Recycling for Fido and Fluffy

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Recycling for Fido and Fluffy

October 25, 2014

Whenever you “recycle” a plastic water bottle instead of throwing it out, you’re helping our planet by letting that plastic be re-used, so we don’t have to make it from scratch again. But it gets even better than that in Istanbul, Turkey: when you recycle you’re also helping to feed stray cats and dogs. Turkish company Pugedon built machines that collect the empty bottles, and when you stick a bottle in there the machine spits out a scoopful of dry food for animals to eat. People can also pour any leftover water into the machine for the animals to drink – after all, cats and dogs get thirsty, too. Stray cats and dogs are a huge problem in Istanbul, with 150,000 of them in a city of about 14 million people, meaning they’re more than 1% of the whole population. The Pugedon machines get people to recycle more and help our fuzzy friends at the same time.

Wee ones: If you get a snack for a cat, a dog, and yourself, how many of you are snacking?

Little kids: If every bottle you recycle makes 2 scoops of food come out, how much food do you give the animals if you toss in 3 bottles?  Bonus: If 3 dogs come up to eat, then a cat, then 3 dogs, then a cat again and so on, what’s the 13th animal to come up?

Big kids: If twice as many dogs as cats use the machine, and today 18 animals ate from it, how many cats and dogs was that?  Bonus: If there were exactly 14,000,000 people in Istanbul and exactly 1 stray animal for every 100 people, how many stray animals would there be?




Wee ones: 3 “animals.”

Little kids: 6 scoops.  Bonus: A dog.

Big kids: 12 dogs and 6 cats.  Bonus: 140,000 stray animals.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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