Green-Schools Stay Home – Litter & Waste

We’re really excited to show you some cool stuff you can do at home to keep helping the environment. In this page, we have put Litter and Waste themed videos, quizzes, tips, and activities that students can enjoy doing at home. For Litter & Waste we have three sample weeks of activities and ideas for you to do at home or share with your class groups. The age categories catered for are: Junior Primary (Infants – 2nd class), Senior Primary (3rd – 6th class) and Secondary School (1st – 6th year).

The activities will help students learn about the impact that litter has on our natural environment but they will also learn how to reduce waste consumption and contribute towards achieving a circular economy society. The activities have been split into weekly activities. You can start doing them at anytime. Please tell us how you get on with any photos or videos or put them on social media with the hashtag #GreenSchoolsStayHome. Enjoy!

Sample Week A

Monday Activity – Litter and Waste Word-search

Age Group: Primary Junior

Learn about Litter and Waste in this activity by searching for the words hidden in the puzzle.

Tuesday Activity – Eco Footprint Game

Age Group: Primary Junior and Senior

I’m sure you have all heard of our carbon footprint, or perhaps our green/Eco-footprint. The Eco-footprint (or ecological footprint) is a tool we can use to measure our impact and our performance in the environment. If you practice good environmental awareness in everything you do from reducing waste to saving energy, you are well on your way to a smaller footprint. Play our little game and see what your Eco-footprint might be!

Wednesday Activity – Recycling Quiz

Age Group: Primary Junior and Senior

We all try our best to do our recycling, but how much do you know about it? What goes in which bin? I sometimes have to check, does this go in the regular bin or the green bin??? Can you recycle effectively? Take this interactive quiz to find out!

Thursday Activity – Composting at Home

Age Group: Senior Primary and Secondary

It’s that time of year where shoots are starting to grow, in our gardens, our flower pots and forests. But how can we help spring growth and reduce our waste at the same time? Food waste in Ireland is a big issue, but composting some of that waste could help reduce excess waste to landfill. Food waste that rots in landfill is cut off from oxygen and emits methane (a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide). By composting effectively however, where organic scraps and clippings are exposed to air, methane-creating bacteria can’t live. Composting is a natural process, all we need to do is create the ideal conditions and let nature do the rest. Organisms such as soil bacteria, fungi, moulds, worms and insects work together with air and water to create a thriving compost. Composting is a biological process wherein organic raw materials are transformed by these organism activities into a stabilised soil-like compost material. You can use the compost to help those plants grow for the next season. Why not learn a little about composting? you could even try this at home.

Friday Share – The Circular Economy

Age Group: All

Green-Schools has partnered with on the Litter and Waste theme to inform managing our domestic household waste effectively and responsibly. is Ireland’s new official guide to waste management. The MyWaste website is a free online resource that offers information on how we can reduce, reuse and recycle every type of item. The Circular Economy as illustrated below is a model of reduce, reuse and recycle, however currently in Ireland we practice a more linear economy or the “take, make, waste” model. Watch the Circular Economy video below and learn how our collective, waste-less actions as a nation can reduce the stresses placed on our natural environment.

Sample Week B

Monday Activity –  DIY Napkins

Age Group: Secondary

Do you have any nice scraps of fabric lying around with the best of intensions to up-cycle them into new products? Maybe you have a nice quality cotton shirt with a big tear or a stubborn stain thats just longing to be repurposed.  Now is no-better time than to get crafty and up-cycle that cloth into napkins and teacloths. I have used a set of old linen sheets and scraps from an Oxford cotton shirt, both which were really nice quality but sadly unfixable. Maybe you have access to a sewing machine, but if not, don’t worry its a small project that can be hand sewed. You can sew them up any which way you like but I’ve decided to create them 2-ply (double faced) with frayed edging. To get started you will need a sharp cutting scissors, a needle and thread, and the fabric of course!


Cut out your desired pattern for your napkin or tea towel. I have made a simple rectangle. Work on the straight of grain where possible (don’t cut the fabric at a skewed angle). Place the two same sized layers together as in the image on the left. If you decide to fray the edges be sure to sew one or two edge rows using a short stitch. An edge row is where you intend the fraying to stop, this would be good at around 1.5cm in from the cut edge before you start to pick out the threads. See the stitching on the left side in the below picture. This will prevent the frayed edges unravelling beyond the desired finish. To fray the edges pick out the warp yarns (the ones going vertical) one by one along the cut edges and ruffle up the weft yarns (the now loose horizontal yarns ). You can trim the finished piece with a hanger loop and Voilá! Fancy new teatowels!


Tuesday Activity – All Mixed Up in the Recycling Bin

Age Group: All

Recycling is a group effort. We all have our part to play to not only recycle as much waste as possible but to also make sure our recycling is properly sorted. Try this word puzzle: some of our Litter & Waste words have got ‘All Mixed Up’ can you sort them?

Wednesday Lesson – The 7 R’s of Waste Management

Age Group: Secondary

Recycling is great but it is the last step in the 7 R’s of Waste Management. Learn about all the things you can do at home before we resort to recycling. Why not take our simple ‘7 Day Challenge’ and see if you can use the 7 R’s at home.

Thursday Lesson –  Understanding Barcodes

Age Group: Senior Primary and Secondary

Green-Schools Officer Aidan is teaching us all we need to know about understanding what those black and white lines and codes are that we see on our packaging.

Friday Share – ”Dirty Business”

Age Group: Senior Primary and Secondary

In more recent years we have started to be more concerned about waste segregation and where the waste goes to when it is collected by waste collectors. Have you ever wondered why we stopped putting soft plastics into the recycling bin? Dirty Business is a UK based Sky News Documentary that follows the trail of our waste around the world, and sheds some light on why many countries have stopped importing recyclable waste.

Sample Week C

Monday Activity – Global Waste Facts

Age Group: Primary

Litter and waste effects every inch of our Globe sadly. Learn about litter facts from Scotland, to Spain, to Australia, to the USA and back again. Why not research some statistics on waste in Ireland using the worksheet below?

Tuesday Activity – Litter and Waste Games

Age Group: Primary Junior

There seems to be an awful lot of litter around here! Can you find your way through the maze and spot the litter difference at the park? Maybe you could have fun colouring in this printer friendly activity sheet too.

Wednesday Activity – Egg Carton Buggey Woogies!

Age Group: Primary

We just love these cute Buggey Woogies made my Greens-Schools Officer Caterina MacNamara! Why not go outside and identify lots of bugs for inspiration and than up-cycle an egg carton cup with bits and bobs from your craft box? If you don’t have googly eyes click here to learn how to make some at home!

Thursday Lesson – Fast Fashion

Age Group: Senior Primary and Secondary

The clothing & textile industry is the second largest contributor to global pollution. We use a wide range of resources to make our clothing and textiles. However weather we get those raw material is from a plant, an animal or crude oil, the process of making textiles is both energy-demanding and pollutant-intensive, involving huge amounts of water, energy, chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. Learn more about this in the fact sheet below. Want to help divert textile waste to landfill? Try up-cycling an old tee-shirt into a new tote bag!

Friday Share – Neat Streets Challenges you to be an Eco-Warrior!

Age Group: Primary Senior

Neat Streets has created a special edition resource for the Green-Schools Stay Home project. Watch the introduction clip by Neat Streets Officer Stephen and check out the Neat Streets Stay Home Survival Guide by clicking the blue file below. Become the Eco Warrior you were meant to be!!! Share your success @GreenSchoolsIre

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