Format: project-based learning
Length: 30-40 minutes for presentation/overview, 30-120 minutes for audit
Requirements: Journey of Waste and Sort before audit, collection of school's waste generated in one day, plan for action-project, preliminary and final audits
Topics/subjects: waste reduction; social behavior change; data collection, analysis, and application; civic-action projects
Summary: The production of waste has enormous impacts on environments, economies, and societies throughout the world. Each of us has a responsibility to understand the impacts of the waste we produce, how much we produce, and how we can make choices to reduce waste and protect natural and human resources. Through the waste audit presentation and project, students will gain an appreciation for the permanence of waste and its impacts on the environment and societies. Students will recognize the enormity of how much waste we produce and thus the enormity of its impacts, gain insight into how much waste their school generates, and feel empowered to make choices to reduce waste and encourage peers to do the same. Waste audits involve sorting through the waste produced by the school in one day, and collecting data about the amounts and types of waste (garbage, recycling, compost) generated, and using that data to create a plan for improving waste reduction and disposal at the school, often through student-led campaigns.