Traditional Lifeways: Solid Waste Management for Rural Communities

A series of solid waste lessons have been developed that address many of the important issues that EPA and tribes are working together to solve. There are fifty (50) solid waste lessons and eighty-four (84) activities.

K-2 This section provides teachers and parents lessons and activities that teach basic stewardship of our land and resources. There is a basic definition and recognition of what solid waste is, and age appropriate lessons and activities about how we dealt with waste in the past, how we generate it now, how we can avoid making so much of it, what we can do to reuse or recycle it, and what we do with it when we are done. These lessons help students to think about making wise decisions that consider the impact of today’s choices on future generations.

3-6 This section provides teachers and parents lessons and activities that take students deeper into the issues that are affecting our land and resources. The lessons deal with identification of solid waste, historical use, how to reuse, reduce and recycle our solid waste, as well as how landfills work and some of the issues surrounding them. These lessons help students to think about making wise decisions that consider the impact of today’s choices on future generations. Math lessons are incorporated into the lessons.

7-8 This section provides teachers and parents lessons and activities that take students into the issues of solid waste disposal. Lessons deal extensively with the issues of burning trash in our communities. Lessons cover landfills, the chemistry of burning, safety, wildfires, the greenhouse effect and how those issues affect the communities where we live. Also covered are lessons in reducing, reusing, recycling and composting solid waste in our communities. Associated math lessons are also provided.

9-12 This section provides in-depth lessons and activities for teachers and parents, on decision making that affects the entire community. Students learn about burn barrels, encounter in-depth exercises in fire science, the chemistry and health risks of burning. and making wise decisions concerning solid waste disposal for both the community and the environment. Associated math lessons are also provided.

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