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Cool Schools: Up Cycling

8:54 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA) -- "Chip bags are always thrown away and they are never used for anything, but now that are." Third Grader Taylor Oates is taking conservation to a new level.

She and her classmates at Cedar Grove Elementary are doing something called "UP CYCLING."

They collected things like foil pouches from their juice drinks and potato chip bags and send them off to a company called Terra Cycle in New Jersey. The school gets money for the effort. This year the students have been able to earn almost $200 dollars far.

It's called UP CYCLING, because the items don't get melted down and made into something else. That potato chip bag gets turned into a notebook folder or a new pencil case complete with the Lays potato chip logo still on it! Then the items are sold in stores like Walmart and Target. How COOL is that?

Principal Lee Derby says being able to actually see their hard work reused helps drive the conservation lesson home. "They may have had that same kind of chip in their lunch that day, and here they are buying a backpack or that looks just like that."

I asked third grader Mateo Ferro what the program has meant to him so far: "Green means what again? It means taking care of the world and helping other people."

Pretty COOL!

If you have a Cool School e-mail Mike Hydeck your story ideas at coolschools@wusa9.com. Catch our Cool Schools reports every Friday morning at 5:45 a.m.

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