From Trash to Treasure

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Robert Frost Middle School students committed to a "greener" world and spread the word to their peers to think about the positive impact they could have on the earth by repurposing items. Prompted by this initiative to become more eco-friendly and eco-conscious, they made posters featuring tips on clean living and created mini-books with the message of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Throughout the month of April, students brought in plastics, take-out containers, egg cartons, broken costume jewelry and toys, frames, bottles, glassware and assorted bric-a-brac. The unwanted items received a second life as they were transformed into useful and beautiful products in the "Trash to Treasure" recycling project.

Students were challenged to use their resourcefulness to design, plan and create useful products using the discarded materials. Older students assisted younger students, and all were encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills, working outside the box to accomplish their "green" goals and do their part to improve the environment.

The result was a variety of innovative items, including a vinyl record clock; a "green footprint" shoe organizer; iPod holders; an automatic plant-watering system; hand-sewn grocery shopping bags made from discarded Capri-Sun drink pouches; a purse made from old library books, bamboo and burlap; and leather jewelry made from old softballs. Students learned that transforming old trash into a new product rather than buying a brand-new packaged item saves energy and money and reduces air and water pollution.