The Circular Economy

Students learn how a circular economy model can lead to sustainability.

Author: Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally

Recycle Rally has partnered with EcoRise to bring you a comprehensive curriculum that encourages students in middle and high school to solve real world waste and recycling challenges. This page describes the third of five modules in the curriculum. The circular economy lesson below can accompany any unit on waste and recycling.


Click here to access the entire Sustainable Waste: Rethinking Waste & Recycling for the 21st Century curriculum.


Module 3: The Circular Economy

Estimated time needed: Three 55-minute sessions. All lessons are mapped to CCSS, NGSS, EFS, and TEKS standards.


In this module, students examine the circular economy model of waste management. They explore different waste-related scenarios and look at how a circular economy can lead to sustainability via engaging activities like “Economic Puzzles” and “Triple Bottom Line.” With those activities, students act as decision makers and determine how to take people, profit, and the planet into consideration when it comes to waste challenges.


Then, if you are pairing this lesson with the entire design challenge curriculum, students can engage in creative thinking around possible solutions for the waste problem they identified in Module 2.


How to Access the Sustainable Waste Curriculum

  1. Click the link “Get Curriculum” below.
  2. Select “I am a new user,” then enter your email address in the Username field. If you already have access to this page, simply sign in with your email address and password.
  3. Enter your full name and then check the “I agree” box.
  4. Then click on “Enroll in Course.”
  5. Check your email for a link to set your password.

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