Along with your family and friends, you'll learn about the effects of waste on our environment, reduce the number of discarded single-use plastic bottles and bags, and increase aluminum recycling rates. You'll be working toward lifelong behavior changes by:
At the end of your project, on the Record Your Project page, you'll log:
You can create a reusable bag from existing plastic grocery bags or items that are headed for the wastebasket or donation pile. For example, by following the steps outlined here, a treasured Girl Scout T-shirt can become a sturdy bag—a great way to show Girl Scout pride and honor all the Girl Scout environmental efforts over the last 100 years! But you're not limited by this design; feel free to search online for other creative ways to make reusable bags—or come up with some of your own!
Make a Girl Scout T-shirt Reusable Bag
Turn an old Girl Scout (or other) shirt into a reusable bag in just three steps.
Girl Scouts Forever Green reusable bags may be available for purchase in local Girl Scout council shops.
Use reusable bottles
Pick out a bottle or container you'll carry with you at all times, and refill it with tap water or another beverage. A variety of bottles are available in stores and online; aluminum bottles are recommended, since they contain no Bisphenol A (BPA), an organic compound used to make many plastics that can cause various health problems. A Girl Scouts Forever Green reusable bottle may be available in local Girl Scout council shops.
Recycle aluminum cans
The aluminum can is infinitely recyclable, which means it can be used, recycled, and turned back into a new can over and over again. In fact, it can be recycled and back on the store shelf as a new beverage can in less than 60 days! That's great for the environment, because it takes 95% less energy to make a can from recycled aluminum than from raw materials. By recycling aluminum cans, you're also saving valuable space in our landfills. Check out this YouTube video, InCANvenient Truth, to hear the whole story.
So, let's recycle! Set up a plan for recycling efforts in your school or community. Use Alcoa's Recycling Toolkit to help you set up your own recycling center, promote your cause, and learn where to trade your cans for cash. Download tools and resources, including the 101 Recycling—School PowerPoint presentation to teach your classmates about aluminum and recycling. Have an iPhone? Use the Aluminate iPhone App to help you set your recycling goal, track your progress, and help you make the world a better place through recycling. Your efforts will not only benefit the environment, but also are an effective way to raise money for your Girl Scouts Forever Green projects. When you follow Alcoa's step-by-step guide, you'll be recycling in no time!
Here are some ways to recycle, depending upon where you live:
Curbside recycling: If this is available in your community, it's the easiest way to recycle. Simply put your aluminum cans in the bin and let your local recycler take them away for you. If you don't have a curbside program, consider asking your local town to start one.
School, camp, or office recycling: Think about your school, Girl Scout camp or service center, place of worship, and offices in your community. Some of these have recycling programs, but some don't. If they don't, offer to start one for them!
Earn Cash Recycling: In communities without curbside recycling, collect aluminum cans and sell them to recycling dealers, and then use the proceeds to fund your Girl Scout activities. Even if you have curbside recycling, turning your cans into cash and putting that toward your take action project is a great way to get extra mileage from recycling. Check out "Earn Cash Recycling" on Alcoa's website to get yours started. Note: As with any opportunity to raise funds in the name of Girl Scouts, check with your council to learn if there are any approvals needed.
Your friendly neighborhood recycler: If you don't have access to curbside recycling, or if you want to get money for your aluminum, go to the Recycling Center Search tool for information on where to find your nearest recycler.
Count the number of cans you recycled and record your totals on the GSFG Record Your Project page. Need some help counting cans? Try this.
1 can = 12oz
128 oz = 1 gallon
10.6 cans = 1 gallon (Round down to 8 cans per gallon because of the void space between the cans—curved edges.) So…approximately 8 cans = 1 gallon
Now do the math. Figure out how many gallons the bags or bins you're using to collect your cans hold. Take 8 cans and multiply by the number of gallons in your bag or bin = total number of cans recycled.
See Girl Scouts Forever Green pledge cards, stickers, Web banners, posters, and more!