K-12 Lessons and Activity Kits

As part of a previous grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach created lessons to be taught in local schools. These resources are now available for your use. If you have any suggestions for improving these resources, please reach out with our contact form!

Trash Talk: Recycling & Waste (Gr. 4-8)

Students make Garbage Pizzas and a No-Waste lunch, discover what recycled items are turned into, and complete a take-home survey.

How Long Will It Last?

Students match up the items with how long the ythink it will take for the item to decompose.

K-Adult Books

The Portage Lake District Library has many books on recycling. Here is a link to a search for recycling-related titles, and the following list has been compiled by library staff:

Early Readers (Age 3-7)

Rosie and the pre-loved dressHatch, Leanne, author, illustrator
Milk and juice : a recycling romanceBrown, Meredith Crandall, author, illustrator
I had a favorite dressAshburn, Boni
Joseph had a little overcoatTaback, Simms
Curious George discovers recyclingZappy, Erica, author
One little bag : an amazing journeyCole, Henry, 1955- illustrator, author
EmeraldaliciousKann, Victoria
The adventures of a plastic bottle : a story about recyclingInches, Alison
The best sweater / by Lynne Garner ; illustrated by Sarah GillGarner, Lynne
UnraveledHatch, Leanne, author, illustrator
Rain fishEhlert, Lois author, illustrator
There was an old woman who lived in a shoeCabrera, Jane, author, illustrator

Juvenile (J) Readers (8-12)

Out of the box : 25 cardboard engineering projects for makersWesting, Jemma
All that trash : the story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and our problem with stuffMcCarthy, Meghan
Reducing garbageBarraclough, Sue
Magic trash : a story of Tyree Guyton and his artShapiro, J. H. (Jane H.)
Trash revolution : breaking the waste cycleFyvie, Erica, 1973-
Earth-friendly outdoor fun : how to make fabulous games, gardens, and other projects from reusable objectsPfiffner, George, 1923-
Amazing cardboard tube scienceWheeler-Toppen, Jodi
One plastic bag : Isatou Ceesay and the recycling women of the GambiaPaul, Miranda
Recycling materialsBarraclough, Sue
Reusing thingsBarraclough, Sue
Bottle tops : the art of El AnatsuiGoldberg, Alison
Washed ashore : making art from ocean plasticCrull, Kelly author
Join the no-plastic challenge! : a first book of reducing wasteRitchie, Scot author, illustrator
Consider the octopusBaskin, Nora Raleigh
Ada’s violin : the story of the Recycled Orchestra of ParaguayHood, Susan, 1954- author
Bottle houses : the creative world of Grandma PrisbreySlaymaker, Melissa Eskridge
Garbage helps our garden grow : a compost storyGlaser, Linda


Can I recycle this? : a guide to better recycling and how to reduce single-use plasticsRomer, Jennie
Wise craft quilts : a guide to turning beloved fabrics into meaningful patchworkStocker, Blair
Creative book art : over 50 ways to upcycle books into stationery, decorations, gifts, and moreYoungs, Clare
The sweater chop shop : sewing one-of-a-kind creations from recycledffrench, Crispina
Sewing green : 25 projects made with repurposed & organic materials : plus tips and resources for earth-friendly stitchingWhite, Betz