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Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle strikes me as perhaps the standard-setting book on the subject or recycling, suitable for almost any age, including middle school through collegiate levels. The text is well-informed, straightforward, and engaging and is broken up by many, many photos, illustrations, infographics, side-bars, and pull-quotes (“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,” Thoreau, or “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now,” Chinese proverb). I particularly appreciated the repeated “The Lifecycle of…” charts, which broke down the production and use of ordinary household products, like aluminum cans or tables, as well as the timeline infographics of the history of things like glass and organics.

There are over a hundred tips and projects included in Make Garbage Great, and although I may not replace aluminum foil with banana leaves in my kitchen or make a bicycle inner tube rubber wallet anytime soon, the examples are very helpful in considering how to reduce, reuse, and recycle in my daily life. Chapters include Plastics, Metals, Paper, Textiles, Glass, Wood, Rubber, and Organics. This is an excellent text, which is well-worth considering, and would be a truly fantastic inclusion within your home, curricula, or library.