School Curricula

Food: Too Good to Waste

Imagine buying 5 bags of groceries. On your way out of the store, you dump 2 of them directly in the trash. This is the reality for Americans, who waste roughly 40% of food produced for consumption. School cafeterias are no exception, but it doesn't have to be that way! This recorded webinar will outline the wasted food crisis, model methods for measuring wasted cafeteria food, and provide tangible solutions.

Optimizing Our Recycling Education and Outreach Efforts

 Want to be a recycling hero in your community? Learn simple tips & tricks for optimizing your recycling education and outreach efforts in this recorded webinar. With the average attention span just 8 seconds –reaching residents, customers, and students with important recycling information is challenging. Most people believe they know how to recycle – yet our recycling contamination rates demonstrate otherwise. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will share best practices from their statewide recycling initiative- Recycle Smart MA.

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Programs) Packet #9-Reusing & Repackaging

The last NRRA SHIP brings us to Sesame Street where we join Murray and Ovejita at the recycling center to learn about  what happens to plastic after it gets recycled (K-3). Students continue to explore how they can reduce waste by making the perfect compost recipe and how earthworms convert garbage into compost (4-6).

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #8-Sorting Recyclables & Composting

As NRRA's SHIP embarks on its eighth week, the cargo bay is busting out with trash bags even though we have been reducing and recycling our waste as much as possible during this journey. The food waste is astronomical! Can we load it into a space ship and shoot it into the universe rather than dump it into the sea? NRRA's Chef Suzette says, "No!" and tells us about her friend's ( alternative - composting in a bag (K-3):

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #7-Protecting Groundwater

The seventh voyage of NRRA's SHIP reveals how hazardous substances in household products can enter the environment if they are improperly used or disposed. Students begin the journey by tracing the way household hazardous waste enters the environment, recognizing how their homes are connected to the environment (K-3).

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #5-Warning Words & Labels

NRRA's SHIP continues navigating the polluted waters spawned from improper disposal of household hazardous waste. We start with learning the signal words (caution, warning, danger) (4-6) and/or visual symbols (7-8) that indicate the presence of hazardous substances in consumer products. Demonstration, singing, safety sign bingo (K-3), toilet paper roll kaleidoscopes (4-6) and discussions all help us identify products that contain hazardous substances. Certain information must appear on hazardous product labels.

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #4-Hazardous Homes

All aboard as NRRA's SHIP Captain commands green cleaning techniques for swabbing the deck. The first step to implementing the green cleaning protocol is to discuss the meaning of the word 'hazardous' (4-6). The next step is to inventory the cleaning products on board and map the location of these products from bow to stern (7-8). For entertainment, comedian Scott The Recycle Guy, shares his fact-finding hazardous waste missions (4-6). NRRA's parting gift for SHIP #4 is "Toxic Showdown" (Art by Mark Bennett.

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #3-Packaging & Nonrenewable Resources

NRRA's third SHIP voyage continues to explore packaging as we head toward Sweden to learn how to turn garbage into energy (4-6). The fun activities scheduled for this journey include making ice cream in a bag (7-8), and bowling on deck using plastic bottles as the bowling pins (K-3)! The lessons learned on this voyage reveal that natural resources are limited and investigate how long our natural resources will last. Students will compare estimated life expectancies of some nonrenewable natural resources (9-12).

SHIP (Supporting Home Instruction Program) Packet #2-Litter, Food Waste and Packaging

NRRA's SHIP Lessons have left the dock for a second voyage. On this voyage, NRRA explores the differences between human-made and natural litter by taking a litter walk (K-3) when we pull into our first island port. After lunch, students measure and categorize their lunch waste and reveal all the things being thrown away (4-6).  On the return voyage, students discuss how some types of packaging are better for the environment than others and analyze their waste producing habits in order to begin changing them (9-12 ).