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Challenge Week 8 – Waste Time

October 22, 2013

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Across North America it is Waste Reduction Week  and schools are recognizing it in many different ways. In my own Board we are lucky to have Ontario EcoSchools  as an educational and facility based tool to help schools recognize and act upon waste issues.

According to Earth Day Canada’s EcoKid’s site, each Canadian creates 2.2 kg of garbage every week. This means an average class of 25 students will create 55 kg of garbage each day (121 lbs).

There are many examples that schools are already using for waste reduction out there from Boomerang Lunches to Wasteless Wednesdays.

But I wonder what would happen if you asked your students to rethink waste. If we stepped away from lunch or snack time issues – what would they see as the main sources of waste in or around the school? Paper? Schoolyard litter? Perhaps it is electronics or batteries that they are concerned about.

A number of years ago I was introduced to Volkswagon’s The Fun Theory.  This is a great process and way of thinking when trying to change behaviour. We all know that littering for instance is wrong however, what can we do to encourage a change in behaviour where folks are littering? How about creating the world’s deepest garbage bins?

So this week’s challenge is to have that conversation with your students. What do they see as the school or community’s greatest waste challenge and what do you think you can do about it? How can you make reducing waste fun? A contest? A competition? Perhaps your own version of a fun or specially designed garbage bin?

Would love to have you share your student’s comments and their ideas and actions with me.

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