Join Zero Waste advocate Rusty on a journey to discover where all of our stuff comes from and where it all goes after we throw it away.
Targeting the 3rd grade, this standards-aligned lesson follows Rusty as he explores different regions, biomes, ecosystems, landmarks, and countries around the world. During the lesson, Rusty and students encounter, learn about, and work together toward solving waste-related environmental issues.
Watch the short introductory video and then use the provided lesson plan and worksheets.
Through three short experiments, students will learn about how plastics can end up in the ocean. This lesson reinforces the need to properly sort and dispose of waste items.
Rusty becomes the official of a “race to decomposition” between two pieces of food. One goes to the trash bin and the other to the organics bin as students follow these foods along their divergent and microscopic paths. In the end, students learn how this understanding can guide their everyday decisions about what to do with food waste.
This lesson reinforces the importance of separating food scraps into the organics bin. Students journey with Rusty to follow an apple from the orchard throughout its lifespan to explore the differing rates of decomposition of food waste in the landfill vs. the organics bin. Students make determinations based on current assumptions of trash or garbage and will be prompted to consider their individual impact as consumers and contributors to the waste stream.
Students will explore how humans have treated our environment over the centuries, and how laws, and technology shaped the land of Dead Horse Bay. Students will then make determinations about waste disposal based upon their understanding of the materials and will be prompted to consider how as a society we should sustainably manage the things we throw away.
RUSTY FIELD TRIPS:
Join Rusty as he explores various locations, neighborhoods, and landmarks in and around New York City. Rusty and students learn about New York City’s rich history, its connections to waste and environmentalism, as well as current issues and contemporary solutions. See the Rusty field trip video, and explore lesson materials below.
DISTANCE LEARNING WITH RUSTY: