The Litter Monster Activity is a creative way to educate your school community peers about the importance of reducing litter around your school’s campus. Students will participate in campus wide waste reduction efforts through this Activity. By collecting litter around your school campus, and assembling that litter into costumes, students at your school can transform into “Litter Monsters” and educate their school community on waste reduction.
ESTABLISH YOUR SCHOOL’S GRADES OF GREEN TEAM. Ensure your school has established a Grades of Green Team to help implement Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity and any other Grades of Green Activities your school takes on in the future.
GET YOUR SCHOOL ON BOARD. Set up a meeting with your school’s Grades of Green Team leaders and your principal and campus leaders to discuss implementing Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity. Let him/her know why you think it's important for your school to spread awareness about reducing the litter around your school’s campus. Click here for an example email to send to your principal and an example agenda. Encourage your principal and Grades of Green team leaders and members to register on Grades of Green’s website and affiliate themselves with your school’s profile page so these leaders can track your school’s progress. If any questions come up during the meeting, please contact Grades of Green at (310) 607-0175 and we can help answer them. You can also call or email us here in advance with any additional questions, to get additional tips, or to schedule a practice meeting to help prepare.
SET GOALS AND START TRACKING. What do you want to accomplish by implementing Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity? Whether it’s setting a goal of the number of students involved or the amount of litter collected, set a goal and begin tracking your progress so you know when it’s time to CELEBRATE! Record your starting baseline metrics before beginning so you know when you’ve accomplished your goal! Your school can measure the amount of litter on your school’s campus both before and after the Activity.
SHARE WITH YOUR SCHOOL! Make sure your school community knows your school is implementing Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity, as well as the positive impact that this Activity will have on your school. Share facts over the morning announcements about the importance of taking on this Activity, and add them to bulletin boards around campus, to your school’s newspaper or to take-home packets to inspire parents, students, and teachers at your school to get involved! Students will realize that littering the campus is harmful because that litter is unsanitary, local animals may mistake that litter for food, and the litter destroys the natural beauty of your campus.
SELECT A DATE FOR THE CLEANUP. Set up a date for members of the Grades of Green Team, and members of your school, to collect litter around your school’s campus. Students can complete this Activity during lunchtime, recess, or after school. As a group, try to gather as much litter as possible so that your school can truly see the amount of trash that exists on your school campus.
GET CUSTODIAN INPUT. Members of the Grades of Green Team can talk to your school’s head custodian to let him/her know your school would like to collect litter on a specified date. This will ensure that the Custodial Team does not collect litter during your Green Team’s scheduled day of collection. Ask the Custodial Team if they notice any trends or observation about litter on campus. For example, does most litter occur at lunch? After lunch? Perhaps a certain type of litter is most prevalent.
PICKING UP THE LITTER. When the day for picking up the litter comes, have students carefully pick up the trash around your school campus. If your school has an Adopt A Spot program already, have each student pick up litter from his/her adopted spot. Students should be cautious of any broken glass or sharp objects around your school campus while picking up the litter. Your school should consider handing out protective gloves to the students who will be picking up the trash.
TAKE INVENTORY. Take a look at what was collected during the litter cleanup. What items did you collect the most of? What locations on campus had the most litter? Keep this information handy so you can use it to inform the school community about litter habits and to measure your improvement. Download Grades of Green’s Litter Audit Form if you’d like to record your observations.
ASSEMBLE! Once the students have collected the litter, they can assemble the waste into a Litter Monster costume. Students can do this by themselves, or with the help of classmates. Additionally, students can create more than one Litter Monster costume to display.
CREATING THE MONSTER. Start by placing a clean trash bag next to your fellow student’s body so he/she can measure where to cut the bag. Members of the Grades of Green Team can cut the bag so that there are 2 arm holes, 2 leg holes, and a hole for each student’s head. Each student will then put the trash bag on himself/herself to see if the bag has been cut properly. Grades of Green Team Members will then remove the trash bag from the student, and assemble the pieces of collected trash and litter. Glue or tape the pieces onto the bag and let the bag dry overnight. But, always remember to use environmentally friendly, non-toxic glue!
