Baloo's Bugle

February Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 7
March 2008 Theme

Theme: Litter to Glitter
Webelos: Engineer & Athlete
Tiger Cub Activities


Sam Houston Area Council

Sort materials, rinse containers, and store in a safe, dry place. It's easy. With a little practice, it takes less than five minutes a day. Sort your materials and rinse any leftover contents from containers so your items won't begin to smell bad or attract ants and bees. Here is how the City of Houston wants you to sort materials and get them ready to recycle.

  • Newspapers: place in paper bags, stack and store.
  • Cans: empty, rinse and store.
  • Plastic containers: empty, rinse, flatten and store.
  • Glass containers: empty and rinse. Separate by color - clear, brown, and green. Store unbroken.
  • Motor oil: drain and store in a sealed container.

Did You Know?
Capital Area Council

We need to be aware of out environment and what we can do to help preserve our natural resources.

This is an excellent month to work on the World Conservation Award.

Can You Believe?

  • Each person in the United States throws out about four pounds of garbage every day.
  • New York City alone throws out enough garbage each day to fill the Empire State building.
  • In one day, Americans get rid of 20,000 cars and 4,000 trucks and buses.
  • Fourteen billion pounds of trash is dumped into ocean every year.
  • Forty-three thousand tons of food is thrown out in the United States each day.
  • Each hour, people in the United States use two and a half million plastic bottles.
  • People in the United States throw out about 200 million tires every year.
  • All the people in the United States make enough garbage each day to fill 100,000 garbage trucks.
  • In only one day, people in the United States toss 15,000 tons of packing material.
  • It takes 90 percent less energy to recycle an aluminum can than to make a new one.
  • Sixty-five billion aluminum soda cans are used each year.
  • The energy saved by recycling a glass bottle instead of making a new one would light a light bulb for four hours.
  • Every ton of paper that is recycles saves seventeen trees.
  • Only about one-tenth of all solid garbage in the United States gets recycled.

What You Can Do!
Capital Area Council &
Sam Houston Area Council

  • Begin your own home recycling center.
  • Organize your den to take a field trip to a park or beach to clean up litter.
  • Instead of using paper towels, use cloth towels, which can be washed and reused again and again.
  • Before you toss soda rings into the garbage, cut all the circles with scissors so animals and birds can’t get caught in them.
  • Instead of throwing out some things that you don’t want anymore, see if someone else could use them. Try having a yard sale.
  • Keep a ragbag. Put old torn clothes in it and have a supply of rags to help cleans the house or use for messy projects.
  • When you go shopping, bring a cloth bag or recycle old brown paper bags by taking them with you.
  • Bring old books you don’t want to your library. Maybe the library could use them.
  • Save paper. Use both sides of every sheet. Use recycle paper. If more of us use recycled paper, there will be a bigger demand for it.

Useful Free Items or Items for a Small Charge
Capital Area Council

  • Ice Cream Cartons-Baskin Robbins or other ice cream shoppe
  • Newspaper Rolls Or End Rolls - newspaper offices, meat markets
  • Feathers- poultry farms
  • Scrap Lumber and Saw Dust - lumber yards, carpenter shops, construction sites
  • Glass and Plastic Bottles - cafes, drive-ins, hospitals, school lunch, grocery stores
  • Movies - State and Game, Fire Dept, Police Dept, Library, Power and Light, Forest Service
  • Shoe Boxes - parents, local shoe stores, discount stores
  • Wallpaper - paint stores for old sample books
  • Rug and Carpet Scraps - carpet stores and carpet layers
  • Safety Information - local police and fire dept. and utilities
  • Conservation Information - U.S. Forest Service, State Game and Fish
  • Travel Posters And Helps - travel agencies, airlines, bus, train ticket offices
  • Bleach Bottle, Plastic Cartons, Broom Handles, Boxes, Scrap Yarn - mothers of boys, neighbors, trash cans, stores where you work
  • Bowling Pins - bowling alleys throw away broken pins
  • Cardboard - furniture shops, grocery stores
  • Leather Scraps - leather good stores, upholstery shops, shoe repair stores
  • Styrofoam - drug stores, appliance shops, hardware stores
  • Wire Thin And Flexible - telephone company, ask for their short lengths or telephone wire

Things to discuss when it comes to saving resources...
Capital Area Council

Recycling - When an object can be shredded, melted or otherwise processed and then turned into new raw material -- for instance, aluminum cans can be melted down to make more cans, glass can make more glass, cardboard and paper make more cardboard and paper, plastic bags and containers can be turned into other plastic products. This takes some energy (very little for aluminum), but it is a good choice.

