RethinkWaste values education and seeks to empower children and adults to reduce waste and protect the environment by providing knowledge and resources.
RethinkWaste offers the following educational resources to schools and youth groups in the agency’s service area:
- Tours of the Shoreway Environmental Center (virtual and in-person school tours are currently offered)
- Assemblies and in-class presentations focused on the 4R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot/Compost)
- Lessons and workshops about composting at school and at home
- Educator support in connecting waste reduction and resource conservation themes to state-mandated Common Core standards for classroom curriculum
- Assistance establishing and engaging green teams, environmental clubs, and other student groups on campus
- Waste audits and assessment to help identify opportunities to improve recycling, composting, and reuse on school campuses
- Teaching tools to supplement education provided during RethinkWaste presentations and Shoreway Tours
Resources for Schools
Lessons & Activities
- Full Lesson Booklet– This booklet contains ten lesson plans that cover different waste topics such as food waste.
- Ryan’s Week Lesson Booklet– Students join Ryan on her week-long quest to learn about waste. Each day includes a full lesson paired with a short story introduction.
- Sorting Game
- San Mateo Office of Education Waste and Consumption Field Research
- The Plastic Problem Documentary Questions
- Recycling Lesson Plan (gr. 6 – 12) This resource was made in collaboration with San Mateo County’s Office of Education.
- Recycling Crisis Webquest (gr. 6 – 12) This resource was made in collaboration with San Mateo County’s Office of Education.
Resources for Tours
The following items include activities and lesson plans that can be used before and after RethinkWaste presentations and Shoreway Tours, or as stand-alone curriculum.
- Full Lesson Booklet– This booklet contains all ten lesson plans listed below.
Partner Organizations for More Information
- Office of Sustainability
- San Mateo County Office of Education
- Environmental Solutionary Teacher Fellowship Program: The Solutionary Teacher Fellowship, formerly called the San Mateo Environmental Literacy Collaborative Teacher Fellowship, is a knowledge-to-action program that builds teacher capacity for designing and delivering learning experiences that are student-centered, problem-project-based, solutions-oriented, and integrates real-world environmental justice issues. Teachers who participate in this 10-month fellowship are eligible for a stipend ($750 – $1,000) and continuing education units (CEU).
- Zero Waste Education Alliance: The San Mateo County Zero Waste Education Alliance (ZWEA) is a collaborative network of organizations leading waste reduction efforts in San Mateo County school programs. The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) serves as a central convener for bringing together this network of Zero Waste Education Partners. The purpose of this network is to foster collaboration, build best practices and messaging, and integrate into districts and schools on zero waste topics.
- Frequently Asked Questions: This document is a resource for students, teachers, and administrators working to implement proper sorting and reduce waste across their campus or district.
- Recology San Mateo County
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