About We Can Waste Wise

Everybody talks these days about going green. You may feel like there is a lot of pollution and damage to our earth going on that you can’t control! But every little bit counts: waste reduction and recycling does make a difference! Recycling saves trees, water, energy, landfill space, reduces carbon output, and reduces air pollution!

Do you know the right way to recycle? Do you know what you can re-use, compost, or even give away? What are the different ways to avoid putting things in the landfill?

In this game, we’re depending on you to sort through the “wasted” items – recycle what you can, and be sure to recycle it in the right place. Sorting through our own waste is the most efficient way to make sure it is re-used properly. And, as in your every day life, in this game some things that can’t be recycled can be composted or given away.

In some places, like at home, it is important to wash recyclable items. Washing makes the recycling process more efficient and sanitary. You’ll be expected to wash your recyclables in levels 3 and 4!

In between levels, you might catch some interesting recycling facts that you might not know from the Recyc-olas! How many of those Recyc-olas can you count?

You’ll be scored on your accuracy and speed. Afterwards, you'll find a special opportunity to build your own recyclable art. Use your creativity and imagination to build cool creations out of recyclable items. You can even email them when you’re finished!

Now get to work and show them how WE CAN WASTE WISE!

WE CAN WASTE WISE is not solely virtual fun, either – you can find out where all the recycling centers in your area are, too, just by entering your zip code in the Earth911 window on the left of the game's home page. Now you will know where to bring all those things like old paint cans, toner cartridges, bottles, newspaper and more!

We hope you enjoy sorting, creating and learning all about recycling while playing WE CAN WASTE WISE!



WE CAN WASTE WISE is a collaboration of several environmentally concerned entities, represented by parents and educators and others motivated to educate kids about the powerful ways that their simple participation in reducing, reusing and recycling can have a positive effect on their world. There’s nothing like a fun game, with rewards for positive actions, to reinforce great learned behaviors!

Two of Florida’s PBS stations WFSU and WDSC, in partnership with a local environmentally conscious children’s television producer, MolaConola Productions LLC (producer of “Ms. Mola’s Make-ola!”), have partnered with the state’s DEP (and Department of Environmental Education) and Earth911 (a large clearinghouse of reduce-reuse-recycle information) to bring you WE CAN WASTE WISE.

In Florida, children in grade 4 have the general directive in the FL Sunshine State Educational Standard SC.4.L.17.4 [to learn to] recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment, although environmental concepts such as protection, pollution and sustainability are not introduced until 9th grade. Standards such as this exist in all states, even if wording and age levels vary. And with “green” being such a hot topic in every day life, kids of all ages want to know how they can help.

Most current environmental science recognizes Florida as an extremely environmentally sensitive state, with many issues facing it. As a result, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with various lawmakers, has set a goal to achieve 75% Recycling by 2020 (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/recyclinggoal75/default.htm). This goal surpasses states such as New Jersey (currently at 60% recycling), which have had aggressive recycling programs for many years. Such a lofty goal demands participation from - and education of - all citizens, especially the youngest. Hence the need for an age-appropriate educational tool, such as WE CAN WASTE WISE.

The intended impact of this web game is to create awareness in the target elementary aged audience of recycling opportunities and methods in their local areas and in their state, accessible through the Earth911 database. The game engages the user, imparting knowledge through fun interaction, and creates awareness of how each user can take their learned “virtual” knowledge and make a difference in their community in a concrete way.

FL Sunshine State and National Standards addressed, through the playing of the game, include: read and follow instructions; make observations; compare, contrast, establish criteria, evaluate, decide, classify, sort, plan, and infer - all while dealing with timelines and cause-and-effect relationships in a problem-solving game. These educational building blocks translate to real-world action in the players' communities, neighborhoods and homes. With the inclusion of not only recycling, but repurposing, through the inclusion of “repurposing” (freecycling and composting) bins in the sorting game, this game also gives attention to the growing educational concern of community service learning. Art Educational Standards are also addressed in the “Recycling Art/Build a Character” portion of the game, which features a way for kids to use their imaginations to creatively repurpose and “build” things with their found items.

Download the list of educational facts used in the game (PDF).



The Recyc-olas!MS. MOLA’S MAKE-OLA! is a creativity and green-themed half-hour show for kids ages 5-8. Every episode, kids arrive at Ms. Mola’s Make-ola! to find some interesting combination of reusable materials, fun characters and cool challenges, and make amazing things from their own imaginations with Ms. Mola as their guide and inspiring mentor. As inspiration, the program features guest artists who share their unique creativity. It is Ms. Mola’s belief that every child possesses a wonderful imagination that can be unleashed through the arts. Repurposing found objects is not only economical - making creativity truly accessible to all, but a great challenge, too!

THE RECYC-OLAS! are repurposed creations that grew from Ms. Mola’s imagination. They each have their own distinct personalities, and appear in animated segments of MS. MOLA’S MAKE-OLA! Since they are each made of different recyclable materials, they have lots of knowledge of the whole business of recycling and repurposing to share with players of WE CAN WASTE WISE.

Visit the Recyc-olas! bio page.

Feel free to visit Ms. Mola’s website at www.msmolasmakeola for more information on MS. MOLA’S MAKE-OLA! and THE RECYC-OLAS!


Links for Further Information

The following are some interesting resources for further information about all kinds of environmental issues, including reducing, reusing and recycling:

Site What You'll Find
eCycle Best Electronic Recycling Resources and Information
EPA at School Information about protecting the environment at school
EekoWorld PBS Kids Go! EekoWorld site


EnviroPals - another environmentally-themed program currently airing on WDSC, Daytona Beach, FL.
Florida DEP Recycling Florida's DEP educational pages on recycling
Earth911.com Earth 911's "How Kids Are Saving The Planet" article; there are many other interesting articles on their site, too.
Edutopia Edutopia's article "Our Guide to the Best Green Products for Schools" & other "Greening Our Schools" special reports
EPA EPA's Protect the Environment: At Home and In the Garden; part of a whole series of how to's for protecting the environment in different locations
Trash for Teaching Trash 4 Teaching - "Minimizing Waste/Maximizing Education" - a great recycling/repurposing program in Los Angeles, CA
ReusableBags.com ReusableBags.com's video about an artistic use for old trash bags by Joshua Allen Harris - Inflatable Bag Monsters!...includes great material on plastic bag recycling on the rest of the site as well
Doug Rhodehamel Art Doug Rhodehamel, green artist on a global mission!