Sample Research Paper
Janice Baldwin-Hench
Trash and Treasure

Reduce, reuse, recycle—these are words I used to hear, approve of, and forget in my everyday life.   I agreed that they were noble goals and wondered when some of the big fast food chains would stop creating a small mound of trash with each dinner they sold.   It took three steps to help me figure out that I didn't have to wait for corporate giants to do something about trash; I could start a little green revolution in my own home and backyard.
The "recycle" part came first.   The ecology committee of my church introduced me to the black recycling igloo that now sits in my backyard.   It is home to all my fruit and veggie scraps.   These join weeds l from the garden and dry grasses I cut down in mid-March to form compost.   Igloos also played a part in the other things I recycled: glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans.   My son loved the idea that he could throw bottles and hear them break at the recycling station created in our township.   Curbside recycling made recycling easier (but perhaps not as much fun).

Next came "reduce."     In 2005, my husband and I helped our mothers move from single family homes to retirement communities.   The good news is that both moms have been healthy and happy in their new homes since then.   The bad news was we had to sort through decades of keepsakes, furniture, clothes, and cookware that exceeded their new space.   The experience convinced us to de-clutter and downsize before the job got passed on to our kids.  

Finally, I understood "reuse" both as a donor and purchaser.   It was so much easier to clear out unwanted items from our lives when the trash can was not the only option.   We became frequent donors to thrift stores and the good causes they sponsor.   I have to admit that I had never shopped at a thrift store, but once I looked around, I saw some really nice things for great prices.   At the same time, my husband and I bought a retirement...