Sustainability & Recycling-Related Educational Materials

Incorporating the topic of sustainability in education is a great way to develop student awareness to the current environmental challenges that affect our lives. Teaching sustainability-related topics also engages students to think about the future and to solve complex problems creatively. Useful topics to explore include recycling, resource conservation, climate action, and waste and pollution minimization. Whether you’re an educator looking for curriculum or a parent looking for educational resources for your children at home, below is a list of educational materials focused on sustainability to get anyone started.

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Recycling Education

Education about recycling is essential in establishing lifelong recycling habits.  However, there is conflicting information and confusion about what materials are recyclable, where you can recycle, and what happens to the materials after they are collected.  Nevada Recycles is here to help answer these questions!


If you have students that are thrilled about trash, love landfills, or are rambunctious for recycling, we can provide presentations about sustainable materials at your school or workplace!  We can also visit with you if you need help starting a program, have questions about waste reduction, or want to learn how to promote sustainability throughout your school or workplace.  Please email or call one of our staff members and we will gladly get you connected with the employee who is best suited to support you.

Recycling Curriculum

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s Solid Waste & Recycling Branch has put this series of lessons together to help satisfy the requirements of NRS 444A.110.  Teachers and students will make their way through a series of lessons that starts with discovering what a landfill is. The lessons will then flow into the science of composting, and the recycling, reduction, and reuse of paper, plastic, glass, and metal cans.  The lessons included in the curriculum are based on the 5th grade science standards for the State of Nevada, but can be adapted for any grade level.  As with any elementary school program, the lessons will include elements from other disciplines (i.e. math, geography, language arts).

Download the Teacher Workbook (pdf, 1.6MB)

Download the Student Workbook (pdf, 0.25MB)

The basic lesson structure of the curriculum is designed to last 10 weeks with 2 lessons performed each week.

Scholarships and Classroom Grants

A scholarship is offered for Clark County high school seniors who have positively impacted the environment.  In addition, a classroom grant is available for all Clark County schools that want to implement greener practices in their classrooms. 

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Distance Learning Activities

In need of some distance learning activities? Nevada Recycles has compiled a list of resources to help parents, teachers, and students find inspiration in the natural world around them during this time. Here are some links to great at-home learning activities we have found:

Check back for updated resources as environmental educators work to make more of their lessons and activities available on-line!

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Other Sustainability Educational Materials and Programs by Grade Level


High School

  • Desert Research Institute (DRI) Green Boxes are teaching kits with lesson plans and hands-on projects focused on enhancing student literacy in STEM subject areas, such as water conservation to environmental impacts of resource extraction. Educators can reserve Green Boxes for free.
  • Envirolution offers a variety of educational programs, including Project ReCharge, Career Quest, and Sustainability Expedition.
    • Project ReCharge offers over 20 hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM)and sustainability lessons.
    • Career Quest provides students with events at businesses to explore local STEAM and sustainability careers. 
    • Sustainability Expedition is a week-long event focused on the local sustainability movement.
  • Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) (Washoe County) is excited to be involved with middle and high schoolers who want to be the change in their community. KTMB believes that secondary students have a very powerful voice in transforming and leading innovative sustainability efforts for all Washoe County schools. Whether your school wants to collaborate on a service-learning project or establish a green club, we have the tools and resources you might be looking for to move forward with your projects.

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The NDEP maintains links and resources on this website to enhance public access to information. Reference to any specific products, process or service, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring.