Adult Ed

Basura Bags! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Overview | Activities


Basura means trash in Spanish. In this lesson, students will learn about the materials used to manufacture products and the importance of the "three Rs" (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) for improving our environment. Waste reduction and recycling are civic responsibilities that are relatively easy to do. Recycling also gives whole communities an opportunity to improve the environment. From Central America to Central Park, we can all do our part!

Grade level: Adult/ABLE (Intermediate: Grades 6-10)

Subject Matter: Science and Social Studies

Learning Objectives:

Learners will be able to:
  • identify ways to minimize household waste
  • explain how our choices and actions can contribute to improving the environment
  • describe the effects of environmental change on living things
  • evaluate the effectiveness of recycling programs at a local, regional and global level
  • produce brochures or posters to teach others about recycling
Intermediate/Commencement (MST Standard 4, Performance Indicator 7) Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions;

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Media components:

Polar Fleece Summary This history of "polar fleece" is provided on this research site. Users can read the online version or download Word or Adobe formats of the entry.

What is Polar Fleece™?
This encyclopedia entry explains basic details about the production of polar fleece textile.

Basura Bags
This Web site showcases the work of an American Peace Corp member (now a teacher in New Orleans) on assignment in Honduras. The project allows youth and adults of Honduras to raise funds for textbooks, education and various other living necessities by using a native art form; with trash as their sole textile, these citizens are finding ways to reuse discarded packaging, clean their communities, and raise funds and global awareness all at the same time!

"I Want to Know: Reusables, Reuse and Recycle segment" accessed through EdVideo Online.
Teachers and NYC residents can download video and curriculum resources from EdVideo Online to use in the classroom. This short segment only lasts about 30 seconds but it underscores what everyone needs to know about converting trash into treasure. Clip art that can be used to enhance presentations and lecture notes is also available. (Registration required)

Pollution prevention videos
These short public service videos are part of a NYC campaign to reduce waste. (Windows Media Player required)

Checklist and
These "Waste Less" public service bulletins are available in English (both) and Spanish (checklist) as part of New York City's campaign to reduce the amount of trash being sent to landfills in our area.

Clipart for children's book or public service campaign
This California-based government resource can be used by schools to create their own messages of waste reduction.

Golden apple brochure
This manual is a guide to NYC recycling at the school level. Classroom teachers, students, principals, parent groups or other personnel can use it as a tool for creating an R-3 savvy school that knows exactly how to make good decisions for our environment.

  • Large instructional writing space (chalkboard, chart paper)
  • Computer with projection capabilities or internet access
  • Poster-board (old cardboard boxes)
  • Plain (unruled) paper
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Old magazines
  • Scissors
  • Used memo paper/cardstock