Want to do something great for the environment? There are tonnes of things that kids can do to help reduce waste, save energy and make the world a healthier place. By cutting down on waste, you are helping to protect trees, water, places where animals live, and even the air we all need to breathe.

Don’t feel you have to do everything all at once. Pick one action to start, and then add another thing next week.

Eight Great Ways for Kids to Reduce Waste

1. Recycle!  Toss waste paper, plastic containers and metal cans into the recycling bin. It’s easy, and it means new products can be made from recycled material instead of having to chop down trees, dig new mines and pump more oil out of the ground.

2. Pack a litterless lunch. Use re-sealable containers for sandwiches and a thermos or reusable bottle for drinks. Put everything in a reusable bag or lunch box.

3. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. This saves energy and extends the life of light bulbs. Turn off the TV, computer and other equipment that uses electricity when you are done using them.

4. Reuse paper and save trees.  Keep paper that is good on one side and use it for notes, lists and homework practice.

5. Turn off the water tap while you are brushing your teeth. This sounds like a small thing, but it can save up to 22 litres of water per week.

6. Walk or bike to school if you can do so safely, instead of getting a ride in a motor vehicle. Always check with your parents, of course. Avoiding the use of cars and vans helps reduce vehicle traffic and air pollution around schools.

7. Compost! Put banana peels, apple cores and melon rinds in your family’s composter. Composting at home reduces the amount of waste that has to be trucked to the landfill. It’s also fun to peek into the bin every so often and see the cool critters at work breaking down the waste materials into compost.

8. Tell your family, friends and teachers what you are doing. The more people who are involved, the bigger the difference we can make!