Nearly everything we buy comes in some sort of package. Packaging, made from a variety of renewable and nonrenewable resources, is necessary to protect an item, keep it fresh, make it tamper-proof, and make the item easy to transport and store. In this activity, students will examine the pros and cons of different packaging strategies.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Spanish Student Page(s):
Las Elecciones del Consumidor
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
Packaging Preferences in the US
57% of consumers are actively taking steps to reduce their use of plastic packaging, according to the 2020 study U.S. Packaging Preferences 2020 released by Two Sides North America, Inc. Through this study, students can explore consumer preferences, perceptions and attitudes toward packaging materials. On top of that, find out about environmental labels on products for recycling or composting, and labels that meet certain environmental standards, such as forest certification standards.
Challenge Your Eco-Footprint
BillerudKorsnäs, a renewable packaging material organization that specializes in creating sustainable packaging solutions, created this interactive resource titled Challenge your eco-footprint. It helps people understand the differences between types of waste and recyclable materials and how long they remain in the environment. Displayed in the resource is a digital representation of how long it takes for waste items to decompose. Use this resource to help raise awareness of the importance of recycling and help your students assess environmental impact.
Natural Resource Mapping
National Geographic’s Reading a Resource Map helps students in grades 2-4 investigate the origins of goods that people use. Use it to engage students on the topic of renewable and non-renewable resources and create a map identifying where they come from. Students will learn more about the types of goods and products that come from natural resources. They’ll also develop skills in reading and interpreting maps and apply that to learn more about the natural resources in their state.
30 Day Zero Waste Challenge!
Be Zero inspires, educates, and activates others to reduce their plastic and trash footprint for a sustainable future. Join the challenge with your students too! For example, one article on their blog called How to Pack a Zero Waste Kids Lunch highlights how one parent used a bento style stainless steel container called PlanetBox to easily pack their kids lunch and avoid using packaged foods.
Guide to Responsible Green Camping
Are you worried about children being more familiar with touch screens than with soil, plants, and bugs? It might be time to get the kiddos out camping. This online guide to responsible camping will get you prepared for a green camping trip, including how to pack, how to camp, responsible camping activities, and handy safety and eco tips.
STEM Teaching Tools
The University of Washington’s Institute of Science and Math created Practice Briefs. These free articles highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching. These briefs helps K-12 educators and administrators stay informed on teaching STEM issues, including STEM issues relating to teaching NGSS and implementing meaningful STEM learning. Each brief is separated into digestible sections and includes recommended actions for educators.
Think Green Infographic
Produced by the EPA, this Think Green Infographic is a great way to get your students thinking through simple, thought-provoking questions – Do You Really Need It?, How “Green” Is It?, Can You Reuse It?, and Can You Buy It Used? The graphic provides tips and action steps middle and high schoolers can take to reduce their impact on the environment and promote conservation.
Carbon Cycle Activity
Carbon Cycle Activity (similar to “Water Wonders” Water Cycle activity) developed by Carlyn Nichols, PLT educator in Seward, Alaska. Helps relate the carbon cycle to climate change.
A Green Take on A Christmas Carol
Earth Day Carol is a green retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In this version, Plastic Bottle Scrooge is visited by the ghosts Plastic Past, Plastic Present, and Plastic Future. You can download the free mobile app to convey the message of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” through animation, pop-up facts, and kid-friendly narration. Most appropriate for elementary and middle school students, this story can be a starting point for taking environmental action.