Tag Archives: recycle

What’s it like: Pant (no, not what you wear)

This is an example of a bottle recycling/refund machine
(photo found on Aftenposten)

As I mentioned in a previous post (read it HERE), recycling is big in Norway. And in addition to the things you just put into recycling containers, you can also return bottles for a refund. They call the refund Pant (pronounced pahnt) and I believe it can be a noun or a verb.

I’ve also talked about how the boys focus on specific units/themes at school throughout the year (read that post HERE). Daniel’s current unit of study is Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

It is exciting when you see your kids do more than just ‘book learn’ something.

Daniel’s box that is now sitting in the entryway at his school

One evening the boys and I were talking about things going on at school: their units of study, what they liked about what they were learning, plus important things like eating lunch, recess, PE, etc. Daniel began complaining that they don’t have any decent equipment (balls, jump ropes, etc) on their playground. And through a series of questions I posed, he came up with the idea of asking people to bring in their bottles and the money that is collected could be used to purchase some new equipment. He works with his teacher to write the proposal, and then presented it to the principal for approval.

I’m really proud of Daniel and his ability to apply his unit of study to everyday life. It’s fun to see his enthusiasm each day when he checks the box in the school entryway to see how many more bottles were brought in.

What’s it like: Recycling

When we lived in Georgia, we were pretty conscientious about recycling. We had our big plastic bin that would be set out by the trash can every week for pick-up. We would fill it with glass, metal, plastic, and paper.Recycling is important in Norway as well, which is great! Only, there is a little more involved.

In our home, we have five different trash containers. One is for food trash. The next is for plain paper. Then there’s restavfall: that is, non-recyclable waste. There’s glass & metal. And finally we have plastics.

Under the sink: we have spots here for paper,
food, and restavfall

There’s a special bag for food. And plastic. And we have three different trash cans outside that are picked up on a rotating basis each week: brown for food, blue for paper, and gray for restavfall. They also pick up the plastics in the rotation.

But not metal or glass – there are special receptacles throughout the city for those. And we can also recycle old batteries and lightbulbs at many grocery stores and other shops.

And we are always sure to check drinks bottles! Most of them have a pant – a deposit we pay when you buy them. So we keep the bottles separate, and take them to the pant machine in the grocery store. We return them and get a printed receipt that is taken to the cashier. We can use it towards our grocery purchase, or get the cash.

Lots to remember, but after a year I think we have the hang of it!


Talking about green[er] living made me think of the book Green Like God – have you ever read it? Our friend Jonathan wrote it a few years ago. Often, there seems to be this great divide between Christians and environmentalists. While I don’t believe that I should worship the earth, I do follow the One who created it. If He really made it for us, shouldn’t we take care of it? This book addresses some of that.

Do you recycle?
Are there any weird recycling requirements where you live?
Have you read any interesting books on recycling, environmentalism, or a related subject?