How's it made? What are the impacts?

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On January 7, 2020, students in Ms. Gadbois’ grade 4/5 class started a new Beyond Recycling project, looking at the lifecycle of six everyday products:

  1. pencil
  2. jeans
  3. battery
  4. glass bottle
  5. soccer ball
  6. aluminum can

The students worked in small groups to create a class presentation that showcased the lifecycle of their product, looking at the five stages of a product lifecycle: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, as well as the impacts at each stage.

The following week, the group presented their findings in a variety of engaging ways, from digital presentations to skits. Students in the audience listened carefully, writing down one interesting fact they learned from the presentations.

Going through this process, it is hoped that students will think about the impacts that a lifecycle of a product has on the environment, and to think about how they can lessen these impacts, perhaps by reusing products, buying used, or buying a more environmentally friendly option.