our special Earth Day edition
Plastics #1 by Brenda and Asya
P.E.T Plastic 1
Did you ever wondered what number 1 means on the bottom of your water bottle? Well we are about to tell you. 1 is a number of plastic which name is Polyethylene Terephthalate.
This plastic has some bad and good sides. One bad thing is that if you leave it in the sun for too long like in your car the chemicals will leak out into your water and this can cause cancer or other infections thats also why you should never microwave it because the same thing will happen and again could cause cancer. Something else to know is that this plastic makes up 6.4 percent of the worlds packaging and also makes up most of the world's water bottles.
This plastic is most used for water bottles, juice boxes, containers for food, trays, cups and also the wrapping of wires. Another thing that you need to know is that this plastic it very much recyclable and it's better than throwing it away. An interesting fact is that in 450 years, it will start to decompose and within 50-80 years it will decompose completely. Also something else you need to know when you are recycling your water bottle is that you should always take off the cap and put the cap in the trash because most caps are made with different types of plastics. And if you don’t take off the cap, the recycling center will throw the whole bottle away because there is too many bottles, and to take off every single cap is like flying without a plane or anything to carry you up.
Some things you can do to help are really simple. First always look for number 1 on the bottom of a water bottle. If it’s number 1 always recycle it, but don’t forget to take of cap of water bottle before you do it because as I said they won’t recycle it and they’ll just throw away the whole bottle. But one of the best ways to help is to not buy plastic water bottles.
Fun Facts about plastic #1:
This plastic was discovered in 1930 by Walls Carructers, but it was not actually used until 1941 by John Rex Winfield and James Tennat Dickson.
Like most plastics, its molecular structure is based on 2 Carbons and 4 Hydrogens
this plastic is really lightweight and that’s why it used for most of the world’s packaging
2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away each hour
1,500 pieces of plastic are thrown away each second
Plastics #2 by Mateo and Gabriel
HDPE, or plastic #2, is recyclable. HDPE, or high density polyethene, is made into a variety of different things like milk cartons, shampoo bottles, conditioner bottles, juice bottles, pipes and water bottles like Arrowhead or like Dasani.
So if you are wondering if it is plastic 2, look at the bottom of the bottle or container and if it has a recycling sign around a 2, then please recycle it. When you recycle it, take off the cap because most of the time the cap is a different kind of plastic and that plastic might not be recyclable. So always take the cap off and throw it in the trash and the bottle in the recycling.
Here are some not-so-fun facts. Did you know that four out of five bags in America are plastic? One more fact that it takes 24 million gallons of oil to make 1 billion plastic bottles.
What can you do to help? First of all you can pick up and recycle plastic 2 and if you can you can take off the cap to help make sure that the bottle gets recycled. You can also help by not buying as much plastic.
It's PVC, Plastic #3 By Mia and Amelia
It's PVC, plastic number three! PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is one of the most widely produced plastics in the world. To be exact, it's the third! It’s also not a good plastic for the environment. PVC has different names too, such as poison plastic, vinyl and of course... plastic number three. Did you know that PVC can be made soft or even flexible?
There are many things that are made out of PVC such as PVC pipe, foam mats (ex. yoga mats), many crocs, straws, some medical equipment such as saline bags, toiletry bags (the bags you carry on planes and trips), shower curtains (especially the ones that have the kiddie designs on them), and many more.
Okay, so you may be wondering, “Is PVC bad to use and buy, and is it recyclable?” Well, YES! PVC is not recyclable, and it is really bad for the environment. It takes a really, really long time to decompose and it is very difficult to do. It can't be burned because then it will release cancer-causing fumes into the air we breathe in.
There are many ways that you can help stop air pollution and there easy ways too, such as...
DON'T LITTER!!! No one likes a litterbug so just don't, ok?
Pick up trash whenever you see it (ex. streets, beaches etc.).
Buy biodegradable plastic if you must, but try not to buy plastic in general.
Throw your trash in the right bin because it may seem like not a very big help, but you're actually making a huge difference.
