Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Understanding our Effects on the Environment

A fun and educational reference to learn about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling, to increase awareness and concern for the environment among school aged children.

The hard fact of today’s world is that global warming and deforestation are taking their toll on the health of our planet. Garbage buildups and energy consumption created from the purchasing of new products is a major contributor to global warming. It takes resources to manufacture and transport all products, and even those made from recycles materials. It is better to buy a green product than not, but buying nothing at all is better than buying green. There are of course exceptions. A perfect example is an old appliance or vehicle which is extremely energy inefficient. Buying new, more energy efficient models, such as Energy Star appliances, would most likely save resources in the long term.

A great way to cut back on the millions of tons of garbage and waste that humans produce every year is to practice the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These little actions, if practiced by all of us, can make a big difference in improving the environment and making the earth a healthier and more beautiful place.

Take a look at some of these environmental educational resources that we came across for teachers and families.

Teacher’s Resources and Guides:

According to various studies and journals such as The International Journal of Axiology, the best way to promote awareness for environmental issues and promote environmentally responsible behaviors is through an increase in environmental education. Actual hands on and ‘seeing it for themselves’ type projects were proven very effective. Being assigned minor or major environmental projects not only help students generate various solutions to environmental issues - which build on their creative problem solving, decision making, and cooperative working abilities - but it also assists in becoming aware of the conditions which led to the current state of the environment. Additionally, students’ awareness and respect for nature increased as did their knowledge, vales, and attitudes toward the environment.

Elementary:

  • Project Learning Tree- Over 35 links to award winning lesson plans for grades K-5. Project Learning Tree's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood has been selected as Learning ® Magazine 2011 Teachers’ Choice Award winner.
  • Peace Corps- Ideas and tips for teaching about recycling and environment protection.
  • Earth Day Themes- A great resource for teachers with lots of Earth-Day themed lessons.
  • 5 Lessons- This page features 5 lessons that teach kids about the three R’s.
  • Saving Resources- A lesson plan for students to help save the earth’s resources.
  • Kids & Teachers- Some programs the state of Massachusetts has implemented for kids and teachers regarding the environment.
  • Vocabulary Games- 10 fun games to help students learn recycling vocabulary.
  • Teacher Resources- A comprehensive resource page for teachers including lessons, ideas, and links.
  • Pollution & Recycling- Lesson plan for 2nd and 3rd graders about recycling.
  • Field Trip Ideas- Education becomes active, experiential, and fun with field trip ideas.
  • Kindergarten- Respect the Environment- An example lesson plan to teach how to respect the environment.

"I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Middle School and High School:

For middle school and high school students, it is not sufficient to ‘tell’ students about ecology. Students must experience a curriculum which allows them to discover how they interact with the environment themselves. Only then will meaningful beliefs and values be developed.

  • Global Envision- Over 25 International Environmental Awareness Resources (lesson plans) appropriate for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade level.
  • The Science Spot- Ecology Lesson Plan Links.
  • Ducks Unlimited- Wetland and Environmental Education—Free Lesson Plans for Teachers.
  • Environmental Education Centre- Great environmental education field trip program examples to search for in your area.
  • Recycle the Earth- Lesson Plan aimed at helping kids understand the process and terms involved in recycling.
  • Service Learning- A guide to service learning and its benefits.

Fun and Educational Games, Activities, and Facts for the Whole Family:

These facts and activities are all about reducing, reusing, recycling and the importance that has on the health of the environment. These facts and activities provide examples of easy and fun ways for the entire family to engage in environmentally friendly practices.

  • Fact Sheet- A helpful fact sheet about recycling.
  • Fun Facts- Some fun and interesting facts about recycling for kids.
  • The 3 R’s- Information about the 3 R’s: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and pollution control.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Video- Informative video explaining how to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Brain Pop- A fun, interactive site dedicated to kids and the three R’s.
  • Coloring Sheets- A collection of environment related coloring sheets for kids.
  • Garbage & Recycling- A list of easy and fun activities to make cleaning up and recycling enjoyable.
  • Recycling Crafts- A huge list of fun ideas for making crafts out of everyday items.

Just for Kids!

In this section, find fun, interesting games and resources that are just for kids!

  • Kidsface- Website for kids encouraging them to keep our environment clean.
  • Ollie Recycles- This fun mascot helps to teach kids about recycling and other things to do to help the environment.
  • Fun with Recycling- Some ways kids can have fun with the concept of reducing, reusing and recycling, and why it is so important.
  • Energy Kids- A helpful site that shows children how they can help save energy.
  • Children of the Earth- Dedicated to kids and ways they can help the plants and animals of the planet.
  • Children of the Earth- Dedicated to kids and ways they can help the plants and animals of the planet.