b"EducatingKids on TrashA summer walk turns into a waste auditBY GEORGIA MADIBAP laygroundsreopenedinJulyaf- end up on the sidewalk? Where could it end up ifMadiba's children, Joanna and Matthis, proudly present ter being closed due to the pan- not placed back in the garbage can? And, most im-demicand,naturally,mytwoportantlyhow could the trash have been eliminat-childrenwereeagertoreturntoed in the first place? We discussed hungry animals ortheir garbageit fits inside a bread bag, made possible their old stomping grounds. Theywinds as the likely cause of the trash spilling fromby following tips on waste prevention and reduction.hadnt been on a swing or slide forthe can to the sidewalk, concluding that an easy so-months. lution is always to secure your garbage can tightly Headed to South Oranges Farrell Field, we turnedwith a bungee cord or the like. We talked about the the corner with the park in the distance and our eyesrole of rain or wind in spreading waste to the nearest locked on the sight of trash strewn on the sidewalkstorm drain where it could travel to our local rivers in front of several houses. It caught the childrensand then to the ocean, polluting our waterways. adults alike are taught to pick up litter. But the attention because among the pieces of trash was aWithout planning it, we had begun the first stepsmessaging must shift to efforts of not making waste small,brightlycoloredtoywhichappearedtobeof a waste audit, which aims at waste reduction andin the first place. With a little creative and critical in good condition. (Admittedly, I was hopeful thatpreventionin other words, reducing or not creat- thinking, anyone can do it. Our impromptu mini-the sight would grab their attention because I hading waste in the first place. A waste audit evaluateswaste audit reminded us that making less waste is an been teaching them about waste since they were verywaste by type and amount and identifies how to de- all-around good thing. young!) Surrounding the toy was household trash:crease it. While waste audits are more common inGeorgia Madiba lives in South Orange with her hus-used paper towels, plastic baggies, food and otherwork places and schools, they can be done anywhereband and two children and is completing her certifica-garbage. As I heard the pleas to bring the toy home,trash is generated. tion as a Rutgers Environmental Steward. She is the co-my mind was busy classifying the waste. Waste,whethergarbageorrecyclables,doesntchair of South Mountain Elementarys Green Team. As a It immediately became a teaching moment formagically go away when it is picked up at the curb- high schooler, she lectured her father on the perils of plas-my school-age children. Why and how did the trashside; it simply goes somewhere else. Children andtic sandwich baggies and urged him to stop using them.Start a Home Waste AuditITEM MATERIAL AMOUNT REASON WAYS TO T ry conducting a waste audit for a day or REDUCE/PREVENT weeks time. Simply record everything you bought place in the garbage or recycling for that pe-Cucumber Food III too much plan meals riod of time. Get the whole family involved spilledkids enjoy sorting and recording.Paper Towels Paper IIII coffee use cloth instead When you're done, analyze how you can reduce or prevent waste and create a family list of resolutions from the responses in the last column. For example, replace paper towels with cloth, or plan meals before going food shopping.34/ matters magazine / school 2020"