Garbathon or Garbage-athon


Contributed by Les Asselstine.

Our students can and should take responsibility for litter on the schoolyard and in the neighbourhood. Here are some possible activities.

  • Regularly collect litter from the schoolyard.
  • Sort litter and classify it according to the rate at which it degrades.
  • Classify litter by considering whether it might have been recycled or reused and whether it should have been refused.
  • Consider safety concerns and safe practices related to picking up litter.
  • Make up a list of questions that we have about litter and devise strategies for answering those questions.
  • Identify community areas where students may safely assume responsibility for cleaning up litter.
  • Solicit sponsors who will contribute funds in recognition of a clean-up project and conduct a class meeting to decide how to best use the money to improve the environment.
  • Evaluate packaging on items normally purchased by students. Consider which packaging is most environmentally friendly.
  • Whenever possible, connect ʻlitterʼ activities to mathematics or language. Consider data management, measurement, critical reading, or persuasive writing.

Garbage in container

To ensure activities are appropriate, consider

• the age of your students,
• the ability of your students to understand the concepts related to the issue,
• the safety of your students,
• the skills that students may develop while conducting the activity, and
• the degree to which students might reasonably have control over the issue.