Plastic is all around us. It has many uses in our life. Things in our house are made of it. Toys and household items are made from plastic, as well as straws, bottle caps, and plastic bags. Plastic helps us store and carry things, and makes many tasks easier. At the same time though, plastic can be dangerous to the environment. One reason is that plastic does not breakdown and disintegrate easily. Another reason is that abandoned and littered plastic can pollute our oceans and waterways and harm animals. Watch the following video to learn about why plastic can cause problems to our world and while it’s important to recycle it. (Video for all ages.)
You can see why it is so important for us to recycle and reuse. Plastic is very useful, but we need to make sure that we are doing our part so that it doesn’t hurt the earth. And it’s not just in the United States that it’s a problem. Littering of plastic takes place all over the world. In sometimes a bigger problem in poorer countries and places that don’t have the means to recycle or even reuse. Today we are going to learn about on such place, The Gambia. They had a big problem with old plastic bags causes harm and damage to the environment. But we’ll get to more information about the problem and solution in a little bit. Let’s learn a little bit about The Gambia first. (Video for all ages.)
Now that you have learned a little about Gambia, we are going to listen to a story that takes place in The Gambia. This book is actually based on a true story. Remember I mentioned Gambia had with old, dirty plastic bags? Well this is the story of how they came to find a solution to the problem. They not only helped stop the littering, but they created something new! Watch and listen to the story below! (Video for all ages.)
Once they recognized the problem and came up with an idea for the solution, they worked together to make their idea work. Not only were they able to clean up the dirty, old bags that littered their village, but they were able to create something new– and useful things!
Here in the United States, next week is Earth Day. It’s a day when we should think about the earth and ways that we can help keep it beautiful, clean and healthy. Each day next week, each activity we do will have something to do with the earth. We’ll be learning how different organisms eat and survive and also talk about ways we can help the environment. We are going to start with that today. Just as you saw in the story, they were able to use plastic bags to create something new. That’s your challenge for today– create something new with a plastic bag. You’ll be reducing & reusing! Below are a few videos showing you how to make different things like a small purse, a bracelet, and a decorative flower. You can try one of those or design your own thing!
Making a purse (taught by the lady, Isatou Cessay, in the story!)
Making a bracelet
Making a [decorative] flower
One Plastic Bag/Gambia Word Search Click the title to access the word search to print it.
Kids Guide to Recycling by reusethisbag.com Click the title to go to the webpage.
Recycle This! Online Game by NASA Climate Kids Click the title to go to the webpage.