- Teacher Resources
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- Sustainability Teams
The global market is under increasing demand for products and cost-effective processes. Effective processes are highly valuable – the reduction or elimination of waste or unproductive time can positively impact not only profits, but global sustainability.
While we know this, we rarely consider where waste products end up after leaving our hands or even whether we need all of the products we have in the first place. In order to become more sustainable, we need to start thinking more about the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. We need to start asking ourselves whether we need to the product we are about to consume, whether there is a more sustainable option, and if we do need it, whether the product can be redesigned in such a way that it can more easily be reused or recycled.
This project sees students conducting a personal waste audit where they critically examine the waste they produce. They then conduct a life cycle assessment where they track a product of their choosing throughout its life – from manufacture to disposal - and use this assessment to propose ways to reduce waste either at home or at the school, as well as proposing ideas for redesigning products to make them more sustainable.
As with all projects, the most important thing about project-based learning is implementing a solid structure around your project. Students should be free to explore, but they need to know what is expected of them, and when.