Would you like to upload a supporting PDF?:
Single use plastics are one of the largest polluters to our environment. This topic was chosen because we wanted to observe how much waste we produced during our day, and if there are ways that we could lower our garbage and usage of single use plastics (ex. Ziploc bags, saran wrap). To start our project, we brainstormed some ideas. We talked about what recycling is, and the types of things we think we can recycle. We had ideas from "we can recycle everything" to "we can recycle paper only". I wanted to start with what we knew, so that we can show how much we have learned after all our activities are done. We also came up with ideas of why we need to recycle. "To make new things", "to save trees", and "to keep animals safe" were some of the many ideas we have about why we need to recycle. Our next step was to collect all of the waste we produced in our classroom for one week. This mostly consisted of lunch time waste, but we also collected during other times of the day. After our one week, we dumped all of our waste onto the ground, and we sorted into to categories. Our categories were plastic, garbage, glass, paper, compost, recyclable plastics, and metal. Some areas had more items than others (as we don't see much glass in the classroom). We graphed our results using a bar graph so we could visually see which category had the most waste/items. Our results showed that we produced more garbage waste than any other category. Our grand total of garbage collected for the week was 171. The students predicted numbers that were less so they were very surprised at our amount. I have included a bar graph in the supporting PDF document. I think the largest impact our project had was to make my students more aware of the waste they made, and how to recycle properly. We talked a lot about recycling and how it can be tainted with food waste left of the containers. Handling the containers that were not cleaned well helped them to understand the proper methods of cleaning. For future steps, we determined that our garbage had a lot of granola bar wrappers in it. We want to learn how to make our own granola bars and ways which we can store them (ex: Tupperware container). As well, we are going to make sure to properly sort our waste to make sure that it is recycled properly, and doesn't wreck the rest of the recyclable materials. We will continue to brainstorm ways that we can help the environment, and come up with some classroom goals that we can work on throughout the rest of this year. Overall, this project was a great way for my class to visually see the amount of waste they produced.