Sustainability through Recycling Changing Societal Behaviors
Are we making a difference?
State of Affairs


Are we making a difference?  


On your way to home or school do you notice trash in your community?  When you throw your garbage away do you seperate the recyclable materials from the waste?  Do you ever notice the seperate bins for trash, recyclables, and compost at places like the mall?  Do you think people pay attention and place these items appropriately? 


For this assignment, you will work in a team of four.  As a team you investigate the problems associated with pollutiion and how reccling can help alleviate some of those issues.  You will go out into the field and through survey, interview, and observations you will identify trends in your community around recycling and pollution. 


Do you think we as a community are making a difference in ending unnecessary waste?  Do we need to do more?  How can you get your community to do more?


Back in the Day


In the 70s and 80s, there were several efforts to build an awareness about pollution and its effects.  These PSA (public service announcements) were geared towards the youth of the time. 


Here are some questions to think about while you watch the PSAs:


Were these PSAs successful?

Is your community free of pollution?

Are there recycling efforts in your community?

Do you see peole recycling?

Can your community do more to end pollution? Increase recycling efforts?



The first is from the early seventies and depicts an Native American Indian.  Why did they choose an American Indian?  How did the PSA appeal to you?



Here is another PSA whose audience was younger children.  This PSA featured Woodsy the Owl.  His motto was "Give a hoot, don’t pollute!"  This PSA played frequently, almost each commercial break during times that kids would be watching cartoons.  Did you know about Woodsy before today? Did you think that this was effective for the target audience?


Here is another one of Woodsy.




Teacher notes for kick-off:

Engage the class in a discussion on the subject of recycling. Survey the class to determine whether any students assist in a family recycling effort, or recycle on their own. Ask for descriptions of how recycling is accomplished and what materials are recycled. Why do they recycle? Is money earned from the effort? Have any students visited a recycling center? Solicit descriptions and impressions.