Our Future Community

Welcome to our new Beyond Recycling independent teacher resources. We have had so many rave reviews for our year-long deep dive into sustainability topics and actions, but we just can’t reach as many students as we would like to. This is where you come in! Please join us, by piloting this new teacher-led unit. Scroll down to learn more, register to participate, and explore FAQs




Register to participate

Sign up to participate in the pilot by completing our simple registration form below and we will send the sparkling new ‘Community of the Future’ resources right your way. Note: We only have 15 spots available in this special pilot of our new environmental education resources. Teachers who utilize the resources and provide feedback will receive a $200 honorarium. Watch the video and read the FAQs and then register by clicking the button below.




Why? Research has shown that many of our youth 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 complex environmental topics. Instead of starting with all of the shocking statistics, depressing facts, and stories of despair, 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. 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.

What? The video-based lessons set the stage for the culminating, hands-on, and creative “Communities of the Future” group design and building challenge. The first lesson introduces the project, the following five lessons delve into the main community categories: waste, food, energy, transportation, and water, and then the final lesson sets students up to start their build. The videos are designed for students in grades 4 through 7.

How long? We have developed these resources with flexibility in mind. Each of the lessons can be completed in just 15-20 minutes, which includes the background and the essential learning to help the students to understand the task and begin their community planning. However, if you’d like to take the learning a little deeper or you have the time to reinforce the concepts there is a “buffet” of extension activities, including hands-on activities, games and outdoor learning opportunities. After your students watch the 7 video lessons, you need to set aside time for the group work and building of their communities. 

Why a pilot? We want to know what you think before we launch it out into the big wide world. This content will be available to pilot until June 30th. Then we will take your feedback and adapt and improve the content. Teachers who utilize the resources and share their feedback will receive a $200 honorarium for sharing their time, experience, and brilliant minds with us. 

What feedback is needed? We ask that you share your feedback after utilizing the lesson resources – simply take a few minutes shortly after delivery to jot down the biggest learning YOU got from using the resources (both what really worked and what needs work) with a minimum of 250 characters to share your thoughts and experiences in teaching the lessons. We can’t wait to hear what you think. 

How? Once you complete the online registration form above, you will be sent an email with the link to the new Beyond Recycling Community of the Future resources. These new resources contain web pages with student video content (similar to the one above), the student planning booklet, and the ‘extension buffet’. Once you have completed the lessons, we ask you to share your feedback at the bottom of each lesson page.

Who? Recently Beyond Recycling asked past and present BR Teachers to provide feedback on the program and define what they want in additional environmental education resources. After reviewing teacher feedback, our team of 12 professional environmental BR educators gathered to brainstorm and develop an impactful new series of independent BR teacher lesson resources. The goal? To allow students to address their future with a perspective of hope and to make this learning easy to access and teach for busy classroom teachers. 

Where? Once you register for the program you will receive a link for the program hosted on the Beyond Recycling website. That is where you will find all the content for each of the lessons. It’s as easy as clicking play on the video to get started. The video content and the planning booklet help guide students through the process of designing a sustainable community of the future that gives an overview of the topic and highlights local community projects and individuals that are working to develop a sustainable future.  

Links to curriculum? Communities of the Future ties into the BC curriculum in many ways. 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. We also aim to create more curriculum-connected activities as part of the program extensions  (i.e. English Language Arts, Arts, Mathematics) as we further develop this resource. Specific links to curriculum will be included as part of the program once the pilot has been completed.  Your ideas are welcome!

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.