This guide was written for teachers who can use it to work through with their students, we also have a page on fun recycling facts for kids that you can use, click here
What does Reduce mean?
The Waste Hierarchy explains that the best way to deal with your waste is to Reduce. Reducing waste means not producing as much waste in the first place.
The Waste Hierarchy shows the ways that we can deal with our waste. These ways are displayed in order, starting with the best way to deal with waste at the top and running down to the least sustainable way, or the way that benefits the environment least, at the bottom.
Why is reducing waste a good thing to do?
Reducing your waste:
- Saves the Earth’s natural resources.
- Saves energy and reduces the risk of climate change.
- Reduces the need for landfill.
How does Reducing, Reusing and Recycling my waste benefit the environment?
Reducing, reusing and recycling your waste benefits the environment in a number of ways. Firstly, it saves energy. For example, making an aluminium can from recycled materials uses 20 times less energy than making it from its raw materials.
Another benefit of reducing, reusing and recycling is that it saves the earth’s natural resources. For example, if aluminium cans are not used to make new ones, non-renewable bauxite must be mined to manufacture new aluminium cans.
Reducing, reusing and recycling waste also reduces the risk of climate change. For example, you can reduce food and garden waste by composting it to make a soil conditioner that helps your flowers and plants to grow. If food and garden waste is not composted, it usually breaks down without enough air which produces greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Reducing, reusing and recycling waste also reduces the need for landfill. Much of the UK’s waste is currently send to landfill. Although there may always be a need for landfill, this is not a sustainable method of managing our waste in the long term as there is a limit to the amount of space available in the UK for landfill.
How can we reduce waste?
There are lots of ways that you can reduce the amount of waste you produce in school. Here are some examples:
- Reduce the amount of paper waste you produce by writing on both sides.
- Reduce battery waste by using solar powered calculators.
- Reduce packaging waste by avoiding over-packaged food at lunchtime.
Another good way to reduce waste is by composting. You can reduce the amount of garden waste and food waste that you put in the bin, by putting it in a compost bin instead. Here the waste breaks down with oxygen to make a soil conditioner that can then be used on your garden to help your plants and flowers grow.
You can use the compost bin for grass, twigs and leaves from the school grounds, as well as cardboard and some waste from your school canteen such as fruit and vegetable waste, tea leaves and egg shells.
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