Kids Teaching How To Reuse…

Kids Teach Us to Recycle and Reuse!

Hailey is an 8-year-old recycler who really knows how to reduce the amount of trash in the landfills and reuse packaging material in her home. She shows off a home she made for her stuffed pig, Wilbur – cutting the box and adding leftover wallpaper to make him his very own designer pig pen. Best of all, the cardboard from his packaging will not be forced to sit in a landfill for 15 years before decomposing!

Hailey also converted an old glass food jar into a piggy bank. This small action saves the glass from ending up in a landfill for an astounding 1 million years!

What Can I Do To Make a Difference?

You may be wondering, “Where should I start?” Take a look at the City of Novi, Michigan’s rundown of how long it takes for your trash to decompose naturally, which should get the creative gears in your head spinning…

Napkins 1 – 3 weeks
Traffic Ticket 2 – 4 weeks
Banana/Orange Peel 2 – 5 weeks
Paper Bag 1 month
Paper 2 – 5 months
Newspaper 3 – 6 months
Carry-out Tray 3 – 9 months
Rope 3 – 14 months
Carry-out Food Bag 4 – 8 months
Cotton Rag 5 months
Bamboo Pole 1 – 3 years
Wool Clothing 1 – 5 years
Cigarette 1 – 12 years
Styrofoam cups 1 – 100 years
Plastic-Coated Paper 5 years
Plastic bags 10 – 20 years
Painted Wooden Stake 13 years
Plastic Film Container 20 – 30 years
Nylon Fabric 30 – 40 years
Leather Boot 40 – 50 years
Rubber Sole (of a boot) 50 – 80 years
Leather up to 50 years
Plastic Bottles 70 – 450 years
Tin Can (soup or vegetable can) 80 – 100 years
Aluminum cans 200 – 500 years
Plastic 6-pack Rings 450 years
Diapers 500 – 800 years
Plastic Jug 1 million years
Glass Bottle unknown? forever?

You Still Need Help?

If you’re stumped for ideas, you can find many resources online. For instance, lists five uses for just about everything – from old shoelaces and chopsticks to bottle caps and plastic bags.

FamilyFun.Go.Com also has a treasure trove of activities for a rainy day when you’ve got nothing better to do than… oh… save the planet. It may seem like a small step, but if every person in America recycles just one piece of packaging, that saves over 311 million items from cluttering our landfills.

Here at Vocal Trash, we love to see young people who are creative and passionate about conservation. Let us know what projects you’ve been working on to recycle, reduce, reuse and you just might end up in a future episode of the Vocal Trash Street Show!

As always, remember to…


Vocal Trash Members Vocal Trash is a troupe of environmental entertainers who have been engaging audiences with their unique and exciting brand of entertainment for a decade from New York to Seattle. Whether in Madison Square Garden or the Venetian Hotel and Casino,  Vocal Trash is environmentally conscious using upcycled materials on stage. The group asks that you “THINK… before you throw it away!”

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