California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Instructional Materials

California EEI Curriculum

The California Education and the Environment Initiative (California EEI) Curriculum teaches science and history-social science, using the environment as a context for learning. This engaging curriculum is designed to increase environmental literacy, and help students become critical thinkers, informed decision makers, and leaders for the future. The EEI Curriculum is available to California educators in print and online at no cost.

Additional Resources for Teachers and Students

The Worm Guide: A Vermicomposting Guide for Teachers

This guide explores vermicomposting--the practice of using worms to transform food waste into a nutrient-rich finished product called vermicompost. In a school setting, vermicomposting can set the stage for a variety of fun, interdisciplinary activities. Vermicomposting can utilize school cafeteria waste for the worm bin, provide a variety of interesting experiments while maintaining the bin in the classroom, and can culminate in a school or classroom garden using the finished product. You can download The Worm Guide from our publications catalog . Classroom activities from our previous publication are still available.

Related Resources:

CalRecycle Publications: Education (K-12). Browse and download current and past publications about CalRecyle education programs.

Dated and/or Discontinued Materials

Closing the Loop: Exploring Integrated Waste Management and Resource Conservation

Closing the Loop (CTL) is a compilation of 50 lessons to help students discover and nurture an environmental ethic and stewardship for natural resources. The activities focus on solid waste and environmental awareness topics including landfills, recycling, packaging, resource conservation, waste prevention, worm composting, and more. Each lesson encourages students to explore their natural environment, identify waste management issues, and engage in personal and community action projects.

CTL was selected from a number of quality curricula collected nationwide and evaluated by 24 top California environmental educators using an assessment tool based upon California education frameworks and integrated waste management concepts (see Compendium Project). Teachers then field-tested the curriculum and offered suggestions for revision and improvement. As a result, improvements were made in lesson presentation and content. During 1997-1999, CTL was further revised and organized into grade level modules resulting in the 2000 edition.

Closing the Loop and accompanying documents are available in PDF format from our online publications catalog. While CalRecycle still makes this resource available digitally, the information is no longer updated or reviewed for accuracy.

Project Learning Tree: Municipal Solid Waste Module

Project Learning Tree offers exciting and challenging interdisciplinary, action-oriented activities that focus on the whole environment--land, air, water, and waste. It contains eight lessons and is designed for educators teaching 6th through 12th grades. This module focuses on current solid waste dilemmas and helps the students realize that they can create a positive change in their community and environment. Through interesting hands-on activities, students will have the opportunity to learn by using critical thinking and decision making skills. Contact PLT to determine if hardcopies are available.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle) adopted the Municipal Solid Waste curriculum module, and provided it to educators in partnership with Project Learning Tree (PLT) www.plt.org and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) http://www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_urbanforestry_plt.

Pathways Through Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil, Grades 6-12. A series of 18 companion lessons derived from the Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil curriculum targeted for upper-grade and high school students.

Last updated: July 3, 2018
Office of Education and the Environment http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Education/
Contact: EEI@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6769