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Save Money and Help the Environment (ON)

Subject Area: Science

Link to Ontario Science Curriculum:
  • Assess the impacts of human activities on the environment, and evaluate ways of controlling these impacts
Brief Overview of the Lesson:

The students will discuss with their families ways to save money by reducing, reusing and recycling. They will see how reducing, reusing and recycling reduces the impact of human activities on the environment while also saving them money. In groups they will read an article about the 3 ways to help the environment and will create a poster to be displayed in the school to show others how to save money and help the environment.

Estimated Time Required for Implementation:

One class period

Materials Needed:
  • Copies of the handout “Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling,” poster paper, markers, coloured pencils, etc.
Suggested Implementation Strategy:
  • Prior to the class period, tell the students the following facts:
    1. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
    2. Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy for a 100 watt light bulb to be lit for 4 hours.
    3. 5896700810 kg. of paper towels are used each year in the U.S. It takes more than 17 trees and 78000 litres of water to make one metric ton of paper towels.
  • Talk about the importance of reusing and recycling. Ask the students go home and discuss with their families ideas they have to save money by reducing, reusing and recycling. Encourage them to use the internet at home to find more tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. These ideas will be shared with the class next period.
  • Start the period by having the students share the results of their family discussions.
  • Arrange the class into small groups, hand out copies of the article “Reducing, Reusing and Recycling” and ask the groups to read it.
  • Tell them they will design a poster showing how reusing and recycling not only saves money, but also helps the environment. Assign one topic, REDUCING, REUSING OR RECYLCING to each group.
Options for Consideration:
  • The teacher may want each student to create their own poster.
  • The teacher may ask the students to use a computer program to create and print their posters.
  • Tell the students that everyone is to make an extra effort in the next month to use their ideas about how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Together they will set a goal and keep a chart in the classroom where they can record their efforts. (For example, a student records that they reduced by using both sides of a piece of paper, or recycles by using a tin can to make a pencil holder).
Extended Learning Opportunities:



In order to reduce, remember to buy only what you need. Just how many pairs of jeans does one person need? Be a friend to the environment by avoiding products with excessive packaging.

Next time you buy fast food, take a look at how much waste there is. Remember that styrofoam takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment.

Just about anything in your home that cannot be reused can be recycled into something else. You would be amazed at all the items that can be recycled. Used plastic soda pop bottles can be made into hundreds of plastic goods, such as combs, and T-shirts. Did you know that some computer cases are made from ordinary recycled plastics? Also, paper products can take on different forms as well; an old phone book or coloring book might become one of your school books or notebooks.

Look at what you are tossing in the trash. Lots of things (cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard) can be remade into either similar or new products Making new items from recycled ones uses less energy and fewer resources than making products from brand new materials. Did you know that plastic milk bags can be made into quick dry bed mats or emergency operation tables?

Helping the environment is really simple. Don’t throw away anything that can be recycled! Plastic containers and reusable lunch bags are great ways to pack your lunch without creating waste. Coffee cans, shoe boxes, margarine tubs and many others types of containers can be reused. Just use your imagination and see what you can make with aluminum cans, cardboard, glass, magazines, plastic bottles and bags, yard waste, electronic equipment, etc. You can make a difference by reducing, reusing, and recycling.