A set of lessons and activities to engage students in learning about reducing, reusing and recycling waste materials. This guide was developed in 2014 and contains some great lesson ideas that are still relevant today.

Learning objective

Each lesson includes a lesson description, lesson aim and curriculum links.

Learning to be Waste Wise is a series of curriculum-linked activity packs written for the Waste Wise Schools Program in 2014.
Each booklet covers a different topic including a general introduction to waste, the 3Rs, worms and compost. The activities are designed to complement the school’s ongoing waste minimisation projects, and to support learning at every stage of a school’s Waste Wise journey. In turn, Waste Wise projects provide real life context to curriculum outcomes while directly involving students in their own learning.

By reinforcing Waste Wise principles through the curriculum in an engaging and practical way, teachers will find it easier to incorporate waste reduction practices in their school. In addition, the involvement of students and the modeling of positive behaviours, reinforces the environmental principles and curriculum outcomes.

The activities are meant to be fun and are designed to promote life-long learning, where students, teachers and the rest of the school community are empowered and enabled to take responsibility for their waste minimisation actions, while developing positive environmental values and promoting long term behaviour change.

Activity contents

  1. Waste relay
  2. What’s in the lunch box? 
  3. Sultana/M&M experiment 
  4. One potato, two potato, three potato, more! 
  5. Reuse those glass jars: Glass painting 
  6. Mosaics 
  7. Chip packet crafts 
  8. Waste wise instruments 
  9. Plastic bottle flowers 
  10. Newspaper bags 
  11. Waste wise scarecrow 
  12. Recycled paper – making your own 
  13. Newspaper pots 
  14. Paper beads 
  15. Tetra pack milk carton wallets 
  16. Recycling sort