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Waste

Break the Cycle: Water bottle life cycle

Time: 30-50 minutes

Lesson description: This lesson introduces the concept of the life cycle of a water bottle and compares cradle-to-grave product life cycles with cradle-to-cradle. Students conduct taste test of tap vs. bottled water to see which they really prefer. With remaining time or as a homework students can find out where their tap water comes from and what happens to it when it goes down the drain.

Suggested subject areas: Science, economics, engineering, business, or social studies

Lesson components and description:

Break the Cycle Lesson plan: Gives an overview of the lesson materials and a step-by-step guide for each lesson. (PDF)

Water Bottle Fact Sheet: Gives facts about the life cycle of a water bottle to be used when going through the lesson. (PDF)

Water Bottle Life Cycle pictures: Provides images of the water bottle life cycle for students to arrange in the proper sequence. (PDF)

Break the Cycle power point: The presentation steps the instructor and students through this activity with appropriate facts and discussion points, as well as additional links to internet video resources. (PDF)

Know Your School’s Waste Stream

Time: 35 minutes

Lesson Description: In this students will investigate items in their school’s waste stream and look for potential ways to reduce waste at their school. As an extension, they will be asked to investigate their personal waste stream

Suggested subject area: science/social studies

Lesson components and descriptions

Know Your School’s Waste Stream Lesson Plan Gives an overview of the unit along with step-by-step instructions (PDF)

Know Your School’s Waste Stream Student Handouts Includes instructions for the activity (PDF)

Compost in a Bottle

Time: 35 minutes

Lesson Description: In this lesson, students will think critically about the materials that compose their school lunch. The students will be challenged to consider what material inputs there are to the school to create their lunch as well as the outputs in the form of waste. Student will identify the biodegradable and compostable components of their lunch, then build a miniature composter for some of these materials. Students will use a worksheet to think through the school lunch system and identify how composting can divert some waste from this system.

Suggested subject area: science

Lesson components and descriptions:

Compost in a Bottle Lesson Plan Gives an overview of the unit along with step-by-step instructions (PDF)

Compost in a Bottle Student Handouts Includes handout (PDF) and instruction for creating the bottle composting system (PDF)