Community of the Future

Thanks for helping us pilot these new Beyond Recycling lessons! We can’t wait to hear what you think!


What is Our Future Communty? This video-based series of lessons sets the stage for the culminating, hands-on, and creative “Communities of the Future” group design and building challenge. This environmental education program aims to help students dream of a safe, clean and thriving future, a future they are happy to see themselves as a part of.

Where are the videos? Use the menus to the left to access the lesson videos, teacher checklist, extension buffet, and more. Note, if you are viewing this page on a phone or very narrow screen the menu will show up below this content instead.

How does the pilot work? This content will be available to pilot until June 30th. Up to 15 teachers who utilize the resources and complete the feedback form at the bottom of each lesson page will receive a $200 honorarium for sharing their time, experience, and brilliant minds with us. After you are done you need to complete the honorarium request form.

Where do I share my feedback? At the bottom of each lesson webpage is a comment form. We ask that you share your feedback after each lesson – simply take a few minutes shortly after delivery to jot down the biggest learning YOU got from using our resource (both what really worked and what really needs work).  Visit the Pilot Feeback webpage to learn more about sharing your feedback here.

What is the extension buffet? We have hand-picked some of our favorite activities for you to create an extension buffet for each of the lessons. The buffet allows you to take the learning a little deeper or use some extra time to reinforce the concepts. It includes hands-on activities, games, outdoor learning opportunities, and more. You can find the extension buffet on each lesson page beneath the video. 

How do I plan for this project? Check out the Prep lesson for all you need to set up your schedule. We’ve even created a printable checklist and scheduler to make it easy for you. Don’t worry, this whole program has been developed to require minimal prep. 

How long are the lessons? We have developed these resources with flexibility in mind. Each of the lessons can be completed in just 15-20 minutes. After you complete the video lessons, you need to set aside time for the group work and building of the communities, the amount of time you choose to dedicate to this part of the unit is up to you. Learn more about scheduling these sessions in the Design & Build lesson.

Does this link to curriculum? Direct links can be found with science, social studies, applied skills, design, and technology. In fact, we have followed the BC curriculum’s ADST design guidelines for the final culminating activity. More curriculum-connected activities will be added as part of the program extensions  (i.e. English Language Arts, Arts, Mathematics) as we further develop this resource development. Specific links to curriculum will be included as part of the program once the pilot has been completed. 

What about assessment? The student planning booklet has room for notes, drawings, and reflections on each lesson. It also serves as a reference for project ‘design principles’ and contains a success checklist so that students are aware of the assessment criteria. Students can also be assessed on participation, contributions to discussion, exit ticket, completion planning booklet, group work, and cooperation. 

Where can I ask questions? Please email info@beyondrecycling if you have a question.

Why so positive? This series of lessons teaches environmental education from a perspective of hope, with the aim to give students positive visions of their future. While you may find this counter-intuitive, considering recent studies on the state of our environment, research has shown that some youth now don’t even have the tools to imagine anything but an apocalyptic future for themselves. Research has also shown the importance of hope, grounded in truth, in presenting such complicated and complex topics. Instead of starting a unit on climate change with all of the shocking statistics, depressing facts, and stories of despair so often associated with this topic, Beyond Recycling has decided to flip that on its head. Instead of messages of doom, we’ve chosen to help students dream of a safe, clean and thriving future, a future they are happy to see themselves as a part of.

What if I am worried about the future? Admittedly, there is much to be worried about. However, environmentalists recognized a while ago that spreading the scientific realities of the serious situation we now find ourselves in regarding climate change does not seem to work to change most people’s actions.  As psychologist Renee Lertzman argues, there is a delicate balance that must be considered between holding our conflicted feelings about the state of the future, and giving space to feel the emotions we feel, all with the hopes we feel “attuned”. In her TED Talk she says, being attuned allows one to be “creative and resilient and capable and skillful… and all the things the earth is needing from us right now” 



2 responses to “Community of the Future

  1. Hi there,

    I just opened up your website to check out the pilot project, but I can’t seem to find the workbooks. Or were we just meant to have students use a duotang with looseleaf paper in it? I need to adapt the materials into French and prepare to teach them the vocabulary in order to do this program for my late FI class.

    Thanks for your help!


    1. Hi Wanda~ Go to the PREP page to download the student booklet and review the other steps for launching. You can find the PREP page by clicking on the left-hand menu on this page. If you are viewing this page on your phone the menu may show below rather than to the left.

      When you are on the PREP page, scroll down to the 1st bullet point where it says PRINT to access the file