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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Reusing or Recycling

Lesson Description:
  • Identify and describe the difference between recycling and reusing materials.
  • Identify and describe how an individual’s action in regards to waste management can affect change and improve the environment.
  • Make oral presentations related to the topic of study.

Lesson Type:
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Waste Reduction

GEF Program Category:
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

Time Needed:
Two 45 minute in class sessions, additional outside of class time for each group
Standards Addressed:
Geography Standard 16: Understand the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources.
  • Benchmark # 5: Know advantages and disadvantages of recycling and reusing different types of materials.

Geography Standard 18: Understand global development and environmental issues.
  • Benchmark # 2: Know ways in which resources can be managed and why it is important to do so (e.g., conservation practices, recycling non-renewable resources).

Technology Standard 3: Understand the relationship among science, technology, society and the individual.
  • Benchmark # 4: Know that new inventions reflect people’s needs and wants, and when these change, technology changes to reflect the new needs and wants.
  • Benchmark # 5: Understand that technology may affect the environment both negatively and positively (e.g., the introduction of plastics).

Language Arts Standard 8: Use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.
  • Benchmark # 3: Respond to questions and comments (e.g., gives reasons in support of opinions).
  • Benchmark # 5: Use strategies to convey a clear main point when speaking (e.g., express ideas in a logical manner, use specific vocabulary to present information).
  • Benchmark # 7: Make basic oral presentations to class (e.g., use subject related information and vocabulary; include content appropriate to the audience; relate ideas and observations; incorporate visual aids and props; incorporate several sources of information).

Materials Needed:
  • Cards with waste items recorded
  • Empty container or plastic bag
  • Pencils and paper
  • Empty plastic drink bottle
  • Sample of waste materials to be reused (see list provided)
  • "What Are We Wasting" Worksheet provided below
  • Pictures of items made from recycled and reused plastic water bottles
  • Magazines showing ways to reuse materials
  • Internet access

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf what-are-we-wasting.pdf

The Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse is brought to you in partnership with

Center for Green Schools