Encourage your students to take recycling to a new level by incorporating easy habits in your classroom. Education is key, and there is no shortage of recycling ideas for school.
One great example is electronics recycling. This is a big recycling opportunity for schools to get involved in, but it often gets overlooked. This is because so many people do not understand electronic recycling or how helpful it can be. Approximately 34 percent of Americans recycle, and recycling in schools is a wonderful way to both introduce youngsters to the activity, as well as remind the staff of just how important it is.
Let’s take a look at eight recycling ideas that you can use in your classroom. You would be amazed at how excited both staff and students will become over helping out our environment.
1. Hold a Recycling Contest
School is all about competition, and holding a recycling contest between homerooms or even grades can foster a sense of both teamwork and camaraderie. The recycling contest itself can be themed around whatever you want it to be. Is it Halloween? Then focus your attention on bringing in spooky-themed items like old Halloween costumes or old Halloween candles.
It’s really within the power of the staff to choose which direction to go, but know that recycling can be implemented in a school setting and it can be successful.
2. Implement Recycling into Lesson Plans
According to the Child Mind Institute, being direct with kids is the best way to get them to follow directions. So, what better way to ingrain recycling into their hearts and minds than to implement recycling and recycling-related activities into your lesson plans?
When they see it being taught, most kids will understand that it’s a big deal. Obviously, the lesson plans can change based on what subject is being taught. Calculating the percentage of the Earth that’s polluted is excellent for a Math class. While focusing on the socio-economic aspects would be ideal for a Social Studies class.
3. Play a Game
So, according to researchers, playing games help children maintain discipline and even helps with modified behaviors. It seems that no matter the game, the only thing that tends to change is the intensity of what’s being learned.
Take, for example, Bingo. Playing a game of recycling Bingo teaches the kids to stay disciplined so they can hear the next row called. It’s pretty easy to integrate something like this into a recycling context, too. For elementary school children, playing Bingo with cards that focus on objects that can be recycled allows them to soak in the message while also having fun and listening.
4. Start a Green Club
Coming up with recycling ideas for school projects may seem daunting, but there are plenty of ideas out there. One of these is starting a Green Club. As its name suggests, a Green Club could be focused on recycling. The students in this club could travel with staff on field trips to clean up a section of the local park. Or, the staff could bring in a speaker to tell them about the importance of recycling.
Either way, the students are learning about the act of recycling and why it’s so important.
5. Designate a Container for Scrap Paper
It sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised at the amount of paper wasted every year. Paper alone accounts for 25 percent of waste in landfills. That’s a ridiculously high number that can be dwindled by doing simple things like saving and using scrap paper.
Students of all ages may not be aware of just how crucial using scrap paper is. By just doing this one simple action, you can open up everyone’s eyes around you as to just how wasteful people can be.
6. Repurpose Recyclables into Art
Reusing is one of the three “R”s when it comes to taking care of the environment. Some students (and even some staff members) may not be privy to how they can reuse certain items.
So, why not challenge students to repurpose their used plastics and other materials into art pieces? This is a great idea for elementary, middle, and high school students. It gets them to think outside of the box, and makes them get creative with the materials that they have.
7. Make a PSA
This is a fun one and introduces kids to advertising and television. Better for older kids, creating a PSA about recycling is one of the best recycling ideas for schools you can do. It hits on a couple of different levels. First, it engages the students and makes them think about what they want to say. Second, it gets students familiar with how to get their message across to a broad audience. It may even help with stage fright!
8. Use All Green Recycling
This last idea is strictly for the staff. It’s great to teach recycling, but sometimes you need to practice it as well. With this in mind, there’s going to come a time when the school’s computers need replacing. When this happens, take the old electronics to All Green Recycling. They will dispose of the electronics properly, so you don’t have to worry about any sensitive data leaking out.
Get Creative and Try One of This Today
It’s not too late to bring it up at your next staff meeting. There’s probably another staff member that is thinking the same thing you are, but they’re too afraid to say anything. Recycling is an immensely vital component of keeping the Earth healthy. If you introduce this concept to your students early, they have a better chance of adopting it in the long run.
Tell Us Your Story
Are you currently recycling in the classroom? What are you and your students doing to help out the environment? Comment below and tell us your ideas.