'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
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what about climate change?


Toys are an tool for creating imaginative play, but you don’t have to buy the most expensive toy on the shelve, often children enjoy playing with items from the home to create props for games – one thing most of our children like is making a home out of a cardboard box, creating their own special place.

‘Waste’ can be always be re-used and made into toys such as plastic bottle cars, children find fun in scrap metals, whether they are making plastic bag footballs, creating stilts from coffee tins or chasing a tyre around with a stick.

Children can be resourceful and should be encouraged to use recyclable materials to build their own different toys. Recycling helps reduce landfills and waste. If more people recycle, the future generation will have a more sustained environment.

The Renewable World website provides a cross-curriculum resource for Key Stage 3 on the importance of using renewable materials in a world of resources with case studies, games ideas and quizzes. The resources demonstrate the potential of ‘renewable’s’.

The ‘Toys & recyclables – toy making guide’ written by Renzo Laporta’ gives examples of how to make different toys using recyclable materials. For example, a small car, bottle scoopers and jumping rope. Click here to see examples of toys made out of recycled materials.

If you are based in the UK, you can obtain a free copy of this guide by sending in a pre-stamped first class and addressed A5 envelope to
HEC Global Learning Centre, Tower Hamlets PDC, English Street, London E3 4TA
[NB One guide per school]

To find out more information on Waste click here.


Waste and recycling
Waste is a difficult issue to tackle, there are many things you can do before recycling.

Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle.
We can reduce the amount we buy, by comparing what we want to what we need.
Buy items with less packaging and look at things that we can share with others.
This brings us to reuse – sharing things with family, friends and other people can help reduce the amount you need to buy and helps saves the environment.
Repair – the joy of fixing things is one of the benefits of repairing broken items, it wont need replacing or give someone who enjoys DIY, another project to do. The benefits of recycling include a reduction of trash sent to landfills and reduced pollution from landfill waste.

Reduce - watch the
Climate Change animation
Reuse - watch the
Do the green thing animation
Repair - watch
The Joy of Fix animation
Recycle - watch the
Recycling plastics animation

The four ‘R’s’: reduce, reuse, repair, recycle*

The order of the ‘4 R’s is quite deliberate. Sometimes this is referred to as the ‘waste hierarchy’.

To reduce the amount of waste created in the first place is probably the best way of reducing the waste footprint. Reducing waste saves energy, reduces the waste that ends up in landfill or incinerators and saves valuable resources and raw materials.

Reusing items rather than throwing them away and buying new keeps them out of the waste stream. Reusable bags for shopping, and buying clothes from charity shops are examples of reuse.

Our throw-away culture is one in which it is often cheaper to buy new items rather than have old ones repaired. But this is of course very wasteful. There are numerous items that can be repaired rather than thrown out: TVs, bicycles, shoes, clothes and furniture are just a few examples.

Finally, there are many resources that can be recycled. Materials like glass, metal, plastics and paper can all be processed into new materials or products. Recycling reduces pollution and saves energy while slowing down the rate at which non-renewable resources are depleted.


* The ‘4R’s’ are often referred to as the ‘3R’s’ where 'repair' is considered part of 'reuse'.


The fifth R

There is a fifth R that could also be used to shrink our waste footprint still further: refuse. This is a step beyond reduce. Rather than consuming less, this involves cutting it out all together! Examples might include refusing to take plastic bags offered in shops, refusing free newspapers and magazines, refusing to buy foods wrapped in masses of packaging and refusing to buy a new mobile phone when your current one is absolutely fine!

For further information see our issues section, click here