Here are ten things you can do to reduce waste at your school:
1. Use reusable bottles for your drinks instead of disposable bottles, cans or cartons and use reusable airtight containers for snacks and packed lunches instead of disposable packaging.
2. Encourage teachers to do double-sided photocopying and to pass messages around, rather than giving everyone an individual copy. This will reduce the amount of paper they waste.
3. Always use both sides of a piece of paper, before you recycle it or throw it away. Some schools have scrap trays to store paper that has only been written on one side and use this paper for rough drafts. A good place for one of these scrap trays is by the photocopier! By using both sides of paper you reduce the amount of paper you waste.
4. Encourage your school secretaries to reuse envelopes by sticking a label over the old address. This will save money as well as reduce the amount of envelopes that would be thrown away.
5. Ask your teacher to think about this idea. Instead of giving out merit/reward certificates, have pages in your journal/school diary where teachers can stamp in a merit/reward. This could be done for detentions as well. This will stop you losing your merit/reward certificates and will reduce the amount of waste paper.
6. Wash out and decorate old catering cans from the school cafeteria. They can be reused to make very attractive plant pots or large sculptures, such as a totem pole.
7. Ask your teacher to contact the District about starting a Recycling Assistance Program (RAP) at your school. Most of the waste in a school dumpster is paper and most of that can be recycled. Also encourage your school to buy and use recycled paper.
8. Make a worm compost bin. You can recycle all the staff's tea bags, your fruit scraps and some of the left over school dinners in a worm bin. To learn how, your teacher can sign up for a Vermicomposting class with the District.
9. Reuse old paper that can not be written on any more, to make papier mache models or masks. You can also mix it with water and mash it up to make pulp for 3D modelling or making your own recycled paper.
10. Buy lunch items with with less packaging on them. For example you could buy an apple instead of a bag of fruit snacks. Or you could bring snacks in to school from a large bag/packet at home instead of buying individually wrapped snacks. This will reduce the amount of packaging waste that you throw away.