Finally, don’t burn plastic because it releases cancer-causing fumes into the air and it is really bad for the environment, including our lungs.
Now, for Mia's "inspiring" speech!
"We are doing this because we care about the Earth and want to make it a better and a more livable area, picking up one piece of trash makes a big difference, we don’t have to make it happen all at once. We can do it one step at a time."
Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970.
Plastics #4 by Graydon and Robert
What is Plastic #4 or LDPE?
Plastic #4 is LDPE or low-density polyethylene. Some things that are made out of plastic #4 are the packaging that people send books to you in, all plastic bags, and plastic Easter eggs. Imagine how many Easter eggs are around the world every year! Also, imagine how many plastic bags people use each year!
I bet you’re asking yourself right now, is it recyclable? Well if you are then, keep on reading and if you aren't then ask yourself and then keep on reading. Well it’s NOT.
I bet you’re asking yourself what do you do with it if it’s not recyclable and the answer is that it goes to a landfill where it will take about five hundred years to decompose.
So if it we keep putting plastic #4 in the trash and recycling bin, and not using it over and over again until it’s unusable, the mountain of trash and plastic that is already larger than Texas and it could get larger and larger if we don’t do something to help! We have to reuse plastic and use cloth bags at the grocery store instead of the plastic and paper bags.
plastics 5 by Franco and Logan
The Plastic I will be talking about is Plastic #5 or Polypropylene. Its nickname is PP. It is a really sturdy type of plastic and is hard to recycle because its so thick. If I were you I would not use plastic 5 or even better don't use plastic at all, or at least try to use less.
One of the dangers of this plastic is its reaction to heat. When its heated it releases a poisonous toxin such as Carbon Monoxide. It can kill you over time. But if you are in a room filled with Carbon Monoxide can kill you in one minute. But its not just plastic 5, its most plastics as well. So if you aren't using any plastics in your car and such, take them out!
Another harmful thing about Polypropylene is how hard it is to recycle. It releases Carbon Monoxide when heated too much. But the recycling men have to melt it to recycle it because its so thick. They have to wear masks to protect them from the harmful toxin. Once, they melted it, they have to cool it down. Once its cooled, then they can reform it into something new, like one of those plastic baseball bats. They might not have enough, so they have to get some more of the same plastic in order to create the whole thing. Because if it used to be a Baskin Robins ice cream container, then I'm pretty sure they have to use some more of Polypropylene to make a plastic 5 baseball bat.
Here are some of the things that are made out of plastic 5: Food Containers, take out boxes, medicine bottles, baby bottles, cheese packages, ice cream containers, loudspeakers, thermal underwear, and carpet padding.
Some alternatives to ANY kind of plastic are, Stainless Steel, Nano Carbons (Still in the process of being made, not available, yet.) and Tempered Glass.
Finally, here is what YOU can do to help humans STOP plastic pollution! Don’t use plastic bags, use cloth bags instead. Use reusable items like cloth bags. Go digital---don’t use DvD’s! Find alternatives to items that are usually made out of plastic and you rely on! Finally, spread the word! DON’T USE PLASTIC ITEMS!!!!!
Plastics #6 by Tamara
If you don't know what plastic 6 is... Listen up! If you are wondering what is plastic number 6 is, read this amazing article. Plastic 6 is Polystyrene, otherwise known as styrofoam. Plastic #6 is used for: to-go boxes, plastic forks, plastic spoons, plastic plates, plastic cups, dvd cases, and packing peanuts. Wow! So many things that you guys use! And they are all recyclable.
Now for a random "did you know?" fact! Plastic takes 450 years to start decomposing, did you hear start decomposing. Then another 50-80 (wow) years to completely decompose. That's more than 5 centuries. More like an unfun fact if you ask me.
