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Imagine not having someone to come and pick up or manage your garbage. What would you do with your waste, recycling, and compost?

Waste and recycling services in Calgary take care of our blue, green, and black bins. Their goal is to reduce waste going into landfills. What are some ways you can contribute to helping Calgary be a green city?

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

​Grades K-3

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia question: What is the average age of Calgarians?
a) 15
b) 89
c) 35

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Put your palms together at chest height.
  • Push your hands against each other as hard as you can.
  • Which muscle gets tired first?

Parks Passport


  • Construction paper
  • Stapler
  • Crayons or markers
  • Stamps/stickers

Watch the Parks Passport video

Help your child fold 5 pieces of construction paper in half and staple at the seam. Title each page with a different park name (see a list of Calgary parks).

In the middle of each page draw a circle big enough for a stamp/sticker to fit inside. Decorate your park passport.

Create a plan with your family to safely visit some of the parks. You can bring a blanket and have a picnic in the park (see a list of Calgary parks with picnic areas). Mark your passport each time you visit a park and write the date you visited.

Gratitude Flag for Waste Management


  • Light colored fabric or piece of material
  • Stick
  • Paint or markers

Ever wonder what happens to your blue bin material once it reaches the processing plant? Watch this video about the recycling process.

On your next family walk, collect a stick that is long and thick enough to support a piece of material.

Help your child cut a rectangular shape out of an old piece of fabric (you could use an old t-shirt or pillowcase).

Decorate your flag with a thank you message using paint or markers. Make sure your message will be big enough for Waste Management workers to see from their trucks.

Tie the ends of the fabric to your stick and wave your flag the next time they visit your community.

Eco Paper Clay


  • Old newspaper
  • Large bowl
  • Hot water
  • Flour – 1 part flour to 4 parts paper pulp
  • Salt
  • A hand blender or mixer
  • Paint


  1. Help your child shred or cut up newspaper. Place the newspaper in a bowl with the hot water and leave it out overnight.
  2. Blend the paper and water together until it’s broken down completely.
  3. Squeeze out the excess water. Then add the flour and salt.
  4. Store the paper pulp in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Massage the clay that forms. Press the clay against a bowl’s sides to create your own bowl. Let it dry and decorate it with paint.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • Were you surprised by anything about the recycling process? (Feel)
  • Can you think of some ways you can cut down on waste products at home? (Think)
  • What are some ways you can help around the house to keep Calgary green? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: 35 (35.7 in fact!)

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: How many landfills are there in the City of Calgary?

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Sit so you are comfortable.
  • Close your eyes or keep them open.
  • Notice how it feels when you say these sentences to yourself: I am safe. I have everything that I need. I am surrounded by people who love me.

Recycling Pop Quiz


  • Paper
  • Pencil

Each household has three bins: green, blue and black. Do you know what goes inside each one?

Have your child visit the What Goes Where search tool. Make a list of the things that should and should not go in each bin. Then, make a quiz with 5-10 tricky questions.

Have your child quiz each person in your house to see how much they know about recycling.

Water Usage


  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Markers

Have your child read Saving water in your home. Pick one action you can take to save water in the bathroom, kitchen and utility room.

Make a poster with an image that represents that actions. Post it in a visible place in the bathroom, kitchen and utility room so all members of your family remember to take this action and save water.

Thank You Card or Poster


  • Paper (regular or poster size)
  • Markets
  • Pencils
  • Crayons

Imagine not having someone to come and pick up or manage your garbage. What would you do with your waste, recycling and compost?

Have your child create a thank you card or poster for the workers that pick up our garbage bins every week. You can tape a card to the bin or put a big poster in your window.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How do you feel when you are in nature? (Feel)
  • Why do you think is important to take care of nature? (Think)
  • What are some things you can do at home to help take care of the planet? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: Three. These are places where you can take residential waste, household chemicals, and some recyclables.

Grades 7+

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: How many muscles does your mouth use when you’re talking? See Answer at bottom of page.

A: 75
B: 100
C: 125

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Sit down so you’re comfortable.
  • Take a moment to notice 1 thing you taste.
  • Now notice 2 things you smell.
  • Now, 3 things you feel (inside or outside your body).
  • Now, 4 things you hear.
  • Now, 5 things you see.

Thank You to Waste and Recycling


  • Poster paper
  • Pencil
  • Markers

Our Waste and Recycling Services take care of our blue, green and black bins. Their goal is to reduce waste going into landfills.

Make a poster to say thank you to the people who provide this service.

Stand outside with your poster where truck drivers can see as they pick up your bins. Don’t forget to smile and thank them for the important work they do.

Recycled Bottle Plant


  • 2 litre plastic bottle
  • Rocks, gravel, pebbles or marbles
  • Fresh soil
  • Scissors

Wash the bottle with water and soap. Cut the plastic bottle in half and use the bottom side as your base.

Fill the bottle with about 1-2 inches of rocks, gravel, pebbles or marbles. Then add soil, leaving about 1 inch of space from the top of your bottle. Add a few seeds then a little more soil to cover them.

You can get seeds from your local grocery or garden store. Fruits, vegetables or flowers are a few good ideas. Or try saving the scraps of vegetables from dinner to see if you can grow something in your container. For example, you can cut a romaine lettuce heart 2 inches (5 cm) from the base or try planting sunflower seeds, the seeds from bell peppers, an avocado pit, watermelon seeds or pumpkin seeds.

Don't forget to water your plant daily and give it sun to grow.

DIY Watering Container


  • Recycled laundry detergent bottle

Don't pay for plastic watering cans – recycle empty laundry detergent containers to make your own!

Wash and rinse off the detergent in the bottle. Drill or punch some holes in the cap so water sprays out to water your plants. Have your parents help you with this process if needed.

Remove the label and decorate the container so your neighbors don’t think you're pouring laundry detergent on your plants!

Review Questions

  • How does it feel to thank the people who provide the services you use every day? (Feel)
  • Why do you think it is valuable to be able to grow things from seeds? (Think)
  • What are other ways you can help Calgary be a green city? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: A) you use 75 muscles when you’re talking.