Identify, sort, and tally recyclable waste generated from their lunch. Compile classroom lunch waste data to prepare a representative chart.

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1 Grade Level: 4 Background Materials: m/ Waste Management Recycling by WM Recycle America a.com/ The three R s (reduce, reuse, recycle) used to be the staple for preventing waste from going straight to the landfill. More recently, we hear of a forth R recovery. The planet simply cannot sustain consumer habits as they are today, therefore, these practices are important to instill at a young age in order to make them a lifelong habit. Objectives Students will: Identify, sort, and tally recyclable waste generated from their lunch. Compile classroom lunch waste data to prepare a representative chart. Identify the difference and importance between the 4 R s (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover). Construct a representative poster and present it to peers. Examine potential energy savings made from recycling. Introduction The artist, Chris Jordan, has created compelling and vivid images that convey waste statistics in a way that is easy to grasp. Play slideshow for class (Slide Show: Chris Jordan Images, ChrisJordanPresentation1). Ask students what message they think the artist is trying to convey. Lesson continued on page 2.. Curriculum Alignment Elementary Science, Topic A, 4 5 Specific Learner Expectations: Students will: 2. Identify and classify wastes that result from human activity. 3. Describe alternative methods of disposal and identify possible advantages and disadvantages of each. 6. Identify methods of waste disposal currently used within the local community. 9. Identify ways in which materials can be reused or recycled, including examples of things that the student has done. 11. Identify actions that individuals and groups can take to minimize the production of wastes, to recycle or reuse wastes and to ensure the safe handling and disposal of wastes. Common Waste Items (for class to categorize Ex. notebook, glass jar, tin can, product packaging) Lunch Waste Tally sheet. Classroom Lunch Waste Excel file (or graph paper to construct graph by hand. Think Green Widget Calculator m/widget?ref=wmwidget promo 4 TV Slide Show: Chris Jordan Images (photos from Cross Curricular Connections Information and Communication Technology Social Studies Art

2 Page 2 Activity #1 Hold up items to the class: Ask them if the items are made out of cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, or metal. Explain to them that they will be looking for items in their lunch that are made of cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, or metal. They will not be looking through trash cans. They will eat lunch as usual and then record the information on their sheet of paper before they dispose of the items. Provide students with the Lunch Waste Tally sheet. Encourage them to sort the trash, record it, and then recycle it. If your school does not yet have recycling, provide containers for them to put each type of material in. Reusable containers and utensils can make a packed lunch more ecofriendly! Activity #2 Create classroom graph by entering compiled data into Classroom Lunch Waste Excel chart file or construct a graph by hand. Display graph in classroom and discuss the results. What type of trash was the most common? Least common? Activity #3 Discuss the meaning of treasure: something that is valuable but sometimes hard to find/ hidden. Do we have treasures in our waste? We may have to think creatively to find the value in trash. Have students create their own vocabulary word cards from scrap paper (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) Reduce use less of something Reuse use item more than once before discarding it Recycle use item to make another product (sometimes in a different form) Recover changing waste into useful product like compost or energy Read examples of environmental actions and have students hold up the vocabulary card that they think is most suited to the example. Lesson continued on page 3...

3 Page 3 Activity #3 continued Example Make sweater fabric out of used plastic bottles Bring the same cloth bags to carry groceries every time Bike instead of drive Use compost made of kitchen scraps Use old greeting cards to make small gift boxes Make reflective road paint out of used glass products Use the heat from industrial machinery to heat the offices in that building Buy products in bulk to avoid excessive packaging Answer Recycle Reuse Reduce Recover Reuse Recycle Recover Reduce Ask students why they think it is important to practice the 4 R s. Discuss the difference between renewable vs. non renewable resources (ex. trees can regenerate by replanting in years whereas oil made over tens of thousands of years is impossible to replace in short amounts of time!) It takes a lot of energy to extract the resource and process it into the final products (see Waste Management Recycling by WM Recycle America Wiget Calculator widget promo 4 TV ). Enter the amount of glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum the class recorded into the Widget calculator to find out how much energy can be saved by recycling all those items. Conclusion Ask students to recap what the 4 R s are. Ask students to think about would happen to our resources and to our communities if no one practiced the 4 R s. Write or sketch it on a scrap piece of paper, and then share their thoughts with the class. Take a classroom poll of who thinks they will make a better effort to recycle. Lesson continued on page 4

4 Page 4 Extension Activities Challenge class to a waste free lunch day Play online waste and recycling games at Make your own paper (see Homemade Papermaking Recipe) Compose a letter to their parents informing them of the benefits of recycling Find out what materials can be recycled in Lethbridge and construct a school wide recycling system (see School Wide Recycling) Create posters promoting the 4 R s to display within the school Create a filmed dramatization or the 4 R s for a younger classroom to view Create Chris Jordan type artwork based on their lunch tally data Local Field Trips/ In Class Presentations Lethbridge Municipal Landfill Mary Hughes # BFI Recycling Depot Colin Harms # Ability Resource Centre Jane VanLent # City of Lethbridge: Composting presentation Andrea Vaxvick # Additional Resources Recycling activities for kids Artwork by Chris Jordan Sort It Out! Education package and online waste and recycling games Municipalities often have seasonal programs throughout the year! Check out what s happening at the City of Lethbridge at Helen Schuler Nature Centre 910 4th Ave. S. Lethbridge, AB T1J 0P6 Phone:

5 Page 5 Lunch Waste Tally Name: Waste Product Paper Plastic Cardboard Glass Metal Date: Total Amount from Lunch Name: Waste Product Paper Plastic Cardboard Glass Metal Date: Total Amount from Lunch

6 Page 6 Steps to Planning School-Wide Recycling: Answer the following questions: 1) What materials can be recycled in my city (Refer to City of Lethbridge website 2) So, how many bins will I need? 3) Where can we put recycling bins in the school (talk to school janitors, principal, lunchtime supervisors)? 4) Where can I recycle these materials? 5) How often will I take out the recycling (what will the recycling schedule look like)? 6) Who will take out the recycling (students and supervisors)? 7) What kind of safety precautions will we need to take when we: Collect the recycling? Transport the recycling? Deposit the recycling? 8) Will we keep a record of how much we recycle? If yes, what will we do with this information? 9) How will we tell the school about the new recycling program?

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