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The overall goal of this program is to educate students:

  • about the negative impact of litter on wildlife & our environment

  • to prevent litter and illegal dumping in the future

  • promote positive waste habits

  • promote youth environmental leadership 

  • to inspire youth to take environmental action 


 1. A Powerpoint presentation on litter for the teacher to read to the students in class.  The presentation includes photos, vocabulary and related litter concepts.  Examples of environmental litter concepts include soil contamination, plastic pollution, microplastics, and harm to wildlife. We actively discuss how litter is created, the harm it can cause, types of litter, and how to actively be apart of the solution.

2. A MESSociety staff member will then meet with your class to take part in a hands on litter cleanup activity.  Please note, during the pandemic, we are currently only meeting classrooms outdoors. We can meet in the school yard, playground, or local nearby park.  We have a variety of options to make the cleanup activity fun for the students. We also adjust it for each grade to make it age appropriate. Currently we have several litter cleanup options:


















Pick up 5 Pieces of Litter

Pick Up 5 Pieces

Kindergarten - Grade 1

Simple school yard cleanup for young learners. Each kid is given colorful tongs to race & find 5 pieces of litter to put in the garbage.  Kids are congratulated on their effort & see their immediate impact.

Tally Counter for Litter Activity

Tally Counters

Great for Grade 2-4

Simple school yard cleanup - Kids are put into groups with tongs, a bucket, & a tally counter to count every piece of litter. Afterwards, we review the what was collected by the kids & count the total amount collected by the class. Kids feel great about making an impact. Classes usually pick up 400-1000 pieces.

Class Tally Sheets

Tally Work Sheets

Recommended for Grade 4-9

Students are sent off in groups - one litter picker, one counter, and 1 bucket holder. The counter is given a tally sheet to count and group the types of litter found.  Afterwards we send a bar graph to the teacher with the data collected by the kids.  Every piece of litter is counted so the students feel a sense of pride in the amount of litter collected (usually anywhere from 400-1000 pieces). 

Litter Scavenger Hunt Activity

Scavenger Hunt

Fun For Any Grade

A game adapted for different ages where kids go out and search for types of litter. For younger ages, pictures are used for non readers.  For older students hints are given on environmental & litter concepts and they students must search for litter that matches the hint (example: "find something that can be recycled").   We try to make it a timed race with a start and finish line to get the kids more excited.



Mission Environmental Stewardship Society’s School Litter Challenge invites schools to adopt their schoolyards & work together in reducing school yard litter. 


The primary goal of this program is to teach children the negative impact of litter on the environment & to actively be apart of the solution. 

On average, a classroom cleanup of the playground will find over 500 pieces of litter during a class session. This provides a great opportunity for students to learn about litter, how it was created, and its potential harm. Students actively take part in being apart of the solution, not the pollution. 

Each activity ends with an analysis and question period of the garbage found.  Students are asked questions regarding the litter and encouraged to think of ways on how to prevent it in the future. This helps reinforce the environmental concepts being taught while promoting critical thinking.  One positive example on how to prevent litter that many Mission schools have started doing, are "Litterless" lunches.  For prevention, we often emphasize Refuse, Reduce & Reuse. The more we minimize our waste, the less opportunity for litter to occur.

3. After the activity, students are then invited to further their litter education in our Litter Busters Club or Youth Environmental Stewardship program.  We follow up with each teacher after to let them know the results of the cleanup (weight of the litter collected, or total # of pieces collected).  We also send supplementary litter related educational materials to the teach to further reinforce positive waste habits. Supplementary educational materials may include crosswords, puzzles or story books.


Schools Will Receive:


  • Clean-up kits which include buckets, tongs or litter pickers,  tarp (for sorting), and activity work  sheets to record the litter they pick up

  • Information session for staff

  • A full classroom presentation by MESSociety to help initiate the cleanup

  • Ongoing support throughout the school year as requested

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