Tag Archives: Recycle

Crush Your Cans With Science and Recycle!

September 27th is Crush A Can Day and it’s a day to serve as a reminder that we CAN recycle our aluminum CANS! We love recycling and we’ve got a hot way to do it, with the help of science. 

how to crush a can and recycle

This is an experiment we recommend doing at home! All you need is a can, water, something hot like a stove, and tongs to keep you safe. First, scoop a little water into the can. By heating up the can, water expands into steam. This steam starts taking up all the room in the can, pushing out air.

recycle steam pushes out air

Seal the can with water. This causes two things: 

  1. The water cools down the steam, condensing it back into water. 
  2. Air can’t get back in the can.

seal the can

If air can’t get back in the can, and the steam is now taking up a lot less room because it’s cooler and condensed, you’ve created a can with nothing much in it- a vacuum! Our atmosphere exerts pressure on us all day every day. Up in Idyllwild, around 5000 feet in elevation, our atmosphere pushes about 12 pounds on every square inch of us (AKA 12 PSI). We typically don’t notice this pressure because it’s everywhere and usually evened out. But, not the case with our vacuum-can! And so, the can gets crushed by the pressure of our atmosphere that’s always there. 

crushed with pressure

We hope we’ve inspired you to recycle, and maybe experiment along the way!

Written By: Amanda Williams 


America Recycles Day

Jack Johnson sang it best in his song “The 3 R’s”. Reduce, reuse, recycle. This is how to live a more sustainable life, and leave a smaller carbon footprint. First, try to reduce the amount of waste you produce. Second, reuse items as much as possible. Third, recycle appropriate waste products as to have them not end up in our oceans or atmosphere.

November 15 is America Recycles Day. Each year millions of people across the U.S. take part in bringing awareness to the importances of recycling and creating less waste on our beautiful planet. Help teach others the benefits of recycling and continue to do so each day.

How you can participate:

  • Reduce
    • Lose the single use items and invest in reusable ones. Whether it’s changing from plastic shopping bags to cloth bags, disposable water bottles to those from companies like Camelbak and Nalgene, or to-go paper coffee cups to ceramic mugs or aluminum travel mugs, there are hundreds of options to reduce your impact on the world.


  • Reuse
    • When reducing what items you use is not a viable option, you should reuse them! Try reusable containers for lunch, rather than brown paper bags. Repair items rather than buying new ones, or shop at thrift shops. There is almost always some alternative option to buying new.


  • Recycle
    • If single use items must be a part of your day, then recycle. Papers, plastics, or aluminum can be recycled and made into new products, so try to do your part. You can also try to buy products that are made from those recycled goods.


Small changes in your day and your habits can have huge impacts on the world around you. Here’s how:

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming
  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities.
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.
  • Saves energy


We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampschool.org for additional information. Happy Reading!