“What’s the big idea?” shouted a surprised Ali at the top of his voice. Hannah had just ruined his science project by spilling her drink on it! It was his last minute hurried effort as usual.

Earth Day recycling projects were due tomorrow at school. Hassan had come up with a way to recycle plastic bottles into a green house for plants, and Omer had managed to make a working drill machine with plastic pipes. It was only Ali who had not come up with anything yet.

Just as Ali was about to snap at his sister again, Dadi came in looking for her glasses.

“Eee-ooo-eee-ooo!” Dadi let out a police siren. When she had everyone’s attention, she announced firmly: “Peace patrol is here!” She made all the children sit calmly around her and listened to everyone’s story patiently. “Keep your cool and stay calm” were her repeated words of soothing.

“Why does your school want everyone to make a recycled project when we can use new, colourful stuff?”  Dadi asked innocently. It was little Hannah who was quick to answer. “Earth is sick and life on it is dying, because of the dirt and filth we throw away. If we do not recycle and reuse, we will not have a planet to live on,” she said sadly.

“Science projects are children’s ideas to find solutions for all the pollution, and it’s our way to help heal the world,” added Samrah Apa, entering the room and settling down a nearby chair.

Dadi whispered, circling her fingers around her mouth as if sharing a very important secret with the children: “Remember the movie “Wall-e” that we saw a few days ago? It showed the future of the Earth – if we keep on buying new stuff and throwing it away without recycling or reusing it, soon the Earth would be filled with trash! Clean water or air would be gone, and even the plants would not be able to grow. We might have to go to space to find another planet to live on!”

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