Now do you know if plastic 6 is recyclable? If you do, why? Here are some reasons why you should recycle it ... Plastic 6 (the styrofoam version) is about 97% air. Wow! That's light plastic! If you recycle styrofoam then we won't have to make more and we will make the world happier. Now here is another reason why you should recycle it... It is a building block! It is a building block because it can build loads of things. Remember all of those examples that I wrote in the beginning... That is why it's is a building block, and it helps recycle it because they can turn it into many things.
Here are 7 marketing areas where they use plastic 6; food service, home improvements, building and construction, cd cases, decorative accessories, export markers, and martial overseas.
Now time for the fun stuff. Do you know what the molecule looks like? Well we are going to tell you. Plastic 6 has 9 carbon and 8 hydrogen. Why do you think it is 97% air! Hydrogen is in air and/or oxygen. The carbon is inside the monocle and the hydrogen is connecting the surroundings.
If you burn any plastic at all it turns into monoxide. Monoxide is bad for you and the environment, because if you breath it then you can get lung cancer. That is why on jobs where people burn plastic they have to wear these special toxic masks so they don't breathe the air.
Now to end all of this sadness here is what you can do... Do not, I repeat do not bring trash to the beach or any plastic if you do, don't leave it. And if you see any trash pick it up. can cause marine debris. Any wildlife can think that that trash is food and that can kill them. Also when you are charging your phone unplug the cord because it is still draining the energy when the cord is in the plug. Also take shorter showers. California is having a drought so using less water helps. Also there is too much plastic, so if you reuse it then we won't have to make more, and the word will be even more happier than it is now! I hope you learned about plastic 6.
Biodegradable Plastic by Will and Reif
What is it?
Biodegradable plastic or bioplastic for short is a newer, better plastic that is much better for the environment because it is made for all natural materials like corn starch, potato starch, vegetables and other plants. This is when microorganisms in the environment break down the structure of bioplastic.
Who made it?
Well no one really made it by their self, a lot of people made different types of it all at the same time. They found it in the 1900's. They thought that every plastic was the same. But then they saw that the biodegradable plastic, shrinks up when you put it in some water. As I only know, that it happens to packing peanuts.
Is it good?
Well yes it is good, but it can take a some time to decompose, but if you put it into some water it will probably decompose on its own which is very good for the environment. Another fact why it is good is because you can eat it and usually when you can eat something it doesn't contain any harmful chemicals to the environment. But if people know about bioplastic they will actually littler more because they will think it is fine for the environment but it isn't.
Can you eat it?
You can eat it because it is made out of starch extracts from corn and potatoes. It contains water and preservatives. You can also put the plastic on your food because, bioplastic is made out of starch. You can wrap the plastic is on your food.
Is it recyclable?
You can recycle it and you should because it is a plastic and it doesn't leave behind any leftovers which is very good for the environment and other plastics leave carbon in the air and it can't be destroyed but biodegradable plastics are pretty much the opposite because it is very simple to decompose and you can probably do it by putting the bio plastic in water and letting it soak their for a while.
What can you make out of it?
Bioplastic makes packing peanuts, plastic wraps, plastic packing, and plastic utensils.there are many more kinds of bioplastic out there. Those are all made out of different kinds of bioplastic.
Call to Action
You can help save the world from trash by picking up trash that you see when they aren’t where they are supposed to be. You can use biodegradable plastic instead of other bad plastics. Finally tell all of the people that you know, your family, your friends and your neighbors.
waste management by Camden and Ford
What Is It?
Trash Trucks Collect your trash and take it to landfills or any places to get rid of it. Refuse -non hazardous trash- is collected while hazardous waste is disposed of carefully. Waste Managment used to be very dangerous but new laws have made it safer. Landfills can burn trash to reduce the refuse in landfills.
How Do We Dispose of Trash?
Landfills - We can put trash into a deep hole and then put a golf course or park over it just like the Lomas Golf Course -
Landfills can burn the trash in it to dispose of it.
Recycling - By reusing our old stuff and making it into something new -
Plasma Gasification - By electrocuting our trash -
Is Waste Management Important?
Waste Management is very important because unstored refuse can affect our water table and pollute it. It helps keep all our trash in one place so that their is not trash all over the place. Landfills are an efficient way to hold trash.
