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Oregon Green Schools


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, English Language Arts, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Projects

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon


Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF, Google Forms

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling Resources

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  • Through these resources, schools and teachers can become certified as a Green School, incorporate lessons and activities about sustainability, and increase student participation in sustainable actions.
  • There are links for curriculum, activities, partner organizations, field trips, and funding opportunities.
Teaching Tips


  • There are many valuable resources and a variety of methods for students to take part in enacting real change in their school!
  • There are many virtual field trips that are great for both in-person and remote learning environments.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The NWF Eco-Schools USA link will take you to a page showing 10 tips to Reduce Consumption and Minimize Waste. The tenth tip has a link to a useful classroom activity guide with lessons for middle and high school.
  • Proper implementation of this project will require a variety of school personnel, including administrators, custodial staff, local businesses, parents, etc.
  • Students, especially multilingual learners, may need some terms such as global warming, climate change, recycling, reduce, food waste, waste, carbon, greenhouse gases, audit, consumer, watershed and compost defined prior to starting this project.
  • In the "project-based learning ideas" document, the Product Toolkit links cannot be accessed and the "How to Write a Bill and Template" and "Background on How a Bill Becomes Law" links are broken.
  • "The Environmental Center" link under Central Oregon is not an actual link.


  • Economics and financial literacy classes can look at the impact that a waste problem has on the spending and finances of their school, while also addressing the environmental implications that are associated with waste.
  • Science classes can implement this project to supplement a unit on carbon emissions, carbon footprints, the effects of greenhouse gases on climate change, and the role of waste and consumption in these concepts.
  • Language arts classes can read the provided articles on waste in the United States and identify the main idea and key details of the article.
  • Older students can do this project as individuals, pairs or groups, presenting their findings and solutions to the proper audience (for example, the school board). Younger students can do this project as a class with a teacher leading and guiding them through the entirety of the process.
  • For the recycling classroom audit, students can be broken into groups, each one taking on a different classroom, and share their results with the rest of the class.
  • Language arts classes can create persuasive and/or expository writing to persuade and educate the proper audience in their school about their waste reduction problem/solution.
Scientist Notes
This resource on waste reduction is well sourced and cited. All information is linked to the appropriate citation and is backed by scientific evidence. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
      • 3-5-ETS1-2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries
      • D1.1.3-5. Explain why compelling questions are important to others (e.g., peers, adults).
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.6-8 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
      • D2.Civ.11.K-2 Explain how people can work together to make decisions in the classroom.
      • D2.Civ.11.3-5 Compare procedures for making decisions in a variety of settings, including classroom, school, government, and/or society.
      • D2.Civ.13.3-5 Explain how policies are developed to address public problems.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.3-5 Compare the benefits and costs of individual choices.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.5.K-2 Describe how human activities affect the cultural and environmental characteristics of places or regions.
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.11.9-12 Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.7.9-12 Analyze the reciprocal nature of how historical events and the spatial diffusion of ideas, technologies, and cultural practices have influenced migration patterns and the distribution of human population.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • D4.6.K-2 Identify and explain a range of local, regional, and global problems, and some ways in which people are trying to address these problems.
      • D4.7.3-5 Explain different strategies and approaches students and others could take in working alone and together to address local, regional, and global problems, and predict possible results of their actions.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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