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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Our School’s Trash

Lesson Description:
This activity prompts students to look at trash in a new way by considering what items can be recycled, reused as is, or repaired, rather than just being thrown away. Students participate in a classroom activity that focuses on specific items of trash and then design their own at-home project with the ultimate purpose of reducing the amount of trash their families generate on a daily basis. Students are also actively engaged in researching the environmental impact of proper waste management.
Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
Two weeks
Standards Addressed:

South carolina curriculum standards addressed

  • science, grades 9–12 
    • i. inquiry 
    • b. design and conduct investigations 
    • 1. design a scientific investigation based on the major concepts in the area being studied. 
    • 2. select and use appropriate instruments to make the observations necessary for the investigation, taking into consideration the limitations of the equipment. 
    • 4. select the appropriate safety equipment needed to conduct an investigation (e.g.,goggles, aprons, etc.). 
    • 5. suggest safety precautions that need to be implemented for the handling of materials and equipment used in an investigation. 
    • 8. identify possible sources of error inherent in an experimental design. 
    • 9. organize and display data in useable and efficient formats, such as tables, graphs, maps, and cross sections. 
    • 10. draw conclusions based on qualitative and quantitative data. 
  • social studies 
    • iii. people, places, and environments: geography 
    • 10.8 the learner will demonstrate an understanding of interactions between the environment and society. 
    • 10.8.2 examine the global impacts of human changes in the physical environment 
    • 10.8.3 explain how to apply appropriate models and information to understand environmental problems 
  • health 
    • i. personal health and wellness 
    • standard 4: analyze the influence of personal beliefs, culture, mass media, technology, and other factors on health. 

Materials Needed:
  •  Chart paper and markers
  • computers with internet access 
  • one bag of clean trash weighing approximately 4 pounds and containing items t

School or Group:
Greenville County Government Online
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf High.pdf
Located in: Health

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Center for Green Schools