Is Waste Management A Problem?
Yes it is, Americans throw out 570 billion pounds of solid waste. We also produce 250 million tons of trash each year. One thing that is helping make landfills and waste management safer is by having plastic and clay liners that can make it so pollutants like used medicine and batteries don't get into our water table.
Why Is Trash Dangerous
Well animals eat trash and choke on it because they think they saw there food for example there would be a pelican and he would swoop down and bite the fishermans bait and he would be there with a hook in his mouth and also plastic can't be dissolved so it will be there for ever. And sit in the ocean for another animal to eat it.
How Can We Reduce Refuse
When you go shopping use the reusable bags because you can't just buy a plastic bag and throw it away because there is no out.also cool fact always unplug the power brick because the cord is sucking energy and just sits there and wastes energy.
A landfill in Newport can be seen from space and also they are making plastic liners to help all the trash juice to not go in the water.also the plastic liners are recycling good because it helps the water and it helps waste plastic
gas and oil by Brooklynn and Olive
Gas and Oils
These gases are not the smelly kind of gas or the one that evaporates in the air, we are talking about the one and only gasoline (liquid gas that you put in your car). The oil we are talking about is the oil out of the ground (not the oil that is used in your pasta). This oil is used for a fuel lubricant which is also known as grease, derived from petroleum.
Gases and Oils are both recyclable. Gases can get recycled by injecting methane gas (aka laughing gas) into the existing distribution system so it can get delivered to homes and businesses. Oils can also be recycled by processing them again into fuel and getting reheated.
Also do not put gas or oil into the trash, stream, sewer, drain, or street. If you do it can result in a fire explosion or soil, surface or groundwater contamination.
In our diagram we have a graph showing which ways of transportation put more chemicals into the air than others. So the SUV or light truck pollutes the air the most where as walking, biking, and riding an electric trolley bus does not the polite the air at all. The car that put a tiny bit of chemicals into the air was the hybrid and we will explain more about what a hybrid is.
The hybrid cars range from a two passenger to a nine. The cheapest hybrid cost less than 20,000 which is pretty cheap for a car. The new plug in hybrids are starting to take the market which means more people are starting to buy them. Most of the hybrids are packed full with technology like built in surround sound or a mini computer screen. But no need to worry depending on which hybrid you buy determines the price so if you buy the one with tons of technology it will cost more than the one with less technology.
A little thing we have for you is an UNfun fact. Did you know that burning natural gas causes bad carbon to get released into the air making it hard to breathe?
All these gases and oils can harm many things like the oceans, the air, and us humans! When oil spills occur,they leak into the ocean and can affect the ocean life. Unfortunately, the drilling going on to get to that motor oil underground is damaging the layer of rock that is protecting those oils. Over the years, that oil is slowly disintegrating. We might have a time when a thing called "peak oil", or when oils stop being provided, happens.
The gas price goes up when a lot of people go on road trips or when gas is in high demand, like during the summer! Natural Disasters can also cause gas prices to raise because everyone is going around trying to fix their life. Currently, prices are low. In fact, they are the lowest they have been in years! On the islands like Hawaii, gas cost more because of the cost to ship the fuel to the island. The prices also might be different depending on where or what kind of gas you get. So if you get the supreme gasoline it will cost more than the regular but, it might last longer. So try to walk and bike this summer to avoid those costly high gas prices.
Another UNfun fact that we have for you is that ... In 2013 we used more than 369 MILLION gallons of gasoline per DAY. Wow!
Now all this might see a little depressing but don't worry, this will cheer you up. Here's what YOU can do to help. To get more involved, contact a fire department, recycling center or a waste disposal center near you for more information on how to recycle gasoline! Also, buy a Hybrid car OR a car that runs on energy so it Willet less chemicals in the air which causes global warming. (Karina and Laney can tell you all about that in their article). Last but certainly not least, try to walk or bike places more so all those chemicals won't pollute the air.
alternative energy By Madison Miller, Anna Wallin and Alexis Malone
Alternative energy sources are basically another source of energy other than fossil fuels. The difference between fossil fuels and alternative energy are that alternative energy sources are mostly renewable energies vs fossil fuels which we will run out of quickly in the near future. Fossil fuels are also polluting the earth causing global warming and oil spills have been caused by fossil fuels.
