Reduce It

Many of the items in the rubbish bin could be eliminated by implementing the reduction ethic. Buying in bulk or using refillable containers can reduce classroom waste.

Key concept

The best way to reduce the amount of rubbish we make is not to make it in the first place.

Learning Objectives

Students will identify and develop waste reduction activities for the classroom.


  • Pencils
  • Classroom rubbish bin (full)
  • Kraft paper
  • Plastic gloves

Learning Steps

  1. Explain to the students what waste reduction means.  How does reducing waste before we create it help preserve resources and landfill space?   Here are some ways to reduce waste:
    • Share copies
    • Use blackboard/whiteboard whenever possible
    • Start a "reuse it" box for scrap paper
    • Use refilllable pens
    • Use old exercise books for drawing
    • Use both sides of the paper
    • Use refillable items for juice bottles, lunch boxes etc.
  2. Using the plastic gloves, remove each piece of rubbish and place on the kraft paper (onto a table).  Ask students how they could better use each item eg reuse it, recycle it or use durable products instead of disposable ones.

Extra activity

Why reduce waste?  Discuss, write an article for the local paper or school newsletter, prepare posters, or make up a display to explore the benefits of reducing waste.  Investigate such issues as landfill space, saving resources and energy, reducing pollution and increasing production.