Erase Waste


STOP before you toss stuff in the garbage! Find new ways to use items that regularly end up in landfills. You can personally erase waste!


1. Trash or treasure? List objects that are thrown in the trash each day. In small groups, brainstorm ways to reuse or recycle items on your lists. Gather clean, recycled, bags, boxes, plastic bottles, and other objects, such as small toys. Identify at least one way to reuse each object or avoid wasting it. Create a 3-D poster with your collection.

2. Design an ERASE WASTE poster. Title your poster with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. You could make swatches of color and then erase the words, decorate the letters, and make colorful borders by erasing.

3. Show how to ERASE WASTE for each of the objects in your display. For example, to stop wasting paper lunch bags, kids could pack lunches in reusable lunch boxes. Cut and fold a mini-sized lunch bag. Make a lunch box out of a small recycled box covered with construction paper. Attach objects to the poster with Crayola School Glue or tape. Write recommendations such as, "Instead of using... pack your lunch in.…"

4. Fill your poster with your group’s favorite ideas. Air-dry glue before displaying where it will inspire others to ERASE WASTE.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Talk about what you think might have been in garbage piles 1,000 years ago. Find out what archaeologists have found and how their discoveries help them understand long-ago lifestyles. Discuss what your garbage might tell future archaeologists about you.
  • Visit a landfill or recycling plant. Find out where different products go to be recycled. Research what is made from different recycled materials. Set up a schoolwide recycling program.
  • Evaluation: Consider variety, originality, practicality, and safety of ideas presented on poster. How readable, convincing, and creative is the presentation?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Erasable Colored Pencils
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students brainstorm alternative uses for objects that are commonly thrown in the trash.

  • Students design a 3-D poster to display their ideas to recycle and reuse items creatively to personally erase waste.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards