Monthly Classroom Recycling and Sustainability Activities Your Students Will Love
Get your students pumped to recycle and make an impact on their school community all year long.
April’s a great Earth Month, but we can’t think of a good reason why monthly classroom recycling activities aren’t a thing! Start your classroom off with this monthly curated list of some of our Recycle Rally favorites. Students will be engaged and excited to make recycling and caring for their world a top priority.
January: Make a pledge to the planet.
January is no stranger to goal-setting. The secret to success? Commitment, of course! Kick-off your year toward a sustainable school community with a recycling pledge for your students. We love this Recycle for a Better Today Pledge poster for the classroom or hallways.
Get creative, too! You can have your students make their own with these free fillable recycling pledge forms.
February: Show the birds some love.
Love is in the air this month, so show some toward the planet! Did you know that February is Bird-feeding Month? Show your students how easy it is to turn recyclables into functional fun with this bird feeder made from upcycled plastic bottles. Love for nature is in the air!
March: Welcome spring with song.
Music in Our Schools is celebrated in March, and there are so many ways to inspire recyclers and young conservationists through song. Strike up the band with these DIY ukeleles from upcycled plastic bottles the whole class can groove on. If you’re really brave, these step-by-step noisemakers are an upcycling hit, too!
Ready to sing it from the garden rooftops? Chicago teacher Duane Reed taught his students this catchy tune that will leave your class motivated to amp up your school recycling efforts. Motivate younger learners and would-be recyclers with this (warning) catchy recycling song.
April: It’s Earth Month, so make it count.
Monthly classroom recycling activities are meaningful, but this is the Big Show! Make this Earth Month the time to pull out all the stops and celebrate the planet with extra attention. These Earth Day crafts and activities will stretch the whole month-long (really, year!). Also, they’ll keep your students informed and excited about their school’s green footprint. Your classroom and school hallway decor will get kicked up a notch too! Win, win, win.
May: Get them moving and thinking about school recycling.
May’s a great time to get outside, plus, it’s Physical Fitness Month! Combine your school fitness goals with a hat tip to recycling. A Recycling Obstacle Course is the perfect team-building, monthly recycling indoor/outdoor classroom activity. Work on construction with the students in the classroom, and then head out for a field day of recycling education and physical fitness. Let’s go!
June: Start summer with an earth-friendly summer reading list.
Parents will thank you, and the earth will LOVE you, for sending students off with this planet-celebrating reading list. Books about animals, plants, and conservation will leave your literary explorers craving more once fall arrives.
July: Meet up for a recycling-focused outdoor hang.
You miss being with students, or maybe just want to meet your incoming new class. Before you head back to school, meet up for an ice cream (socially distanced) social—it is National Ice Cream Month! Then, start planning how you’ll all commit to a new school year as campus green leaders.
Start with these ice breakers designed to make recycling efforts fun, and get your recycle ralliers acquainted. Team building for the win!
August: Encourage recycling with back-to-school classroom and hallway makeovers.
Anchor charts, bulletin boards, posters, and displays are all fantastic ways to get your school community pumped for a recycling-focused school year. You can surprise your classroom with first-day, ready-to-inspire visuals if time is on your side (or your staff squad of excited volunteers). Or get students involved in the creative when they return. Either way, recycling inspiration is on the agenda!
September: Get your indoor gardening on in the classroom.
As you get into the groove of the new school year, green your classroom with an indoor garden! Studies show that indoor plants naturally purify the air and provide health benefits, like fewer cold symptoms and improved behavior. Create desktop planters with students to teach how to reuse a common waste product. You can challenge your class to design unique planters from drink bottles for the whole room!
October: Teach students to be sustainability superheroes around campus.
Take a page from higher education’s celebration of October’s Campus Sustainability Month. From lunchroom and playground makeovers to recycling bin strategy, get started with these 7 ways to help make school grounds more sustainable.
We also love the way these zero waste schools are managing resources. Check out their practical tips that start in the classroom!
November: Inspire gratitude for the world with recycling writing prompts.
Have your student writers celebrate the season of giving and thankfulness. These beautiful recycling writing prompts explore questions like “What are five things that make the world beautiful?” and thought-starters such as “We are lucky the earth gives us…”. They’ll think critically and creatively about recycling, sustainability, and how they can truly impact the world with their own choices.
December: Create the ultimate holiday party with recycling games and classroom activities.
Your holiday classroom party should celebrate all your recycling and school sustainability efforts so far this school year (and what’s to come!). What brings joy to the classroom? Party games like bottle toss, trick shots, and bottle flip relays. Let our ultimate recycling game guide be your party planner. Also, don’t forget to play Recycling BINGO, where students can learn recycling fun facts and how to take action.
Best. Party. Ever.
There are even more great monthly classroom recycling activities where these came from! Keep inspiring the next generation of green leaders with some of our favorite recycling resources for classrooms and families.