At our private school, we strive to educate our students to be good Earth stewards. We have a fundraiser/recycling program that is ongoing in our school. We collect batteries, ink cartridges and cell phones for recycling. We work with a company that pays us for the cell phones and ink cartridges. The batteries are recycled at Ikea.

Americans throw away 250 million pounds of batteries per year; add cell phones and ink cartridges, and you are talking about a lot of valuable space being taken up by landfills. The resources used to create these items can be reused, by recycling these products into new phones and batteries.

Because we have k-12 at our school, I wanted a way for the youngest students to understand how much we were collecting. So, we have a bulletin board with a large balance scale on it. On one side, we have our batteries, phones and cartridges with the weight in pounds. On the other side, we have a picture of a well-known animal that corresponds to that weight. For example, right now, we have a picture of a pig to correspond to 170 lbs. As we collect more, the animals get larger. Until we get to a whale- 110,000 pounds! Then we start over.

Our students are learning to take care of our planet, be green, conserve valuable resources, and be charitable too. The money we raise from the phones and cartridges goes into our fund for donations to Heifer Project International.