Observe America Recycles Day on November 15 in your classroom by exploring these recycling activities with your students.

The topic of recycling can be applicable to discussions in all school subjects and can be observed by all educators on America Recycles Day through incorporating recycling activities. Organized by the Keep America Beautiful initiative, America Recycles Day is a nationwide effort to increase recycling participation across the country. Teachers are able to make recycling activities part of the conversation in their classrooms to encourage students to reduce waste and reuse products every day of the year. Use these ideas for America Recycles Day as a platform to introduce simple recycling activities in your STEM classroom.

1. Home Recycling Challenge

recycling activitiesCreate healthy competition among students by holding a recycling challenge during which children collect and record a list of recyclable items within their homes. Ask students to bring their lists to class at the end of the challenge. Reward the student who has recycled the most items at home through the most eco-friendly methods. You can even start a social media campaign through your classroom page where students can post pictures of their recycling bins with a catchy hashtag.

recycling activities2. Paper Recycling Project

Parents will be elated when this assignment it introduced. By asking students to bring in paper from home that is destined for the trash bin, they can help relieve parents of garbage and learn the process of recycling. PBS Kids outlines recycling activities to create paper for reuse. Ensure children don’t use personal family records, or important billing documents that parents would prefer not be used in class.

recycling activities3. Plastic Reuse Research

From lumber to furniture, plastic trash is finding new life in unique products. The innovation used to design items that are manufactured through recycled plastic has introduced planters, toys, pet products, public-use walkways, and packaging. Be on the lookout in class for the future fashion designer who shares the story of Emma Watson’s 2016 Met Gala gown that was created using bottles or Adidas’ line that is manufactured with plastic ocean waste.

recycling activities4. The School that Recycles Together

Take America Recycles Day beyond the classroom by collaborating with school administration and working with fellow teachers. Create an email list to draw together everyone who is involved in the project prior to the big day. Solicit ideas from colleagues, use activities from this list, and have students create posters to remind students to recycle and share interesting recycling facts. Don’t forget to have a plan in place to recycle the posters and materials when the event is over! From the moment students arrive until they leave at the end of their last class, make the entire school day all about America Recycles Day.

recycling activities5. Make it a Recycling Social

Connect with others who are observing America Recycles Day by sharing social media information with students. Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook for maximum impact. Take the pledge to recycle and have students do the same. The Keep America Beautiful Pinterest page provides additional ideas for supporting the nation’s recycling initiatives. Don’t forget the hashtags — #BeRecycled and #AmericaRecyclesDay!

Continue the celebration of saving Earth after America Recycles Day by adding Earth Day and Arbor Day to the class calendar to promote Earth-saving measures and activities among students all year long.

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