Fun with Waste

In one episode of the web video "Loop Scoops," a boy figures out how to minimize a heap of garbage.
© WGBH

This week marks the launching of "Loop Scoops," a new web series from Annie Leonard, author of The Story of Stuff, and director of The Story of Stuff Project. For the eight-part series, Leonard has teamed up with PBS Kids, creating an animated series that tackles the issue of waste in quick, entertaining stories. One video centers on garbage. A character Oliver is challenged by a Sphinx to reduce a massive pile of garbage. Oliver gets to work sorting what's recyclable or can be given away or composted before realizing that all that thrown-away stuff is his. Other videos center on uses for excess paper, and with understanding where handheld devices come from—and what happens when they are thrown out.

The idea is to challenge kids (ideally ages 6-9) to think about the origins of their "stuff" and the consequences of throwing things out—or wasting things—in an entertaining format. Says WGBH Senior Executive Producer Kate Taylor: "We are really excited that we could produce these videos with the guidance of Annie Leonard. We want to help kids build the mental muscle necessary to ask critical questions about the things they use in their daily lives. We believe that if kids gain an understanding of where the "everyday stuff" in their lives comes from and where it goes when they're done with it, that this will lead them to make good choices that support environmental sustainability, both now and as they grow up."

Each video comes with complementary teaching materials, so educators can inject a little fun environmental-themed instruction into their lesson plans, too. The only downside is that the videos do not contain closed captions for hearing impaired viewers. One interested viewer who asked about the closed captions was told by program director Blyth Lord that closed captions were not in the budget.

Source: Loop Scoops videos