Waste Reduction

Reduce Litter in your Centre

This eco-focus is all about reducing litter in your centre. A good place to start is by joining our Waste Warriors Sorting Challenge. There are also lots of other activities below! Let’s get your centre recycling, reducing, reusing and refusing! 

Early Years Learning Framework

Learning Outcomes: 

2.4 – Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

4.1 – Children develop dispositions for learning 


5. Ongoing learning and reflective practice


3. Learning through play

CHALLENGE: Waste Warriors Sorting Challenge


Game cards (provided in the link below)/ poster paper/ drawing materials (e.g. permanent markers)

*Optional: cleaned and disinfected trash items (e.g. juice boxes, straws, newspaper)



30 mins to play sorting card game – STEP 2

1 hour to create poster – STEP 3 

Step 1 - Sorting Game Preparation

The objective of this game is to provide Mini Marines with a better understanding of where to dispose rubbish items. For example, aluminum foil and plastic juice bottles belong in the recycling bin and not the general waste bin. To make this learning experience fun and exciting for children we have provided game cards to assist you with this challenge. Otherwise, feel free to get creative by creating your own flash cards based on waste items you often see being incorrectly disposed of.

We recommend you print out the game cards we’ve provided you with below. To compliment these cards, you should create labels of the 4 different waste streams that are in focus for this challenge:

  • Rubbish Bin
  • Recycling Bin
  • Natural Environment
  • Compost Bin

With those labels you can attach them to individual containers that you have at your disposal, like the example below.

source: https://happyhooligans.ca/compost-recycling-sorting-activity/

Additionally, you could get the children to collect common litter items to use in the game, such as, juice cartons or straws. However, you’ll have to ensure that these items have been cleaned and disinfected. 

Step 2 - Let the game begin!

Now that you have all that you need for the sorting trash game, you can gather the children to play! 

The purpose of the game is to discuss with the children why different trash items belong to particular waste streams or in this case, labelled containers.

You can either let the children sort the cards into the different containers you have set up. OR you can work collectively to sort out the waste items by individually calling out the labelled cards. The children can then respond with the waste stream they think the item belongs to. It is important to have an active discussion with the children about why each trash item belongs to their respective waste stream

Step 3 - Reference Poster

To gather the information that the children have learnt you and/or the children can create a poster of one of the waste streams, for example to represent the compost bin you can draw a bin with soil and worms in it.

You can attach the flash cards to the poster so that it correctly displays what can be disposed in the compost bin, such as food scraps. Another option would be to use common waste items collected by children from within the centre or their homes to attach to the poster, such as, empty chip packets or juice boxes. These items can complement the flash cards or they can be used instead of the flash cards – the choice is yours. The poster can then be displayed within the centre for everyone to refer to when wondering how to dispose of their waste.

Step 4 - Submission

We want to see your trash-tastic posters when you’re done so, please submit using the link below! Also, if you have any photos of the experience you would like to share with us, send them over to one of our EcoMarines staff using the link.

Winners of this challenge will receive a fun and exciting prize (TBC)!

CHALLENGE: Containers for Change

Does your centre have a containers for change refund scheme? If not, then this might be a challenge for you!

Step 1

Set up and area in your centre where kids and staff can put their empty bottles and containers. 

Step 2

Educate your kids and staff about what can and cannot go in the containers for change bin! 

Step 3

Get your centre using the bin! 

Once your bin is full, choose what to do with the funds! These could be put towards an environmental project in the centre, a local charity or anything else you choose. EcoMarines is a registered charity with Containers for Change and we would welcome any donations to help us grow! Our code is C10041492 if you would like to donate.

The Containers for Change website has more information on what type of containers are accepted, and where to return them.

Step 4

Create a poster with your kids about the items allowed in the bin! 


Activities about Waste Reduction & Litter

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