How Much Garbage Do You Generate?
Before students can begin to understand the need for waste reduction, it is necessary first to understand the magnitude of the waste problem. Throwing away a single gum wrapper or banana peel doesn’t seem very important, until we see the cumulative impact of everyone’s combined trash over a period of time. The impact of waste generated at school and at home is one of the most personal ways to understand buying and throwing away habits. This activity will allow students to calculate garbage generation as well as realize reduce, reuse and recycle possibilities.
For one day, give each student a plastic bag to wear around his/her waist (or to carry) to collect the garbage they produce – at school and at home. Nothing gets thrown away in the garbage can during the designated period of activity! This activity can be extended to a week if desired.