The books we read: The Earth and I by Frank Asch and Compost Stew By Mary McKenna Siddals
Biodegradable and Non Biodegradable Materials: any type of paper, plastic, metal, cardboard
Jars with lids, water to fill the jars
Sticky notes and a pen for labeling jars
We chose: bottle plastic, grocery bag plastic, an old cardboard book cover and bond paper to put into our jars of water.
What we know: We read the books and talked about where trash goes. We talked about what happens if our Landfill got full with trash, where would we put another one? We decided WE didn’t’ want a landfill next to where WE live.
What we wanted to know: Do things go away (dissolve/biodegrade) once they are buried in a landfill.
The prediction was that all of our materials would dissolve.
The boys- (4yo and 6yo), filled two jars apiece up with water. Then cut up a few pieces of their items to put in their jars.
We checked our covered specimens every day, a week later the cardboard and paper showed signs of dissolving. The book cover turned the water a bit green. After a week the plastic had not changed at all. We were ALL surprised that the bond paper was only soft, not dissolved yet.
What we learned: We talked about our observations, and that plastic stays in landfills. We also talked realized that plastic won’t dissolve in the ocean, either. That’s why we recycle our plastic, and even our paper. Otherwise, where will all the garbage go?
Finally, we watched a 3 min. video about the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, which shows the result of what can happen to trash if not disposed of properly. No verbal narration, but the words can be read outloud if desired.
(The video provided transition to our compost experiment, next post.)
Watch and see what happens: the boys still check the jars daily to see how the paper is changing.