Conserve: Reuse

It is important to show students the value of reusing things. Some ideas for projects:

  1. Encourage students to reuse cafeteria cans for classroom planters, holiday decorations, etc.
    2. Encourage students to make upcycled projects from items from the school waste stream: bottles and bottle caps, CDs, milk cartons, snack wrappers, creamer bottles, plastic flatware, pizza boxes, etc. greensteps-reuse3. Plan an annual “Rethink” contest at your school. Students can make trash-to-treasure “inventions,” games or art.

4. Participate in the National Cardboard Challenge happening every October.

5. Utilize “trashables” for games and crafts at family fairs or carnivals. Make repurposed treasures or prizes like these remolded crayons.

6. Collect and sort “locker leftovers” at the end of the school year. Students can take all the things they don’t want and sort them into labeled boxes. School supplies can be packed away for the following year and clothes etc. are given to charity.

7. Encourage students to make and use healthy Citrus Classroom Cleaners. Tear the peel from one orange into any jar (like a clean peanut butter jar). Fill the jar with white vinegar and screw on the lid. Let the contents “brew” for a couple of weeks until the vinegar turns pale orange in color. Pour a few ounces of this concentrated cleaner into a small pail or a spray bottle filled with water. This cleaner will kill germs but is non-toxic for our air and water. Use it to clean any hard surface at home or at school: desks, sinks, counters, etc.

8. Plan “Plarn” parties where students cut plastic bags and loop and roll them into balls of plastic bag yarn that can be crocheted into many items including bedrolls for the homeless. See Operation Bedroll SC on Facebook.

9. Want a challenge? Look up how to build a greenhouse out of plastic bottles.

Conserve: Reuse Resources:

Old Junk Car: fun ideas to help kids (and adults) reuse recycled materials for art.
Pack a Waste-Free Lunch: Environmental Protection Agency’s Resources for teaching students how to reduce, reuse and recycle items in their school lunches.