America’s Dirty Secret

    (Have one student read aloud)

    Did you know that America’s number one export is … garbage? In Edward Hume’s book called, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash. Americans, while making up only five percent of the world’s population, produce almost a quarter of its garbage, much of which ends up in landfills and the ocean.  The book talks about how quickly Americans get tired of things and just throw them away.  How often does someone in your family get a new TV, computer or cell phone?  What happens to the old ones?


    Some studies say that every American produces SEVEN pounds of trash every day, and some of that winds up in other countries. 

    STOP and discuss…

    ·        Do you agree with this?

    ·        What kinds of things do you throw away that could be of use to others?

    ·        What do you recycle at your house?  How does recycling help?

    So how does that affect the rest of the world?  What’s the big deal anyway?

    Get some information from this video, created by a high school student.



    Does our own Ship Channel transport trash to other countries?  How could you find out?

    In some countries, sorting trash is the only way that the poorest people survive.  If the dumps are cleaned up by the government, what will those people do for food, clothing, and money?


    As a campus, what three things could we do to help cut down on trash?  (Think about electronics and other toxic substances).




    Choose ONE idea to put on a post-it outside your classroom door.

    For further study…