Intro

We are proud to launch our Waste Wise Kids School’s Program

We are working with schools across the UK to teach children about the impact of waste on our environment. Waste Wise Kids is aimed at school children aged from four to 12 years old. We start with teaching children about the different waste types, what happens to waste after it is disposed of, and to think about reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling waste.
The educational program includes an on-site presentation, tasks and experiments, competitions and recycled handouts. We actively encourage the children to think about the waste created at home and at school, and ways they can reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle. If it can't be reused, then we show them how it can be repurposed. Importantly, we encourage children to start asking questions about unnecessary waste.
It is so important for us to teach our children from a young age about recycling and sustainability, and the huge role that plays on our future. We are engaging with influencers within the industry and academics to guide us through the Waste Wise Kids national roll out. In the future, we would like to see the topic of being ‘waste wise’ integrated more in the school curriculum, rather than being an add on to other subjects.

What do we cover?

Waste is a broad term, so we break it down into recognisable items that the children will be familiar with. Here are some examples:

Household waste

Washing machines, toasters, dishwashers, bed linen, towels, coffee machines, duvets, furniture, cutlery, the list is so long. Most of these items can be reused. If we stop them from ending up in a skip, then we reduce the amount going to recycling centres and ultimately landfill. Many of the items can be sent to charitable organisations, youth clubs, and daycare centres. If they are broken, the organisation they are gifted to can get them fixed for a lot less money than it would cost if buying brand new.

Waste Packaging
Food packaging waste

Most children will understand that plastic yoghurt pots, tins, glass bottles, and cardboard and plastic food packaging are waste, but they don’t know how much can be recycled and how much ends up in landfill. We help them understand the journey of waste once it has left their kitchen bin. We also educate the them on what different types of plastics are used. We also explain to the children about how plastics are numbered, so we can see which is good and bad for the environment. We talk about the fact that some shops are now reducing the amount of plastic wrapping and containers to make sure we don’t have the problem of recycling once it's taken home and is finished with.

Toys

This always stimulates conversation from the children especially when we say that their old toys are waste too! When we ask what happens to their old toys, games consoles, school bags, stationary, and clothes, the children are shocked to think they can end up in landfill. Toys are great for repurposing and re-using. When a toy is no longer in fashion, we need to change our throw away mentality and have some fun working out what it can be next?

Ocean plastic

We show the children a photograph of an idyllic island and ocean and ask them what they see. They see fish, whales, dolphins, shells, sand, palm trees. We then show them a photograph and footage of a beach covered in plastic waste. The shock on their faces is clear to see. We explore the themes around the world’s eco-system and that in nature there is no waste. In the natural world, living things — plants, animals, insects, bacteria - all work together and it is sustainable. It is the waste, created by people, that is impacting our earth making it less sustainable and that is why some areas are dying, like the great barrier reef in Australia.

What can we do?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose

The program teaches children the fundamental waste hierarchy approach, that the more items end up in landfill the worse it is for our planet. We ask the children to think about re-using items first at home, among family and friends, charities, hospitals, local nurseries, clothing and book banks.

Donating items to good causes

The children learn how we have facilitated the contribution of 60 appliances to a charity for the homeless, provided starter packs of cutlery, towels and bedding to women’s refuge and the homeless, and reused unwanted carpet in the play area of a local nursery where budgets were low.

School’s Program

Introducing Jeff the Recycled Robot!

This is Jeff. He is our recycled robot and features in our Waste Wise Kids school’s program.

Waste Wise Kids Rubbish Robot Jeff

As part of our activity, children enter into a competition to create their own waste robot made entirely from items that you would normally throw away at home!

The competition aims to inspire the children to make positive choices about waste and show them that many items can be repurposed. It also demonstrates the value of being imaginative and creative to create something new out of something old.

What you can do
Reduce

Make a conscious effort to make less waste, don’t buy things you don’t need, or items that are single use. Question; ‘Do I really need that?’ ‘Can it be recycled or just used once?’ ‘Is there a take-back scheme?'

Reuse

Can your old toys, clothing and books be reused at home by your siblings? At your friend’s house? Or at a local school, playgroup, or hospital? REGIFT your items and be part of the sharing community! If the item is broken, it is often cheaper to REPAIR than it is to buy new so donate to organisations in need where you can.

Repurpose

This is where imaginations can run wild and we teach the next generation that repurposing is cool! You only have to look on Google, You Tube and Pinterest for thousands of ideas – Old T-shirts become tote bags, wellington boots transform into colourful plant holders, you can even make a toy car garage out of old kitchen and toilet rolls!

Recycle

Local authority recycling centres are very well policed and it is all categorised into segregated skips for example metal, glass, plastics and cardboard. They also have book and clothes banks. Recycling education is paramount to ensure our children understand the importance of recycling and to changing behaviours.

Landfill

This is the final disposal solution, but it is not sustainable. We explain visually what landfill is and give children a sense of scale as to how big these are. For example: ‘247 football pitches’ is the largest one. There are not many landfill sites left – once they are full, they close and we don’t have enough space on earth to create more.

Repurposing

Submit your repurposing images here

If you have repurposed some items, send us a picture. All approved submissions will be added to our gallery.

If you are interested in Waste Wise Kids visiting your school, please contact us!

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