Going Green In the Classroom

Now more than ever it is important to do your part to recycle. Recycling is great because it keeps products out of landfills, gives them a second life and allows for us to conserve precious resources while protecting the environment and our planet. It may not seem like it but one easy way to help young people understand recycling is to have them recycle everyday items for use in the classroom. Though it may seem tough, there are plenty of ways to recycle, or upcycle, in the classroom. Below are three projects that can turn what before would have gone directly into the trash into an awesome school project. 

Cereal Boxes Into Cereal Box Book Reports

Every family undoubtedly has a child that has a favorite cereal that they would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead of letting those cereal boxes be pitched into the recycling bin why not have children reuse them? Cereal box book reports are brilliant because they combine art, creativity and book reports in one package. With cereal box book reports children do the following:

  • Create a cereal based on the book they read
  • Create an image on front to sell their cereal
  • Go over the ingredients to their story on the sides
    • Plot 
    • Main characters
    • Setting
  • On the back they create awesome activities inspired by their story such as:
    • Mazes
    • Word searches
    • Image searches

Children love to show off their creations and there are plenty of ways to make this appropriate for students of all ages. The best part about this project is that cereal boxes can be reused several times a year if needed. Also, when the project is done it is easy to recycle the whole thing.

Two Liter Bottles to Bottle Rockets

Soda and rockets, this one is a match made in heaven for children of any age! This project has students reusing bottles to create bottle rockets for a science class project. What is nice about this one is that the bottles can range from regular sized water and soda bottles to the large two liter bottles. With this project students are usually tasked with the following challenges:

  • Designing a rocket
  • Creating and attaching pieces for the rocket
    • Nose cone
    • Stabilizer fins
    • Parachute

From there, students can name and decorate their rocket before launching them using pressurized water, baking soda and vinegar or just plain air. If using parachutes students can also have a competition to see whose rocket can stay in their air longest. A bonus for recycling can be in parachutes where you can use old grocery sacks or garbage bags. 

Plastic and Glass Jars to Planters

Another fun science project that incorporates art is taking old glass plastic jars and turning them into planters. This one is fairly straightforward and can be done in so many different ways! After removing old labels and cleaning the containers students can decorate them to turn them into colorful planters, pots and vases. From there students can plant and take care of their seeds all while observing the life cycle of a plant while learning how to recycle. This project takes going green to a whole new level!


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