Operation bed roll, Valentine's Day activities, and upcoming events in this issue of Bin Thinking
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February 2017

A Note from Jane

Valentine’s Day is a time to show some love for our planet and our fellow citizens. You can do both by teaching your students to prepare used plastic bags for crochet teams who are making bed rolls for the homeless.
This project reduces the number of bags that end up in landfills, out in nature or in recycling facilities where they jam machines. It also provides comfortable, light-weight, quick-drying bed rolls for people who need them.
Students can do one or more of these steps: collect, flatten, fold, cut, or loop plastic bags to create “plarn” (plastic bag yarn). Some students are even learning how to crochet!
This project will be demonstrated along with other projects at the “Create for a Cause” EEASC/Green Step Workshop on February 9.
Please consider joining the Greater Columbia Operation Bed Roll Team.
Jane Hiller
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling

Pictured: Kindergarden student from DFE learning to "plarn."

In This Issue

Operation Bed Roll 
Valentine's Day Activities 
Green Lesson Plans

More about Operation Bed Roll

Are you looking for ways to incorporate "plarning" into your curriculum? Local educators suggest tying this activity to these standards:
  • 3.P.2A.5 Define problems related to heat transfer and design devices or solutions that facilitate (conductor) or inhibit (insulator) the transfer of heat.
  • 5.S.1B.1 Construct devices or design solutions to solve specific problems or needs: (1) ask questions to identify problems or needs, (2) ask questions about the criteria and constraints of the devices or solutions, (3) generate and communicate ideas for possible devices or solutions, (4) build and test devices or solutions, (5) determine if the devices or solutions solved the problem and refine the design if needed, and (6) communicate the results. 
  • 5.E.3B.3 Construct scientific arguments to support claims that human activities (such as conservation efforts or pollution) affect the land and oceans of Earth. 
  • 5.E.3B.4 Define problems caused by natural processes or human activities and test possible solutions to reduce the impact on landforms and the ocean shore zone. 
A huge “thank you” to our recycling friends in Greensboro, NC for sharing this clear tutorial! 
Get the Tutorial

Fun Things to Do This Valentine’s Day

In 2016, generous support from the NASA Earth Science Division helped develop music videos for Parts I, II, and III of the song. 

The Climate Change Song

Congaree National Park’s David Shelley’s Climate Change Song has been made into three music videos. After David presented the song at the ETS course in Anchorage in 2015, a NASA Earth Science Education lead in attendance inquired about setting the music to video that would feature some NASA images and visualizations, and arranged funding for the project to proceed. The videos and lyrics are available for anyone to use. 
Get the Video and Lyrics

Forever Curious Green Lesson Plans and Resources

Are your students aware of the environment and their impact on it? This can be a challenging topic to cover in a positive way, but with the right resources, you can lay the foundation for a lifetime of living in a “green” way. Whether you’re prepping for Earth Day activities or just want to have a little bit of an environmental focus to your classroom, these activities from the Forever Curious blog, offered by Lexington County’s Mary Hite and India Woodson, will get you started.
Be Forever Curious

Teacher Spotlight

Congratulations to Kristin Ziegler (pictured right), Lead Teacher for the School of Zoological and Botanical Studies (ZooBot) at Longleaf Middle School, who has been named the 2016 S.C. Conservation Teacher of the Year for Secondary Education (7th-12th Grade) by the S.C. Association of Conservation Districts. Previously, Ziegler was named Richland County Conservation Teacher of the Year by the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District. These conservation awards are presented annually to a teacher who has exhibited an outstanding commitment to conservation education.

School Spotlight

St. John Neumann Catholic School was awarded a DHEC Recycling Grant to purchase a portable sink that collects liquids from recyclable drink containers.

(Sink pictured right)

February Events

February 3

Applications are due for the Conservation Education Mini-Grants and Clean Stream Columbia Awards
These awards provide up to $500 to support conservation projects at Richland County Schools.
Get an application.


February 4

Free Coaches Training for the S.C. High School Envirothon Competition
Get free training to coach for the competition, which will be held May 5.

Details and Registration.


February 9

EEASC/Green Steps Educator Workshop “Create for a Cause”

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Location: Sonoco Recycling, 1132 Idlewilde Blvd, Columbia
Cost: Free for EEASC Members / $5 cash at the door for non-members
Details: See eco-friendly projects your students can make to use, sell or donate.


February 11

Richland County Recycle and Shred Event

Time: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Location: Crayton Middle School/5000 Clemson Ave
Get a list of accepted materials. 


February 14

EEASC Midlands Meet-Up

Time: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Location: Sonoco Recycling, 1132 Idlewilde Blvd, Columbia
RSVP to Jane Hiller


February 17

Entries Due for PalmettoPride’s Litter Trashes Everyone Art Contest

Time: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Details: Great prizes for participating students and their teachers. Winning entries will be displayed at EdVenture.

Get an application.


February 17

Deadline to Register for 25 free redbud trees 

Order early before they are all gone! Seedlings will be shipped to arrive by April 28, 2017. Order trees and get free lessons and activities plans tied to national 3rd grade standards.

Order your trees.


February 18

Great Backyard Bird Count

Time: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Location: The Carolina Children’s Garden Clemson Research and Education Center 
at Sandhill
Details: The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at

Email Carolina Children's Garden to register for this free event for all ages or learn more.

March Events

March 3

Operation Bed Roll Training

Time:10:30 a.m-noon
Location: Deep Woods Estates, 203 Old Chapin Road, Lexington, SC
RSVP: 803-779-0608

March 11
Lexington County Electronic Recycle and Paper Shred Event

Time: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Location: Leesville at Southern Tool Works parking lot

Get a list of accepted materials.
Sonoco Recycling is a proud member of the Sonoco Family, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services.
Copyright © 2017 Sonoco Recycling, All rights reserved.

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