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Teaching Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling to Elementary School Students

Reducing, reusing, and recycling are three essential actions that we can take to help protect the environment. Elementary school teachers can teach K-6 students the importance of these actions and how they can make a significant impact on the health of our planet. In this blog post, we will explore what reducing, reusing, and recycling mean and how we can incorporate them into our daily lives.


Reducing

Reducing is the first and most effective way to reduce waste and save resources. It means using fewer resources in the first place, such as electricity, water, and materials. We can teach our students to reduce by turning off lights when they leave the room, taking shorter showers, and turning off electronics when not in use. Another way to reduce is by using reusable items instead of disposable ones. For example, instead of using plastic water bottles, students can bring a reusable water bottle from home. In our live school assembly “All That Trash” we emphasize the simple concept of “not wasting stuff.”


Reusing

Reusing means finding new uses for items instead of throwing them away. We can teach our students to reuse by donating clothes and toys they no longer use, using old jars for storage or crafting projects, and using both sides of paper before recycling it. Reusing is a great way to save resources and reduce waste.


Recycling

Recycling means converting used materials into new products instead of throwing them away. We can teach our students to recycle by setting up a recycling bin in the classroom for paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. We can also teach them to recycle at home by separating recyclable items from non-recyclable ones and placing them in the correct bins. Too often schools and communities imply that recycling is the most important action to help the planet. Actually, the best way to help in these three actions is to reduce. However, if aluminum cans or paper are used, definitely don’t waste those natural resources. Fun fact, most communities can not recycle dirty paper; it has to be clean. Since our assembly company is based in California, we get also teach kiddos about CRV in our assembly called “The Crazy Bottles and Cans Show”.


Teaching Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

As K-6 teachers, we can incorporate lessons about reducing, reusing, and recycling into our NGSS curriculum. We can teach our students about the importance of these actions and how they can make a significant impact on the environment. We can also conduct Earthday (every day should be Earthday) recycling projects in the classroom, such as creating a recycling bin, and encourage our students to bring in items that can be recycled. This will help to raise awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

In conclusion, reducing, reusing, and recycling are three essential actions that we can take to help protect the environment. We can teach our students about these actions and incorporate them into our daily lives. By working together, we can create a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations.

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