HOST A FASHION SHOW. Host a schoolwide “waste” fashion show to display all the litter costumes. The show can take place during an assembly, recess, lunchtime, or after school. Teachers, students, or even the principal can judge the fashion show and determine the trashiest contestant. Additionally, your school could raise money for your Grades of Green Team by charging admission to the fashion show. Feel free to use your imagination and creativity in this step.
EDUCATE YOUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY: Create a poster that educates your school campus about the amount of litter showcased on your costume. Present your findings on a poster board, and display that poster next to your Litter Monster costume. For example, create a list of all the litter collected, 10 chip bags, 20 plastic sandwich bags, 11 straws, etc. Then, put the poster board on display so the entire school community can clearly see it. Next, have students model their Litter Monster costumes in front of the poster board. Students can educate your school community on how to properly dispose of waste. And, students can show the school community about which items to compost, recycle, and dispose of.
MEASURE THE RESULTS. Remember that goal you set earlier? How’d it go? How many students did you reach or how much litter did you reduce? Measure the results of taking on Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity.
PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK! Reward the Grades of Green Team at your school that helped make this eco-victory possible. Whether it’s through a pat on the back, announcing the Grades of Green Team accomplishments over the loud speaker, throwing a popsicle party, etc., reward the people who volunteered their time to make this possible. Are there standout eco-superstars on your Grades of Green Team? Email your Grades of Green Advisor and we’ll see if we can find some extra ways to acknowledge and reward them on our website and in our e-newsletter and social media!
CELEBRATE AND SHARE THE RESULTS! Congratulations! You completed Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity for your school and we couldn’t be prouder. You helped inspire and empower students to care for the environment, and the earth is just that much better off as a result! Email us the results you achieved, as well as any photos or videos of your completed Grades of Green Activity. Tag @gradesofgreen on social media so we can help share your story! Whether it’s “before/after” photos or videos showing how you took on the Activity or a shot of your Grades of Green Team in action, email your Advisor and tag us on social media so we can help shout it from the mountains on our website, e-newsletter, and social media. And don’t forget to also let your school community and city government know about your great and green accomplishments.
EARN YOUR BADGE! “Level up” by clicking the green “Taking On This Activity” button on the top-right corner of your screen. You’ll earn your school a badge for this Activity and will level up in Grades of Green Certification as well. Once your school has taken on 5+ Grades of Green Activities, you’ll receive the recognition of being a Grades of Green Certified School!
MAKE IT SUSTAINABLE. What can you do to make it this Activity sustainable at your school for years to come? Brainstorm with your Grades of Green Team ways to make the Activity sustainable and part of your school’s everyday culture. We suggest making Grades of Green positions permanent, as well as adding tips and suggestions to your PTA or volunteer handbook, and adding a date to the calendar now to re-educate students next year as well!
CHOOSE ANOTHER ACTIVITY. Now that your school successfully implemented Grades of Green’s Litter Monster Activity, take the next step in making your school even greener. Pick another Grades of Green Activity HERE! Check out similar activities like the Trash Free Lunch Activity. Pick another Grades of Green Activity here! Whether you want to take reducing waste even further or you’d like to try a different area of conservation, we’re here to support you as you implement any of our Grades of Green Activities! Email your Grades of Green Advisor or call Grades of Green at (310) 607-0175 if you’d like recommendations on which Grades of Green Activity may be a fit for your school community.
Benefit to Students
The Litter Monster Activity educates students about the dangers of litter on their school’s campus. Your school community will realize the amount of litter on your school’s campus, and the amount of litter that could have otherwise been composted or recycled.
Benefits to the Environment
By creating a litter monster costume and sharing it with your school community, the students are educating people about the importance of keeping the environment litter-free. A litter free campus leads to less trash in storm drains, less trash in animal’s stomachs, and, an overall healthier community. This Activity is a fun, hands on way to inspire students to keep their environment litter free both in the present, and in the future.