Sustainability Challenge for Kids

Join the Sustainability Challenge
Read through the list of challenges below to find ways you can help protect the environment and live more sustainably. Your goal: complete as many challenges as possible! Every completed challenge helps save the planet and proves you really can make a difference!
  1. Take shorter showers. At 12 gallons a minute, a 10 minute shower uses over 100 gallons of water. Think of all the water you could save by reducing your time in the shower!
  2. Turn off the water faucet while you're brushing your teeth. This alone can reduce the amount of water used to brush your teeth by 75 percent.
  3. Use recycled scraps of paper, old art projects, stickers, and other cool supplies to create birthday and holiday cards for friends and relatives.
  4. Tell your parents if you see a dripping water faucet in your home. The smallest drip from a leaky faucet can waste over 45 gallons of water per day.
  5. Recycle, recycle, RECYCLE. Recycling glass, cardboard, newspaper, and plastic helps reduce the amount of waste sent to our landfills.
  6. If you're helping in the kitchen, encourage your parents to run the dishwasher only when it's full.
  7. Reuse containers, jars, plastic bags, and boxes whenever possible. If you're going to the store, take your own bag. If you're creating an art project or designing a book report display, consider using an old shoe box.
  8. Reuse wrapping paper and gift bags, or use newspaper to wrap gifts.
  9. Encourage your parents to purchase a reusable lunch box or bag instead of using disposable lunch sacks. It not only saves money but also reduces the amount of waste sent to our landfills.
  10. Before tossing plastic six-pack soda rings into the garbage, snip each circle with a pair of scissors. These soda rings often end up in the ocean and can be harmful to marine animals if the rings have not been snipped.
  11. Instead of throwing away your old clothes and toys, give them to a friend or donate them to a local charity. Your old toys and clothes can become someone else's treasures!
  12. Turn off lights and electronics when you're not using them. This will help conserve energy.
  13. Use daylight for natural light, it's free and doesn't pollute. If you're reading during the daytime, sit near a window.
  14. Next time you buy something small; tell the clerk you don't need a bag.
  15. Avoid releasing helium balloons into the sky. Helium balloons often end up in the ocean and are easily mistaken for food by ocean creatures.
  16. Recycle your aluminum beverage cans. Recycling one aluminum beverage can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for three hours, or a TV for two hours!
  17. Encourage your parents to buy you a sturdy, comfortable backpack that you can use year after year.
  18. Keep a cloth towel by the sink. Next time you rinse your hands or need to wipe up a spill, grab the cloth towel instead of using a paper one. Reducing the number of paper towels we use each week will help save a lot of trees!
  19. Next time you visit the beach, avoid collecting shells. Think of all the hermit crabs and tide pool creatures that would love to use the shells as their next home.
  20. Use brown bags from the grocery store as book covers for your text books. You can design your own book covers with these bags, most of which are made of recycled materials.
  21. When purchasing notebook binders, consider binders with clear slipcover fronts that can be reused. Create your own cover and simply replace it from project to project.
  22. Reuse last year's plastic art or pencil box. You can decorate it with paint and markers to create a cool new look and design.
  23. As long as it's safe and you have your parent's permission, walk, bike, skateboard, or roller blade to a friend's house instead of driving in a car. This will help save valuable fossil fuels.
  24. Help plant a tree or garden. Trees and plants help eliminate greenhouse gases in the environment. They are good for the atmosphere and great for us!
  25. Help pick up trash around your neighborhood, school, and local park.
  26. Reduce the amount of paper you use each week by writing on both sides. The average human uses seven trees a year with paper and other supplies. Imagine the trees you could save by using recycled paper and limiting your paper consumption.
  27. Watch wild things, but don't bring them home. Plants and animals often die outside of their habitats. Even if they live, they may have trouble reproducing and doing their "jobs" in the natural world. When you see something beautiful in nature, take a picture!
  28. Next time you see a worm on the sidewalk, help it out. Gently pick it up and move it out of the way where no one will step on it. Worms help make the soil rich in nutrients.
  29. Learn to compost. Composting is one of the single biggest and best things you can do to help the environment. Composting helps reduce the amount of waste sent to our landfills and provides valuable nutrients back to the Earth.
  30. Share this webpage with a friend or family member. Encourage them to take the sustainability challenge and help protect the planet for future generations!