Initiative News & Calendar
November 17, 2017
Houghton Middle School wins Lexus Eco Challenge again
HOUGHTON HOUGHTON For the third time, Houghton Middle School students have won the Lexus Eco Challenge in the Land a ... >>more
November 16, 2017
Local educators present at Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative's Place Based Education Conference
The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (GLSI) Place Based Education Conference took place at Eastern Michigan Universi ... >>more
October 26, 2017
Students spend day learning at Lake Superior Water Festival
HOUGHTON High school students from five Upper Peninsula counties learned more about the Great Lakes and the research b ... >>more


News & Announcements
Cardboard recycling launch event features fun, education
The Portage Lake District Library was not as quiet as the traditional book repository Saturday, but the kids were getting excited about waste and recycling at the Cardboard Recycling Celebration.

With activities for all ages - from a cardboard box castle for the little ones to tables where older kids could consider their lunchtime choices with waste in mind - there was plenty to keep them thinking and chattering, and plenty to share with mom and dad.

"The idea is to get the kids involved and they engage their parents," said Suzanne Van Dam, co-chair of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative, which hosted the event along with the library and some help from Joan Chadde of the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education.

Copper Country kids of all ages make their own recycled paper at the Cardboard Recycling Celebration Saturday at the Portage Lake District Library. Clockwise from lower left are Janel Kangas, 5, volunteer Zack Ackerman, Irene Hillman, 13, and Oliver Hillman, 10.

Alexandra Larson, attending with her son Alan, said she thinks kid leadership can be an effective strategy.
"When I was a kid, I dragged my parents into recycling," she said.

Van Dam said the event was held primarily to celebrate the launch of the recycling center at the Houghton County Transfer Station earlier this month, and the new satellite cardboard recycling center in Chassell.

One way to celebrate was to make some use of the new opportunity by collecting cardboard on the spot and trucking it up to the Houghton County facility in Atlantic Mine. Volunteer Dave Rulison, who brought the truck with the topper, said he'd run up about three truckloads.

There were indoor activities for adults, with a 3-D printer demonstration and an educational display on possible routes to increased curbside recycling, but things were mostly focused on the kids, with about half a dozen youth-oriented stations.

"Probably the most fun is the recycling machine," Van Dam said, pointing to a cardboard box "machine" that would exchange recycled waste for finished products.
"When you put something in and get something out you see the benefits," she said.

Larson said she liked Van Dam's table, where Van Dam showed how lunchbox choices can make a difference in reducing waste - by taking portions of raisins from a big box, for example, instead of using individual little boxes.

"It's pretty neat, makes a profound statement," Larson said. "If we can make a small difference, we should."

Volunteer Raymond Naasko, 16, was leading a paper recycling activity where old Daily Mining Gazettes were pulped, bleached, pressed, decorated and dried into new decorative paper. Naasko said he'd come out to help because he saw recycling as important to everyone's future.

"We need to take care of our planet or we won't have it later on," he said.


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