Reusing  - When you find a use for an existing item - like decorating a bag and using it as a gift bag instead of buying wrapping paper; putting leftovers into a clean container from some other food; turning a used box into storage; decorating a can to hold pencils; saving packing peanuts and boxes and using them the next time you need to ship something or give a gift.

It is important to 'reuse' items wisely -- reusing packing peanuts to pack an item is by far the best way to use them. Recycling them, if it is available, would be the next best thing. Giving things in good condition that you no longer need to charity is another good way to reuse things like outgrown clothing or toys. Reusing is often the best way to save resources. This is something to consider year-round, not just around the winter holidays.

Shop Wisely  - Can the container be easily recycled or reused? Will a larger container reduce the amount of packaging and perhaps cost less per serving? Is everything that can be recycled being recycled?  Save resources (and money) by asking yourself if the item is something you really need, and if it is well suited for the task, and if it will last. Not only can this save you money, it can save you space and work, too. Five toys that are loved and played with are more fun than 10 toys that are broken or are boring to play with. And it's quicker to pick up 5 toys and put them away than to pick up 10.

After discussing ways to recycle do the following activities:

  • Divide den into two teams. Open up a mystery trash bag at each table and identify which things can be recycled. Lift up the bag again and feel how much lighter it is when people take things out of the trash, which can be recycled
  • Give the boys a pencil and paper. Tell them they are going to examine a specific tree.
    Use the following procedure:
    Ask them to use their senses to make observations about the tree. (Provide them time to do this silently, then discuss in the den)
  • Have them touch and smell the tree.
    Ask them to close their eyes and listen for sounds associated with the tree.
    Next, have them look for signs of who or what uses the tree, and then discuss their observations.
    Ask: "What could hurt the tree? How? Why?"
    Pose the following "What if" questions for them to consider:
    What if this tree (or all the trees in our community) were gone? What would be good/bad/interesting about that?
    What if the birds that use this tree went away? What will be good/bad/interesting about that?
    What if lots of trees were planted on the school grounds? What would be good/bad/interesting about that?
    Ask: "Whose job is it to care for the tree? Why?"
    This activity was adapted from a lesson written by: Phyllis Youngberg, a teacher at Burnt Mills Elementary School.
  • When the weather is pleasant, ask the boys to go outside to sit and observe the area around them. They are to use their senses to observe other things in nature (sky, ground, plants, birds, etc.) Have them take a pencil and/ or crayons and paper and:
    Draw a picture of themselves outside.
    Draw their observations.
    Draw or write about their feelings about nature. (Provide ample time for this.)
    When the boys return inside, provide time, if needed, to complete their work. Then have them share their work. Use the opportunity to discuss the importance of taking care of all things that are provided by the Earth.

Ideas from  A Recycling Revolution website

Scouter Jim found this terrific website full of great ideas for recycling -

Unfortunately I cannot reproduce the material he sent me because of copyright restrictions.  I explored the site and found it very informative on many recycling topics -

  • Examples of topics covered on the website are -
  • A Recycling Basics Primer: What and How   
  • What to Recycle Quick List
  • A Recycling Cheat Sheet
  • Recycling Stickers
  • Where to Recycle
  • Recycling Symbol History
  • What to Recycle Next, Beyond the Basics
  • Buy Recycled Products
  • Reduce your Trash
  • Recycle Household Items
  • Make Compost From Your Trash
  • How to Compost
  • What to Compost
  • Worm Compost
  • Compost Bins
  • Recycle Hazardous Waste
  • Recycle Computers
  • Ways to Prevent Global Warming
  • Global Warming and Recycling
  • Simple Ways to Stop Global Warming NOW
  • Fighting Global Warming
  • Recycling Benefits
  • Recycling Facts
  • Parents Recycling Resources
  • Reusing Your Trash
  • Reuse Trash Ideas
  • Crayon Recycling
  • Crafts From Trash
  • Community Involvement
  • Fund Raising Ideas and Opportunities
  • Recycle Aluminum Cans
  • Recycle Newspaper
  • Printer Cartridge Recycling
  • Cell Phone Recycling


Here is a list of items the site provides ideas for ways to recycle them - Go to the site, and read how you ca recycle each of these items  -

Reuse Trash Ideas For...

