Natures Recyclers

In a world of limited resources, it makes sense to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible. Some people need constant reinforcement to help with recycling incentives, monthly reminders, annual challenges, color coded containers, scheduled pickup days, etc. Check out these amazing creatures of the wild and how they recycle, reduce and reuse! And to think, they aren't getting a reminder to do so.


Some sponge species can consume half of their own weight each day in dissolved organic carbon, but yet the sponges don't grow. Where does all of that food energy go? As it turns out, other reef residents gobble up these now-edible cells. The sponge is the great recycler of energy for the reef, turning over energy that nobody else can use into energy that everyone can use.

Orb Weaving Spider

When the orb-weaver takes apart an old web, it actually eats the silk. The protein from the old silk goes to the silk glands to be made into a new web. Even if a spider misses a few meals, it can still go on spinning webs. This is thanks to the efficient recycling program that lets spiders conserve protein by eating old webs. That's how you get a meal and recycle simultaneously.

Hermit Crab

The habit of living in a second-hand shell makes hermit crabs very resourceful. Since they can't grow their own shell, they have to reuse shells that once belonged to another animal. As hermit crabs grow, they continue to find larger shells to accommodate their increasing size (abandoned shells are prime real estate and they will often fight each other for this valuable property).


A particularly creative bird was once reported to have fashioned a nest built completely out of office supplies, including thumbtacks, paper clips, and rubber bands. Chances are if you leave a small pile of twigs, leaves, and dry grass in your backyard, a bird will pick it up to make a nest. Of course, if you want to attract birds to your backyard, keep it organic and pesticide freeā€”just in case they eat the materials there.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing owls live underground (the name is a dead giveaway). Totally capable of digging their own holes, they will just as happily live in burrows abandoned by other animals. When it comes to decorating, they carpet nests with dung (another form of recycling) which attracts fellow recycler's: the dung beetle, which happens to be the owl's favorite snack! Redecorate your room and eat your guests at the same time... nature's way of reducing, reusing, and recycling at its best!

Dung Beetles

As their name suggests, dung beetles have an affinity for excrement (poop/scat). They roll up the excrement into balls, bury them underground, and lay eggs in them. They are the ultimate: ridding the world of poop to feed to it to their hatchlings!

It's UP2U to challenge yourself to reduce, reuse and recycle more, your contribution can make a difference.