This is the 1st year for REACH’s Seed Paper Valentines project. We’re making Valentines for the environment.
Seed Paper Valentines is a Green Steps project for conserve and recycle. This Green Steps project has 3 components:
- Students learn something about reducing landfill waste by recycling.
- Do something to conserve and recycle.
- Teach others about what they have learned about recycling.
We implemented this project at the Irmo Co-op–where students meet once a week to engage in learning activities. Participants can sign up for the STEAM club one-lesson-at-a-time or commit to all the lessons. This learning co-op meets at Christus Victor Lutheran Chuch.
Composting and Recycling helps reduce how much we throw away.
LEARN: Several of our Green Steps project address reducing what we throw into the landfill. This project is finding new uses for items that would otherwise be thrown away. In this project, students learned about paper products that can be recycled. Recycling is a process that breaks down the original item and makes something new. Our paper can also be composted or planted in a garden. In addition to the recycling, students also learned about non-native invasive plants that do not have natural predators in this area.
Paper pulp feels squishy!
DO: The students explored the color variations with some colored construction paper included with the newspaper pulp. The black ink from the newspaper tints the pulp grayish. They made a color variation. They also discovered some differences in the amount of pulp they used affected the thickness of the finished paper. Each student got a packet of seeds to incorporate into their pulp mixture. The resulting paper could then be planted as a Valentine to nature.
Note: Leftover paper pulp was used in a home compost bin. See our vermi-compost project for more info about composting.
Be sure to press and squeeze all the water out of the pulp mixture.
TEACH: Students are taking their paper creations home with them. They are telling their friends and families about the ongoing problem of recyclable materials in our landfills. This handmade paper is a great token gift that works as a conversation starter about recycling. Or if they plant the paper, the flowers serve as another conversation starter about non-native invasives.
Teen Class discusses Kudzu, one of the non-native invasive plants they have seen before.
Clemson Extension has more information and resources about non-native invasive plants in South Carolina. Love our environment and choose local plants for your garden.
We love nature.
Read more about our Green Steps Projects 2018-2019: