About Our Educational Resources
If it is not possible to schedule a Westmoreland Cleanways speaker we can work with you to develop a lesson or activity. We also have educational material available at no charge. Printed material is available while supplies last; the interactive boards are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact our Program Director or call 724-879-4020 for technical support or to order materials and supplies.
Celebrate Earth Day Every Day! (Westmoreland Cleanways)
Grades: Preschool-2, Booklet contains age appropriate activities related to reducing, reusing, recycling, litter, composting, and saving energy. (Special Thanks to Greta Garsteck for her illustrations.)
Grades 3-6: Booklet contains information and activities on the history of Earth Day, reusing, reducing, recycling, litter, composting, the water cycle and watersheds
Erth Moore Worm (Westmoreland Cleanways)
Erth Moore Worm is an educational publication to teach children about composting, ecology, and the environment in an amusing way. Within the story, Erth Moore the Earthworm enlists a few animal friends to convince Mr. Gardener to compost in his yard. During the course of the story each friend explains how composting would benefit their lives. *Meets certain PA Dept. of Education standards
Curriculum Guides (Loan Only)
Vermicomposting, K-8 Curriculum: developed by the Sustainable Living Center as an educational tool to educate students on a fun and simple method of recycling food waste. One lesson per grade, including age appropriate use of the scientific method as well as visual aids and resources.
Composting in the Classroom, Scientific Inquiry for High School Students: Using the inquiry method, students learn about the science of composting, monitor the composting process, and measure the attributes of finished compost. Although each chapter includes research possibilities, the last chapter is devoted to designing meaningful research projects focusing on compost.
Nature’s Recyclers: A Vermicomposting Teacher Resource Guide: Developed by Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling as a resource for teachers. The curriculum guide provides a variety of lessons that introduce vermicomposting and worm biology, and interdisciplinary activities that connect vermicomposting to other science topics, math, reading, and the arts. *Funded by a grant from the PA DEP
Waste in Place: Developed by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. for Early Childhood-Elementary students, the activity guide provides lesson plans and resources for litter prevention, beautification, community greening, waste reduction and recycling. (Format similar to Project Wild)
Plastic Practices: This curriculum was developed by a St. Vincent Master’s Student for Westmoreland Cleanways’ use. Its target audience is students in a secondary chemistry course. Students conduct varies lab activities, research, and debates about plastics in today’s society.
Test Your Litter IQ Board: Interactive puzzle board that shows the true lifespan of litter. Participants choose how long litter takes to break down in the environment. A buzzer sounds with the correct answer.
Close The Loop Recycling Board: Interactive puzzle board that shows what becomes of commonly recycled items. Participants decide what items are made from what recyclable material. The recycling loop (mobius) flashes with the correct answer.
(the books within the carousels are part of the Westmoreland Library Network)
Other Suggested Picture Books Include:
- Compost by Gosh! by Michelle Eva Portman
- It’s Earth Day by Mercer Mayer
- The Tantrum that Saved the World by Megan Herbert and Michael E. Mann
- Not for me Please: I choose to Act Green by Maria Godsey
Beginner Reading Books
Other Suggested Beginner Reader Books Include:
- Magic School Bus Gets Recycled by Anne Capeci
- Pee Wee’s Great Adventure, A guide to vermicomposting by Larraine Roulston
Other Suggested Adult books include:
Vitamin N by Richard Louv
The Nature Principle by Richard Louv
If you come across a great book, please share it with us by emailing our Program Director.
Lesson Plans / Classroom Activities/ Resources/ Videos
Great resources for planning lessons, activities or for developing awareness and understanding.
- EPA – Wastes- Educational Material: The EPA offers resources and kits to increase awareness of solid waste issues, encourage and increase waste-reducing behaviors, and inspire participation in environmental outreach activities.
- Green Education Foundation: Explore the free lesson clearinghouse to find stand-alone lessons that are easily integrated into your existing curriculum plans.
- EPA Recycle City: “Explore Recycle City to see how its people reduce waste, use less energy, and save money by doing simple things at home, at work, and in their neighborhoods.”
- My Garbology: An interactive online game that teaches about Garbology and answers the question, “Where should my waste go?”
- I Want to be Recycled: Take a tour through the recycling journey to understand why and how items are recycled.
- Plastics Make it Possible: Plastics Make it Possible® highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems and help us design a safer, more promising future.
- Recycling Resources for Kids: Waste Management developed a recycling K-5th grade curriculum aligned with STEM and next Generation Science Standards to engage students and help develop recycling habitats at a young age. (must scroll down to the “School” section to find the heading “Recycling Resources for Kids”)
- How We Make Stuff: This website is based on a pop-up book ‘How we make stuff’, written by Christiane Dorion. This website explores further how we can learn from living systems and rethink the way we design, make and use our stuff.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
- Pacific Garbage Patch on Oprah [Video]
- Pacific Garbage Patch on GMA [Video]
- Solution to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch [Video]
- The Ocean Cleanup: The Ocean Cleanup develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution.
- How Toilet Paper is Made (from recycling)
- How Landfills are Built and Operated
- The Plastic Recycling Process video
- What really happens to the plastic you throw away – Ted Talk
If you come across a great website or video, please share it with us by emailing our Program Director.
- Recycle Rally: A free nationwide K-12 school recycling program with an array of downloadable resources and valuable incentives to inspire students to become recyclers. Recycle Rally offers schools the opportunity to set recycling goals, track progress toward those goals and earn reward points. Redeem the reward points for useful supplies or gift cards to help the school. Recycle Rally also hosts contests and promotions that offer opportunities to win additional prizes for encouraging and increasing recycling.
- Recycle Mania: A friendly competition for colleges and universities to help promote help promote waste reduction activities on campus. During the competition, the schools compete by collecting and tracking the weight of recyclables.
Unique Recycling Opportunities
- Crayola ColorCycle: Participate in ColorCycle at your school by collecting used markers and sending them to a conversion facility where they will be transformed into clean-burning fuel. This site also contains standard based lesson plans that promote class discussion on the importance of protection the environment.
- The Crayon Initiative: The Crayon Initiative supports environmental efforts by diverting crayons from landfills. They collect unwanted crayons, recycle them into new crayons and then donate them to hospitals and other child focused organizations.
- Blue Jeans Go Green: Mail in worn denim to be recycled into insulation. UltraTouch TM Denim Insulation is then donated to Habitat for Humanity projects and civic building construction projects.
- Preserve The Gimme 5 Program: Collects and transforms common #5 plastic containers and silverware, as well as some Preserve products, including Preserve toothbrushes, razor handles and food storage that cannot be recycled curbside.
- TerraCycle: Provides free waste collection programs for hard to recycle materials, such as drink pouches and snack bags. They then turn the waste into affordable green products.
- Loop: E-commerce platform that offers zero-waste packaging options. Purchase popular products such as ice-cream and shampoo in reusable containers that you return for cleaning and refilling.