Boom, Boom Ain’t It Great To Recycle?


All week my mind has been on recycling since that is our theme for the month here at Musically Minded.

I’ve been extra attentive to what is getting thrown in the garbage at our house versus what can be recycled or put in the compost bin. Clearly my family should be attending my music classes so they can learn this song because WAY more is getting thrown away and making its way to the dump than should be.

Seriously, do you realize everything that can be recycled or sent to the compost bin? The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, adding to the grand total of about 251 million tons of trash the United States accumulates per year. American communities recycled and composted nearly 35% of municipal solid waste in 2012, diverting 87 million tons to recovery according to the U.S. EPA.


So what does a music teacher do when they want children (and adults) to learn something new? I write a song!

My goal with “Boom, Boom, Ain’t it Great to Recycle” was to help my fellow Seattleites reduce their garbage and increase their recycling by teaching their children what can be recycled. This way they too could help in making our world a cleaner place. I’ve written a catchy tune that we’ve been singing all week.

The plan was to catch my students’ attention using the following brain research tip: make your hook tap into a memory the learner already possesses because previous experiences predict where the brain chooses to pay attention.

I pulled four items out of my bag starting of course with the Lucky Charms box. Immediately they were intrigued since they’d seen all of them at least once in their lifetime. Most were wanting that Lucky Charms box to be full. But no luck, my girls get this special treat on rare occasion and its contents did not last long.

If you haven’t yet, watch the video of me teaching the activity. Then try it with your littlest environmentalist! View the activity guide below or click here to print it.

WHAT THEY LEARN                        

  • Sign language
  • What can be recycled
  • Symbol for recycle



  • Show the visual of what happens to items to items that get recycled (the recycle process image found in “what you need”)
  • Show children how to do sign language for “recycle” 
  • Show the symbol that means recycle.
  • Show items that can and can’t be recycled. Refer to this site for specific items on what can and can’t be recycled. Be sure to check your state and city specifically as recycling differs depending on where you live. 
  • Sing the song together patting legs on the first “boom” and clapping hands together on the second “boom”.  Do the sign language for “recycle” on the word “recycle”.
  • During the third line of the song, point to each item as the type of material it is made from is sung in the song.


Boom, Boom, ain’t it great to recycle?

Boom, Boom, ain’t it great to recycle?

Paper, plastic, glass and tin.

Boom, Boom, ain’t it great to recycle?

Extension Idea…

I love what “Keep America Beautiful” is doing with their recent marketing campaign showing some of the items created from items that have been recycled. It offered a perfect way to explaining the process of recycling and how a glass bottle tossed in the recycle bin can be turned into a new glass bottle or a glass lampshade rather than being dumped in the land fill.


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