The Waste Free Challenge

For this challenge, you will explore ways to reduce the amount of waste that you produce in your life.  

Did you ever wonder how much waste the average person produces in one day?  Or, how about in one year?  Do you know the problems that exist because of all the waste we produce? 

In this challenge, you will learn about waste and why reducing the amount you produce is so important.  

We have teamed up with Riverbend Environmental Education Center and our friends at FLUX to explore the impact of waste on our environment!  In honor of Earth Day on April 22, 2021, we invite you to take part in this challenge, The Waste Free Challenge!

Watch the video and open the student learning guide below to get a better understanding of waste, it’s impact on our environment, and how you can change that!


Step 1: Identify everything that produces trash in your life (make a list).  Audit the waste you produce in 1 day (24 hours)

Step 2: Brainstorm ways to reduce/eliminate that waste

Step 3: Take Action – Try out your ideas that you have brainstormed!

Step 4: Collect Data/Review/Reflect

Step 5: Share your work!  Make sure to address the learning guide questions!  


Too Much Trash

The waste humans generate waste has been detrimental to our environment for quite some time now. Humans are generating too much trash and cannot deal with it in a sustainable way. Waste that is not biodegradable and cannot be properly recycled is filling our oceans and landfills. Let’s take plastic waste as an example. A recent study found that of the 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste that has been produced, only 9% of that plastic waste had been recycled. (Find out more about plastic pollution and how you can help reduce your own waste.) In 2017, for instance, the Environmental Protection Agency calculated that the total generation of municipal solid waste in the United States just that year was 267.8 million tons. Compared with 2015 levels, it was a 5.7 million increase. All together, the amount of waste generated affects the environment in multiple ways: its contribution to the worsening climate crisis, its negative impact on wildlife and the natural environment, and its detriment to our very own public health.