Earth Theme Projects: Recycling, Litter, Donating Coins

Earth Theme Projects: Recycling, Litter, Donating Coins


  • Contact an agency to see if it would be willing to remove your items for recycling. Find out how they must be sorted and stored.
  • Collect and recycle everything you can.
  • Donate the proceeds if you turn recycled items in for cash.
  • Contact for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort!

Set a Collection Goal and Keep Track on a posted litter-meter.
Be sure kids wear protective disposable gloves when collecting litter. 


Introduce recycling to your school by having kids set up a recycling bin for paper. Ask school officials to set up bins in the cafeteria for plastic, aluminum and glass. Students can help educate their schoolmates about recycling by designing posters that describe what can and cannot be place in each recycling bin.


Collect money (Coins for the Rainforest) and “adopt” a bit of Rain Forest2500 square feet can be purchased from Arborday website for $10.00 in the program section of the aborday site.

Just search Rainforest Rescue***Have kids decorate plastic milk jugs and place them about the building and office/lounge areas. Be sure to put an article in your newsletter and promote the project verbally and with posters.


Grades: Appropriate for Pre-kindergarten to Grade 12.

One Michigan 2nd-grade celebration of Earth Day became a sustained commitment to caring for a rainforest.

To better understand tropical plants and their connections with society, the students did research in small groups, then drew or constructed models of plants, transforming their classroom into a model rain forest. (See Photo) During their research, the children discovered they could adopt acres of the real rain forest to help preserve it, and calculated how much money they needed to do this.

The students maintained their obligation to the environment in their fund-raising efforts. They created and presented, to parents and other classes, a program on dangers facing rain forests. They charged each person who attended an empty pop can, which they recycled for money to purchase sections of rain forest.

As a follow-up to their presentation, the students wrote, illustrated, and bound their own story books about rain forestsThey donated the books to local doctors’ offices, schools, and libraries so that the community could continue to learn about this important resource. Adapted from Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas, 1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.

PENNIES FOR PANDAS … and Pumas … and Pelicans …etc. Great Idea from a Real Group of Kids! 

To one 2nd-grade class, the study of endangered animals was a vague subject. They grasped the definitions of words like “threatened” and “extinct,” but it was difficult to imagine animals that were so familiar to them — like pandas — simply not existing. A student-led fund-raising project in support of endangered animals brought the issue into focus.

Grades: Prekindergarten to 5 (This is something that would translate easily to an After School Program) In Minnesota a group of second graders did this project–but all grades can do the same!

The students prepared by reading a play about rainforest animals.

They worked cooperatively to chart information about a variety of endangered animals and make illustrated books about each one.

The children then pulled key ideas from what they’d learned and created flyers that they distributed to households near the school. In the flyers, the students informed their neighbors about issues facing animals and asked them to contribute aluminum cans and pennies, which the students counted and used to adopt two animals from the local zoo.

The children also organized a school-wide contest to see which class could contribute the most pennies.

In celebration of the successful fund-raising drive, the students performed the play about rainforest animals for parents and fellow students. Even before the curtain rose, they knew they were already playing one of the most important roles of their lives: caretaker of the Earth.
Adapted from “Route to Reform: K-8 service-learning Curriculum Ideas,”  1994-95 National Youth Leadership Council.

Reduce… Recycle… Reuse…

How can we help our environment? Make your own version of this wonderful display board by Bev Evan at Display Photos


  • Ride your bike or walk to school.
  • Use last year’s school supplies.
  • Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
  • Buy recycled paper.
  • Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic.
  • Use a lunch box, not paper bags.
  • Donate last year’s clothes instead of throwing them away.
  • Buy online to avoid driving.
  • Buy organic food.
  • Turn your computer off when you’re not using it.
  • Decorate your lunchbox.
  • Make your own bookmarks.
  • Organize a clothes swap with your friends.
  • Carpool to sports
  • Use refillable pens and pencils.
  • Reuse your backpack. Decorate it with cool patches.

Tips from NationalGeographic

Earth and Green Theme Menu


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