Free Checklist: Try the 30-Day Zero Waste Challenge

Change can happen one day at a time.

Reducing the amount of garbage we throw away each day by even a small amount is one of the easiest ways we can begin to live more sustainably. It’s also a great way to show our students that small actions really add up over time.


In order to get kids regularly using sustainability best practices, you might try this 30-Day Zero-Waste Challenge checklist. It’s full of small ways to make a difference, helping build a low-waste recycling lifestyle that will stick.



You’ll get a downloadable checklist poster to print or use digitally.


What can you do with this checklist?


  • Use it during National Sustainability Month (October).
  • Use it during Earth Month (April) or the 30 days leading up to Earth Day.
  • Hang it in your classroom and try each item together as a class.
  • Pull it up on a screen and click the box to check off items you’ve completed.
  • Send it home with students to use with their families.
  • Get your whole school on board to do the 30-Day Zero Waste Challenge together as a community.
  • Assign each student in your class with one day of the challenge. Then, each student can share their experience with the class daily.

Here’s how some of the items on the list can be accomplished:


Day 2. Learn three new recycling facts

Spend some time researching recycling and discover something new and interesting. Start with Amazing Recycling Facts You Probably Don’t Know, then take a look at our Recycling Resources page for more articles and videos.


Day 7. Take reusable bags to school and to the store

Reduce your use of plastic bags by taking your own bags to the store and packing lunch in a reusable lunch bag. Make this activity fun by hosting a recyclable bag show-and-tell where students share their reusable bags, or team up with your art teacher to have students create their own reusable bags that they can use all year long.


Day 10. Start a compost bin or bottle

Teachers, share this lesson plan with your class and start a school compost bin. Low on space? You don’t need an outdoor bin to turn food waste into rich soil! Start one in a plastic bottle instead.


Day 16: Play a recycling game.

We love this one—it’s perfect for younger students. Bin, Bin, Drop the Trash In! introduces kindergartners to the concept of sorting recyclables in a fun and engaging way.


Day 30: Try for a zero-waste day.

A perfect end to your month practicing becoming more sustainable! Get your kids energized for their zero-waste day with a look at how other students are achieving this goal in their own schools.


Learn more about how to use each item on this checklist here: Take the Recycle Rally 30-Day Zero-Waste Challenge

Recycle Rally 30-Day Zero Waste Challenge

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