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Baby Wipe Containers
  • Bags - Paper Grocery Bags
  • Bags - Plastic Baggies
  • Bags - Plastic Grocery Bags
  • Binders - 3-Ring
  • Blankets
  • Bottles - Glass Beverage
  • Bottles - Plastic Beverage
  • Bottles - Plastic Food

Pen and Pencil

  • Bottles - Plastic Beauty Products (Shampoo, Lotion, etc.)
  • Boxes - Cereal
  • Boxes - Shoe
  • Compact Discs
  • Egg Cartons
  • Envelopes
  • Eyeglasses
  • Eyeglass Cases
  • Fabric Softener Sheets
  • Film Canisters
  • Flower Pots - Small/Medium
  • Flower Pots - Large
  • Foil Trays
  • Garden Hose
  • Greeting Cards
  • Jars - Small (Baby Food, Bouillon)
  • Jars - Food
Tire Swing


  • Juice Cans
  • Laundry Baskets
  • Lunchboxes
  • Metal Mint and Candy Tins
  • Milk Jugs - Plastic
  • Mouse Pads
  • Mugs
  • Paper - Newspaper
  • Paper - Scrap
  • Pencil Box
  • Picture Frame
  • Plastic Candy Containers
  • Plastic Containers - Cottage Cheese, Butter
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Pools - Children's Plastic
  • Prescription Bottles
  • Shoelaces
  • Shower Curtain
  • Spice Containers
  • Suitcase

Tire Swing

  • Tires
  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Toothbrushes
  • Wagon

And I believe some of the other sections are even more detailed!!

Scrap Items to Save
Capital Area Council

The following items may come in handy at Den and Pack meetings to use in games, crafts, or skits.

So, everybody start saving.

Coffee Cans               Tuna Cans            Oatmeal Boxes

Egg Cartons              Plastic Lids    Band-aid Containers

Soda Straw                  Buttons                            Yarn

Greeting Cards      Paper Towel Rolls  Toilet Paper Rolls

Gift Wrap Paper Rolls            Cottage Cheese Containers

Popsicle Sticks           Toothpicks            Old Magazines

Wire                Clean Foam Meat Trays        Felt Scraps

Paper Bags                Paper Plates                  Milk Jugs

Bleach Bottle (rinsed well)                               Sponges

Empty Plastic Film Container                  Assorted Nails

Orange Juice Lids (from frozen concentrate)

Washers,                      Screws                 Wood Scraps

Sam Houston Area Council

To help promote better environmental awareness, share the following information with the Cubs. It will give them some facts they can relate to regarding the importance of recycling.

  • Orange and banana peels – up to 2 years
  • Wool socks – 1-5 years
  • Cigarette butts – 1-5 years
  • Plastic-coated paper – 1-5 years
  • Plastic bags – 10-20 years
  • Plastic film container – 20-30 years
  • Nylon fabric – 30-40 years
  • Tin cans – 50 years
  • Leather – up to 50 years
  • Plastic bottles – 100 years or more
  • Plastic six-pack holders – 100 years
  • Aluminum cans – 500 years
  • Glass bottles – 1,000 years or more
  • Hot-fired ceramics – 7,000 years or more
  • Styrofoam – 10,000 years or more

After this discussion try the following -

Sam Houston Area Council

  • Have the Cubs bring several common household trash items to a den meeting.
  • With a stapler, hammer and nail, or duct tape, attach the trash to a board and expose it to the elements for a month.
  • Make sure that the board is set up in a clear area where it will get the full force of the sun, wind and rain.
  • At the end of the month examine each item and compare their relative decomposition.
  • Talk about how long it takes for certain trash items to decompose.
  • Share with the boys some facts about the “life expectancy” of trash items.

Plastic Recycling Symbols

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2022 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)