mean lost tourism dollars, and people can get sick by eating fish contaminated with plastic particles. By working together, people can design solutions that prevent trash from entering the ocean in the first place. Cities, businesses, communities, homes, schools all over the world and you can all contribute to the ultimate solution: prevention.

Worm Farm

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Kevin's been fascinated with garbage since he was really little. He wanted to put an end to landfills and make it easier for people to recycle. How? Worms decompose organic waste! How can worms help us with our garbage?

Water: The Lifeblood | Recycling Water

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The city of Los Angeles, California has run out of sources to gather fresh water from for use in the city. They are now recycling and conserving water, and even though their population has increased by 1 million people they are using the same amount of water they used 20 years ago.

GPS: Garbology

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This DragonflyTV segment follows two boys as they investigate how reducing, reusing, and recycling helps the environment. They discover how much recyclable material is thrown out as trash every day. Also availabe in Spanish.

E-waste into Art with Robb Godshaw | KQED Art School

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How do you make artwork that is conceptual? Artist Robb Godshaw uses technical means to move things that can’t be moved, or make visible things that aren’t normally visible. Watch as Godshaw scavenges electronic waste during an artist residency at SF Recology.

Check out the entire collection of KQED Art School videos here

Geoambiente: Acuicultura seg. 2

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En este segundo video, se describen las formas de rehusar el agua en la acuicultura. Se explican las técnicas utilizadas para mantener la eficiencia en el uso del agua y lograr la conservación de los nutrientes necesarios para la producción agrícola. Además, se explica la forma en que las aguas usadas son utilizadas para el cultivo de hierbas aromáticas y vegetales, maximixando la utilización del preciado líquido.

In this second video, ways to reuse water in aquaculture are described.  The techniques employed to mantain the efficient use of water and reach the conservation of necessary nutrients for agricultural producation are explained.  In addition, the way waters used are re-used for the farming of aromatic herbs and vegetables maximazing the use of the precious liquid is explained.

Funny Boat

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It may be admirable to create something useful out of garbage, but it could be risky to trust your life to a boat made from items others have thrown away. In this video segment adapted from FETCH!™, cast members put their engineering design skills to the test when they are challenged to construct a boat that floats, can be steered, and is propelled by something other than oars. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades K-8 students.

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