Kindergartners learn to reduce, reuse, recycle

Kindergartners focus on the entire alphabet, but they learn mostly about the letter “R” when someone from the Lincoln Public Schools Sustainability Department visits their classroom.

As in reduce, reuse and recycle.

“We want kindergarten students to know that their own daily actions at school and at home can have a positive environmental impact,” said Brittney Albin, LPS sustainability coordinator.

Albin and a pair of part-time department employees who are students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been presenting to LPS kindergarten classrooms this school year and sharing the importance of the three “R’s.” The students watch a short video - including footage of a Lincoln landfill, always a kindergarten crowd-pleaser - and learn plenty of lessons about how they can reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s part of a unit called “Garbology” that’s taught at the kindergarten level and designed to meet state science standards.

Dillon Hanson, a junior at UNL, presented recently to a group of kindergartners at Ruth Hill Elementary School.

For “reduce,” he offered the example of using one napkin - not a handful - after eating a messy meal. For “reuse,” he said they’re already doing their part if they bring a reusable lunch bag or box to school. And for “recyle,” he gave examples of what you can (plastic bottles) and can’t (dirty napkins) recycle.

“And when you do recycle, they can turn it into something new,” said Hanson, who later held up a jacket as an example of what used to be plastic bottles.

Lancaster County Health Department employees also are presenting at schools in conjunction with Albin and her department. Combined, they plan on visiting most of the 39 LPS elementary schools.

Published: October 12, 2017, Updated: October 12, 2017