Wind energy turns natural wind and turns it into a mechanical energy, than electricity. The USA is the second highest producer of wind energy in the world. A single modern turbine can power about 500 homes at once.
Windmills have been used since 2000 b.c.. The first windmills were in Persia and China. Egyptians used the wind for their sailboats. The first type of windmill called the primitive windmill which was used to mill grain and water. Then in Europe they made propeller windmills which you would basically picture as a windmill. Now we have modern windmills that turn wind into energy. You are probably wondering how you turn wind into electricity; well here’s how. First wind blows past the rotor blades of the windmill. Then the wind causes the rotor blades to rotate. The rotation causes an internal shaft inside the windmill to spin. The spinning energy causes a generator to go off, that generator turns the energy into electricity. The cons of wind energy are that people think too many animals are hurt by the rotor blades.
What is Nuclear Energy? Well Nuclear energy is a type of energy that we would use instead of Fossil Fuels. Why is Nuclear Energy important? Nuclear Energy is important because it creates electricity in a safe way without using Fossil Fuels. What is the bad side to Nuclear Energy? Well once you are done using Nuclear Energy it turns into a substance called Nuclear Waste. This is VERY bad to breathe in because if you did you lung would get sick and you would die. Yes very bad.
Is Nuclear Energy recyclable? No it is not at least in the U.S.A. But, in France they have made a machine that can make Nuclear Waste recyclable. Where does Nuclear Waste come from. Well if you split the nucleus of an atom in half Nuclear energy would come out and it would create a Nucleus of its own.
What can you do to help. You can use Nuclear Energy instead of fossil fuels.
You are probably wondering, what is solar energy? Solar energy is harnessed by the sun. The sun rays (aka the heat ray) go onto the the silicon sheets which is the panel. Once it is on the panel the heat balls move forward and forward, and another heat ball takes its place. That is how the electric/energy is formed.
What are the cons to solar energy? Some cons to solar energy is that solar energy and panels do cost a lot of money. For example the labor and the panels themselves can cost from 25 to 50,000 dollars depending on the size of your house or where you live. Also during the process between sun into energy it only gives 15% of electricity, so it takes longer to get 100%. Also during a cloudy day you have to save up energy which can be difficult. The money might be overwhelming to a lot but, this device will save money on your electric bill over time.
Why is solar energy important? Solar energy is important because it will prevent oil spills and save our sea life. Also the fossil fuels are polluting our environment and it is not healthy to breathe and also it is a cleaner way to produce electricity.
What can you do to help? Something that you can do to help is to try to watch less t.v. or to use less of any electricity. Also if you can't use alternative energy try to pick up plastic. Also try to conserve energy.
We hope that you can make a difference in the world by choosing alternative energy over bad fossil fuels.
fossil fuels By Sofia and Olivia
By Sofia and Olivia
What are Fossil Fuels and what do they make? Fossil Fuels are gas, coal and oil. They are made to make electricity, plastics, run our cars, trains, and causes air pollution, and global warming or the greenhouse effect.
How are fossil fuels made and how do we get them? Fossil fuels were made millions and millions of years ago from dead plants and animals. When the animals and plants die they leftover lay on the ground and over the years layers and layers of rock, sand and dirt pile over the leftovers and the leftovers either turn into a gas, coal or oil. When the scientists noticed that the fossils fuels were deep in the ground, they wanted them because they thought they would be really useful for new stuff like technology and and cars. So they used big, big machine to plow out the fossil fuels for the stuff. And that is how that they got the fossil fuels.
