Inspire A New Generation of Recyclers and Tree Lovers This Spring

With spring right around the corner, now is the time to decide how you will celebrate Earth Day in your community. One unique option is the TICCIT® program. Short for “Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees,” TICCIT allows companies and nonprofits to hold fun, hands-on events that teach elementary school children about the importance of trees and how to recycle paper and paperboard cartons.

Participating organizations generally offer TICCIT events at their local elementary schools. Using the TICCIT presentation and program guide (both free and downloadable at, they teach students about:

The importance of trees
Trees take in carbon dioxide, stop soil from washing away, and give homes to birds, squirrels and other critters.

What is made from trees
Trees are made into lumber and paper, but they’re also used in more surprising ways, like in medicine, detergents, make-up, vitamins and even soap!

How paper is made
From cutting wood into small pieces, to cooking them in a soup-like slurry and then drying the fibers into sheets, papermaking is a fascinating process.

Paper recycling
When we recycle, we make new paper from paper that has already been used instead of throwing it away.

Growing trees for paper
Like the fruits and vegetables we eat, the trees used to make paper come from farms. When we use trees to make paper, we plant new ones to take their place.

After the lesson, the students can have fun by planting their very own tree saplings. Participating organizations can purchase discounted saplings from the Arbor Day Foundation. To illustrate the “trees into cartons, cartons into trees” theme, students plant their saplings in paperboard cartons filled with soil. For some programs, students use milk cartons they’ve saved from lunch. The kids take home the cartons and plant them in their backyards or neighborhood. The cartons provide protection and a natural water funnel for the new trees, and as the trees grow, the cartons biodegrade, completing the “trees into cartons, cartons into trees” cycle.

TICCIT was created by the Paperboard Packaging Council, the North American trade association for the manufacturers of paperboard packaging, as a way for its members to get involved in their communities and help foster a love of trees. Since then the TICCIT program has grown in popularity, both inside and outside the paper and packaging industry. For more details and to download classroom materials, visit To purchase discounted tree saplings, visit If a school would like to participate, PPC would be happy to connect them with a nearby company that would facilitate the program.