These Webpages are no longer maintained. We are keeping the pages here to preserve some of the early years of ProjectDragonfly, to honor the students who created the interactives in the early days of the Web, and because many of the activities are fun and people are still using them. For current Project Dragonfly work, go


The ProjectDragonflyteam.


Did you know that every year American people throw away 208 million tons of municipal solid waste? That means that every day each person throws away an average of 4.3 pounds of garbage or trash! Where on earth does all of this garbage go? The answer is landfills. 
Pop cans are one of the many items that you can recycle in your home.

Fortunately there are ways to keep these landfills from getting too full. An easy way to do this is to use the 3R's. The 3R's stand for REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. So what do we mean when we say REDUCE? To reduce is to buy fewer things, so that we have less garbage do contend with. REDUCING is the most effective way to cut down on municipal solid waste. To reduce we should try to buy durable, long-lasting products. That way we don't have to throw them away as often. We also need to make sure we are using packing that is free of toxins, or things that are poisonous.

Another way to really help the environment is to REUSE. To REUSE means not to throw things away after having used them only once or twice. So how can you do this? First of all, it always helps to try to repair things. If something stops working, don't throw it away. There's probably someone who can fix it and it will be good as new! Also, when you outgrow your clothes, don't leave them on the curb for the garbage collectors. Instead, donate them to charity. Then someone who needs those clothes can use them and they will not go to waste. 

And the last R is RECYCLE. Did you know that after you have finished using something and it can't be reused, it can be made into something else? Well that's exactly what recycling is. By recycling, we can use everything we throw away and eliminate a lot of waste. Basically recycling is a way to give a second life to materials that we otherwise would have been thrown away. Some of the main things that can be recycled are packaging items. This includes things like glass bottles and jars, paper boxes, bags and cartons, metal (like steel and aluminum) and plastic bottles or jugs. So why do we recycle and how can you get involved?
Does your community have a curbside recycling program? See how much trash you can recycle!

There are different recycling programs in every city and town. It's very important to find out how to get involved with recycling in your community. Some places have a "pay as you throw" policy. This is a policy that keeps people from being irresponsible with waste because they have to pay every time their garbage is collected. The more waste they are producing, the more they have to pay. 

There are more than 4,000 cities that have implemented a pay-as-you-throw policy. With a pay-as-you-throw policy, you are charged for each bag or can of garbage you throw away. People are more likely to recycle if they have to pay for their trash. Remember all of the ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce? Don't forget to be a smart consumer. The less packaging the better. Here are some suggestions for what to buy the next time you're in a store: 

  • Juice Boxes aren't a good idea because they use a lot of packing. Try using a reusable thurmos instead. 
  • Plastic silverware isn't a good idea either. You should always try to avoid using plastic silverware. It can be a good time saver, but take a few extra seconds to wash your silverware instead of throwing it away. It will pay off in the long run. 
  • Bulk items, such as economy sized jars of peanut butter are a good thing to buy. If you buy the big jar of peanut butter, you will not go through it as fast. If you buy the small jars, you will be throwing away jars all of the time. 
In order to make recycling as easy and convenient as possible, almost all communities have curbside recycling programs. That means all you have to do is put your recycling on the curb with your garbage. It's that easy! Make sure you and your family are taking advantage of that great opportunity to help save the planet. And make sure you aren't ever throwing away recyclables! 

Rescuing Sea Otters 
Helping with Fire
Recycling: how
can you help? 
Firefighters Need Your Help!
Dragonfly Main

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