Why are fossil fuels a problem? Fossil fuels are a problem because they cause global warming and air pollution. When fossil fuels are burned in factories the smoke goes out and makes people hard to breathe when they breathe it in and if you breathe the smoke in multiple times it will cause lung cancer. Fossil fuels cause global warming because they release carbon dioxide into the air and that damages the atmosphere. Also when the factories burn the fossil fuels it creates a lot of noise for people who live near the factories. We are running out so we have to learn how to live without them.
What can we do about fossil fuels? We can use better resources such as geothermal/ solar energy that doesn’t hurt our planet and doesn’t pollute. We can also try to walk, bike, skateboard, scooter more than drive so we can stop and not use fossil fuels as a fuel source because its bad for the environment. Also we can conserve, clean up, and chime in. first of all chiming in is when you speak out against using motor oils and walk and bike instead. You can conserve by conserving your electricity, and thermostat. You can finally clean up. clean up after yourself but also clean up after others. It makes a big difference.
Here are some fun facts about fossil fuels. There is a bubble around the planet that stops heat from coming in and we are not getting enough of it because of global warming. It takes millions of years for fossil fuels to form and fossil fuels started when the dinosaurs were around. Fossil fuels cannot be made by humans. About 90% is made from fossil fuels. Thanks for reading and that is all about fossil fuels.
global warming by Laney and Karina
The carbon cycle is the cycle of how carbon travels throughout the earth. It is like the water cycle, except more complex. The animals add carbon dioxide when they breathe. Then plants soak it up during photosynthesis, and store it in cells. Lastly, when animals die, the carbon dioxide in their body absorbs into the earth's crust.
How does this affect us?
This affects us in many ways, such as the polar ice caps. They are melting, and soon the rising of the tides will flood the coastlines. Second, some gases are toxic, and bad for our health. Finally, there will be stronger storms, such as hurricanes. Because of the warmer water, hurricanes and other severe storms will be able to last longer, and are more harmful.
Is Carbon Dioxide bad?
No, carbon dioxide is not bad, unless there is too much in the atmosphere or air. Carbon dioxide is in all cells, even in cells of non living things such as rocks and soil, and the sea. One of the main reasons of excess Carbon in the atmosphere is the clearing of forests in South America and Africa. The fire used to burn the trees is letting extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and once the trees are gone, they are not taking in all that carbon dioxide.
The Greenhouse effect is an effect where heat rays from the sun shine on the earth. Now, normally they would just bounce off and continue that pattern but now because of all the pollution and gas, the atmosphere has too much greenhouse gases (methane, water vapor and carbon) it traps in the heat so it can’t bounce of anymore- it gets trapped in and it makes a humid and warmer environment.
Why is it called the greenhouse effect?
It is called the greenhouse effect because what happens is very much like what happens in a greenhouse. The gases trap in heat from the sun, like the special glass used for greenhouses trap in heat for the plants.
How Do These Topics Relate?
One reason these two topics relate is that they are BOTH huge causes of global warming because the greenhouse effect causes our world to become more of a humid/hot environment. Also, the carbon cycle makes it harder to breathe in the world because there is too much carbon. Another reason these topics relate is that they are both caused by humans. We burn down trees and do many other things that can put more carbon dioxide in the air- too much. And the greenhouse effect was caused by humans because the humans made it so that there is too much greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by polluting the air, littering, etc. The last reason is that they can both harm our way of life such as eating, drinking and breathing. Too much carbon makes it hard to breathe and the greenhouse effect makes our world much more hot and it can kill lots of food sources such as animal and plants.
What can YOU do to help?
There are many things YOU can do to help including walking biking or riding a skateboard or scooter. But try not to use cars. And if you have to use a car, carpool. Chime in, or speak up about protecting the environment. Tell people about the dangers, and encourage them to buy better products. Lastly, you can use less electricity. Watch less TV, turn off the lights when you’re not at home, turn down the thermostat at night, use fans instead of AC and air dry clothes instead of using the dryer. All of those things use LOTS of electricity, and if we use less of them, we can help little by little. I hope you try and save the environment by doing these things.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”