Environmental education classes are the necessary first step in motivating students to start collecting and upcycling inorganic trash. It will also help to show them pictures of the construction process in this Manual, so that they start believing that their efforts will pay off. There are countless ways in which you can facilitate environmental awareness in your community; the key is to be creative and receptive, and to really engage with students.

Teaching families about eco-bricks

A good homework assignment is to have each student go home and teach their families all about eco-bricks. The students could explain the benefits of recycling for the environment, and with their families sign an agreement to begin recycling all of the household plastic waste products into eco-bricks. Then, with the help of the teachers, you could create recycling goals for each student and/or classroom. If a part of the students’ grade depends on the amount they recycle, they will always be more motivated.

Community clean-up days

Another great community activity is to hold “community clean-up days”. Community leaders can mobilize community members to head out into the streets and surrounding areas to clean up and recycle all of the trash that has been marring the landscape for years. Once the garbage is collected you can all hang out and stuff the bottles together. Play music, play games, provide food if possible, make it fun, and use the opportunity to motivate and educate.

Recycling contests

One really fun idea is to hold a creative recycling contest. Find some sort of prize and challenge the students, in teams, to come up with a new and creative way to upcycle garbage found within the community. You will be amazed at the creativity! Below, you can see some examples of trash turned into treasure.