Track Your Waste

Have you ever thought about what happens to the trash after you throw it away? Watch this video to see just how much trash we accumulate in New York City, and where it goes. 

Now that you've seen the video, I think we can all say yuck, gross, and what can we do to stop the amount of trash that we generate?  A lot of people use the phrase: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But what does that mean? 

Reduce: Only use things you really need. Reduce your waste by only using what you need. Use both sides of your paper, can you replace some of your paper products, such as napkins and paper towels, with cloth? Can you use washable containers, refillable bottles, and reusable bags instead of plastic? 

Reuse: Have you ever used a shoe box to collect treasures? Have you ever given your toys to a charity or a younger neighbor? Great job. That means you reused it! When you reuse, you extend the life of a product, rather than buying a whole new one.

Recycle: Recycling is easy! All you have to do is pay a little extra attention to putting certain materials in a recycling bin instead of a trash can. Here's a flyer of what you can and cannot recycle in New York. 

Activity Instructions

for Observers (Pre-K through 2nd Grade) and Explorers (3rd Grade through 5th Grade)

Your challenge is to conduct a waste audit at home. Spend one day tracking what you and your family throw away. 

Print out this tracker (or create your own) and post it by your trash and recycling bins. 

Write down what you throw away over the course of one day. 

At the end of the day, ask: did you find any items that could have been recycled, composted, or simply reused instead of thrown away? 

Think about one way you can reduce the amount of waste in your home. You can even create a poster to remind your family of your commitment. 

Turn It In

Tell us what change your family is going to make on Padlet!

If you haven't printed the bingo board page, please print it now. Cross off this activity square, since you've completed it.


You'll bring your bingo board print-out to the PS29 garden on  Sunday, May 23 between 2-4pm to collect your prize. If you're not in Brooklyn, email us and we will send you your prize.