Photo by Lisa Critchley, Golden Bay, WA
The litter on her local beach included lots of fishing bait bags and nylon string

Where does all our stuff come from, what is it made up of and where does it go once we are done with it? This Eco-Schools theme focuses on the material cycle and how environmentally conscious citizens and students might identify positive ways we can improve and evolve this society’s relationship with materials and waste. Students can aim to tackle littering through awareness campaigns or encourage recycling practice through raising money for improvement waste management infrastructure. 

Project & Activity Ideas on the theme of Litter & Waste

One of the Eco-Schools international projects is the Litter Less Campaign.

Keep Australia Beautiful’s Neighbourhood Litter Count is an activity that includes monitoring and picking-up litter, data handling and also addresses the “Inform and Involve” step of the Eco-Schools framework.

Keep New South Wales Beautiful run a great program called EnviroMentors. Their “In the Bin” workshop has a litter focus, and offers these In the Bin follow-up activities. The team have also put together this fantastic list of School Environmental Initiatives which also includes Litter project ideas.

EnviroMentors have this message for NSW schools who would like to take part:

“EnviroMentors workshops will bring sustainability straight into the classroom. Designed to be interactive and fully engaging to all students, our experienced teachers will use creativity, critical thinking skills and technology to inspire the next generation of environmentally active citizens.  Aligned with Eco-Schools themes, EnviroMentors can visit your school to introduce students to your chosen theme and assist in working through the 7-step process.  Visit our website for more information http://knswb.org.au/our-programs/enviromentors/

Take 3 have a focus on marine debris and clean beaches. Their YouTube channel has a range of videos about the impact of litter on marine habitats, and campaigns to join in with.

Useful resources on the theme of Waste

NSW Sustainable Schools program, led by the Office for Environment & Heritage has compiled:

Waste teaching resources including units of work, lesson plans, support materials and curriculum connections on recycling, avoiding food waste and reducing waste at school.

Student activities, videos and interactive activities, including self-guided activities for your students. The resources, focusing on waste, are provided for teachers to incorporate into a class room program. They can be investigated by students independently or be used as part of a group program within the class.

Cool Australia has produced a bank of 50+ teaching resources on the theme of Waste which can be filtered by type, year-level and subject. Students can access the Student Toolbox and find videos and activities suitable for their grade and chosen theme.

7 students at Imperial College London completed this fascinating project called Placticity. The team engineered bacteria to turn non-recyclable waste into bioplastic.

There are so many resources available on the internet. For teachers, parents and pupils of all ages. www.forteachersforstudents.com.au and www.splash.abc.net.au  are two great examples.

LitterbugSmash is a multimedia, multi-channel educational tool, gameplay and fundraising initiative designed to protect the ocean, and was built by Hamish Finlayson from Townsville, when he was 10 years old.

Please contact eco-schools@kab.org.au to tell us your ideas for how Eco-Schools in Australia can tackle the theme of “Litter and Waste”.

Has your school already worked on this theme? We’d love to share your experience with other schools – please complete and return this short Case Study Template form.