Reduce and Reuse
Duration: 1 week
Objective: Students will graph class lunch waste. Students will use this
information to devise a plan of action to reduce lunch waste.
- Have students conduct a lunch waste audit by recording each item they
throw away at lunch. Discuss the list and graph the information.
- Using this data, have students estimate the number of items thrown away by
the whole school every day, week, and month.
- Break class into small groups. Have each group make a list of ways
students could reduce the amount of waste thrown away. Share these ideas
with the class
- Choose a day in the upcoming week to have a "zero-waste" lunch.
The challenge is to not create ANY waste at lunch. Suggest ways to do this,
such as bring only what you will eat, use reusable containers, pack lunch in
a cloth bag or lunch box.
- Conduct another lunch waste audit on zero-waste lunch day.
- Discuss the results and the importance of producing less waste.
- Discuss what students would be willing to do on a daily basis to help
reduce waste from lunch.
Duration: 1-2 hours, may take more than one class period
Objective: Students will determine the weight of paper waste generated by
the class. Students will make their own paper to demonstrate recycling.
We live in a disposable society. Unfortunately, we may soon be drowning in
our own garbage if we do not come up with a comprehensive, feasible plan for
waste reduction. For example, Americans produce 154 million tons of garbage
every year Ė enough to fill the New Orleans Superdome from top to bottom,
twice a day, every day. Some ways to help the problem are to reduce wasteful
habits and recycle everything we can. The following lessons give ideas on how to
stimulate problem solving among your students.
- Collect all paper waste from the class over the course of a week.
- Weigh and discuss ways the amount of waste could be reduced
- Recycle the paper into new paper (see Ruth Weyland for more information)
Papermaking Materials (depending on your setup, materials will either be
per child or per class)
- Two tin cans of the same size
- Hardware cloth
- Fine window-screen (non-metal)
- Paper towels
- Board for pressing
The procedure followed was taken from the book Tin Can Papermaking,
Recycle for Earth and Art by Arnold Grummer.
Get a tin can with one end cut out. Set it on a level surface, open-end up.
Over the tin canís open end, place a 6 x 6 inch piece of hardware cloth
Place a 6 x 6 inch piece of non-metal window screen on top of the hardware
Place a tin can with both ends cut out over the window screen
Pick a piece of 7 x 7 inch newspaper or several pieces of small paper which
add up to 7 x 7. Adding construction paper will make for more vibrant colors.
Tear up the paper into small pieces. Put the pieces into the blender. Add
about one and a half cups of water.
PUT ON THE LID!
Run the blender for about 20 to 30 seconds
Pour half of the blenderís contents into each of two containers
Add about a half-cup of water to each container
Take one container in each hand and pour both into the tin can at the same
Let all the water drain into the bottom can
Raise the top can straight up
Lift the new sheet and window screen off the hardware cloth. Place them on a
Place another 6 x 6 inch piece of window screen over the new sheet
Take a sponge and press it down on top of the window screen and new sheet.
Continue pressing the sponge and squeezing out the water until the entire
sheet has been covered and the sponge removes little, or no more, water.
Carefully start at one corner and peel off the top window screen
Lay down three folded paper towels on top of each other
Pick up the screen with the new sheet on it. Turn them over onto the towels,
new sheet against top towel.
Apply sponge as before
Peel off the window screen, add more paper towels on top of the new sheet.
Press down with a piece of wood. Replace paper towels and repeat. Continue
until little water is removed with dry towels
Leave new sheet out to dry