Resources for Municipal Solid Waste Activity 2 – Source Reduction

Student will learn about the importance of source reduction, or of generating less waste in the first place. They will look at household hazardous waste products and ways to reduce the use of toxic products at home.

This is one of 8 activities that can be found in PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Municipal Solid Waste. To get the activity, attend a training and receive PLT’s Municipal Solid Waste secondary module. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 


Download the copyright-free student pages that are included with this activity:

A Pencil's Life Cycle (PDF)

Product Life Assessment Factors (PDF)

Packaging Profile (PDF)


Spanish Student Page(s):

Valoracion de los Factores que Contribuyen a la Duracion del Producto (PDF)

Caracteristicas del Embalaje (PDF)

El Ciclo de Vida de un Lapiz (PDF)


The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • Pack a Waste-Free Lunch

    Learn how to be waste-free! EPA developed these Waste-Free Lunch activities to help students learn how to reduce, reuse, and recycle items in their school lunches. Included are tips for packing a waste-free lunch and a healthy lunch menu worksheet.

  • US EPA Facts and Figures About Materials, Waste and Recycling

    US EPA Facts and Figures About Materials, Waste and Recycling website has information on municipal solid waste in the United States. The data includes information on energy recovery and landfills as well. 

  • My Garbology

    We toss items into the trash every day – about 4.4 pounds per person per day, on average. With garbology, the study of waste, students can learn about waste reduction and steps they can take to reduce the amount of trash on the planet. This website’s interactive interface allows students to learn about the recycling, reusing, composting, and disposing of several everyday items.