Going Green

Understand what it means to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  • Target Age:  3-5 
  • Subject: earth science, recycling
  • Related Episode: What Goes Up


  • None — use any relevant household items.


We can help protect our Earth by being careful of how we use its resources. One way is to reduce the number of things you buy and the amount of water and other natural resources you use. And instead of throwing things away, you can also find ways to reuse them, or you can recycle them. Here are some earth-friendly ideas that your family might like to try.


Is your child tired of his or her toys, books, and games? Instead of heading to the store to buy something new, help your child arrange a toy or book swap with a sibling or a friend.

Instead of buying a Halloween costume, help your child make one from an old pillow case, a box, or a paper bag. Instead of buying wrapping paper, ask your child to make some, or use the comics section of the newspaper.

Make it a family habit to turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth. When you wash your hands, fill the sink with a pool of water. You can save a lot of water this way!


Put a bucket outside when it rains. The next day, you and your child can use the rainwater to water plants.

Does your child take lunch to school? Instead of throwing away the lunch bag, encourage your child to bring it home and reuse it. Your child might like to decorate a lunch bag and write his or her name on it.


Your child can have fun and learn how to recycle. Show your child the recycling symbol on the bottom of a food container. Let him or her search for the same symbol on other containers. When the containers are empty, your child can find the symbol again, help rinse the containers, and place them in your recycling bin.

More Ways to Discover and Learn

Look in a Book

  • Recycle Every Day! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
  • Where Does the Garbage Go? by Paul Showers


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!