Sunday, April 22, 2007

Why Should I Recycle?

I mentioned Why Should I Recycle? in my last Global Warming Wednesday post, so I decided to say a little bit more about the book on Earth Day-proper.

In the past three weeks, Scooter's bedtime reading has consisted of two books: Little Engines Can do BIG Things (with everyone's favorite, Thomas) and Why Should I Recycle? I'm used to Thomas being the usual bedtime reading, the same book for several nights in a row. So it was a bit of a treat that Scooter has started pulling out the recycling book frequently. And while I did buy it with the hopes of pushing environmental interests, the recent desire to read it has been entirely of his own motivation.

The book is fairly short and does not overwhelm with text. Nor is it particularly preachy, but instead uses the tagline "Why waste waste?" The pictures are cartoonish: when the narrator says her family never used to recycle, the picture is of a garbage can piled outrageously high. That's part of what holds his interest. Every time we get to the page that suggests we should take clothes, toys, and other things we no longer want to second-hand shop, I emphasize the "toys" part, hoping that some day Scooter will suggest we donate some of his excess. Hasn't worked yet.

But he is definitely more interested in recycling now. He announced to us as we came home from the zoo yesterday that a truck we saw was "a 'cycling truck, not a garbage truck." And when we got off the streetcar on Friday, he recycled the transfer (at my suggestion) in a nearby bin. I like that it's something he sees as a matter-of-fact part of life, and as he starts to notice more and more of the world around him, this book has helped to get some conversation going.

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