Climate, Plastics, and Hazardous Waste – Oh My!

Climate, Plastics, and Hazardous Waste – Oh My!

The Triangle Education Team is known for designing and delivering high-quality conservation programs, and our work is continuing to expand in exciting ways! This fall we are working with a wide range of student and community groups to examine environmental impacts and explore how personal consumer choices can empower positive action.  Below are three examples of newly developed programs.

How can elementary students help reduce the impacts of climate change? Bellevue elementary students are learning about everyday consumption, climate change, and how waste reduction can have a positive impact on our planet. In collaboration with the City of Bellevue, Triangle developed a new one-hour classroom workshop, to allow elementary students to share what they know, discuss their misconceptions, and directly explore the connections between climate and consumption. Through hands-on demonstrations and games, along with an introduction to scientific vocabulary, students examine the impacts of disposal choices and determine which choices reduce their environmental footprint. From this workshop, students leave the room with ideas for concrete ideas for actions they can take to be stewards of the planet.

What do teenagers think about overwhelming plastic pollution? Plastic waste is pervasive. Plastics remain among the most confusing materials when it comes to recycling versus landfilling and this waste has even proven to have staggering effects on our planet’s biodiversity. In partnership with Waste Management, the Triangle education team took this conversation into than 30 classrooms this fall. Almost 1,000 high school students in Snohomish County explored how the manufacture, consumption, and disposal of plastics is impacting habitat, species diversity, and the ecosystem services humans depend on.  Students participated in group discussion, analyzed graphs, examined products and unintended outcomes and ultimately selected activities at school and home to decrease their personal use of disposable plastics.

What age group should be learning about household hazardous waste? Community members of all ages are benefiting from Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) information and outreach workshops. Triangle teaches HHW workshops on behalf of multiple clients throughout King County to grades 4-12 students, English as a Second Language (ESL) college students, and adult leaders in immigrant and refugee communities. Workshop topics include potential chemical hazards, how to read product labels, safer disposal options, as well as assistance with methods for teaching others in their community what they learn. When working with diverse communities, Triangle educators take into consideration cultural and other differences by listening to participants and working together to evaluate and adapt key messages to meet individual community’ needs.

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