1. Be a food miles hero

This is a really interesting activity for children to help them realise how far their food has travelled to their plates. 

You will need:

A map

Some food packets/labels

Paper, pens

String or ribbon


Open up your map and lay it on the table - if you don't have a map, use Google maps instead.

Raid the food cupboard for fruit, tomatoes, potatoes, pasta, rice, spices, fish etc.

Look carefully at the food packets to which which country it was made in.

Use your string to connect the food packet to the country on the map, if you don't have string, just make a list on a piece of paper.

Share your findings with your family so that when you're shopping next time you can try and find alternatives which have been grown more locally or made closer to home!

2. Be a kitchen waste hero

A great activity to help the family become aware of the waste from their kitchen and can easily be adapted to other areas of the house.

You will need:
2 x bin or bucket
Paper and pens
Glue or Sellotape
Some kitchen scraps including vegetable or fruit leftovers, bread, tealeaves, coffee, scraps
of newspaper or toilet tubes
Some recycling – paper, card, bottles, plastic bottles, clean foil, tins
Some Kerbside council collections will collect recycling and food waste in separate bins.

Check your local council with your grown up to see what they will accept. If they don’t accept food waste, you can make your own compost bin for the garden (SEE BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS)

First make clear labels using your paper and pens for each of your kitchen bins. One should be labelled 'Recycling' and the other 'Food Waste'.

Set up your recycling bin somewhere in your kitchen that everyone can see clearly.

Explain to your grown ups and family members about the bins and that you want to help to reduce waste.

During cooking and preparing food encourage your grown up to use the bins you have made. In the food waste bin you should add vegetable or fruit scraps, tea or coffee grounds, but not a good idea to add meat or fish if composting in your garden as it will attract rats to your compost bin. Your council might accept this if they collect the food waste each week.

Once your food bin is full you can tip into your food composter or council food waste bin.

Give it a wash out ready for more food waste!

Encourage your family to wash out empty bottles and tins before putting them in the recycling bin. They can also add used toilet tubes, boxes or paper (that scrunches up when squeezed) as long as it doesn’t have glue or glitter on it.

Extension idea:

You can create a separate 'Reuse'  bin where you can place packaging, bottles, tins or boxes that you can use again to make models or reuse for something else! What will your junk model look like? Which items from the bin did you save from landfill.

3. Be an energy spy!

We love this activity as it makes us all aware of where we use electricity in our homes.

You will need:
A grown up
A clipboard or something to lean on when writing, paper, pencil and some Detective glasses (optional!)

Look carefully around your house with a grown up for all the things that use electricity. You will notice that they usually have a wire and a plug connecting them to the power supply. Good places to look are:
1. In the kitchen
2. In the lounge
3. In the bedroom
4. In the garage or shed

Note down on your paper, either as a list or with drawings, all the things you have
spotted that need electricity to make them work. 

Extension: Are there any things that you found plugged in, using electricity that could be switched off if they aren’t being used? (check with your grown up first).

Extension idea: Play ISpy something that uses electricity!

4. Be a compost hero

This activity is really easy and great not just to reduce your waste going to landfill, and if you have an outdoor area it will also encourage insects such as worms, and other invertebrates to live there too!

You will need:

A small area or corner of the garden to set up your composting station.
Some wooden slats or if you are feeling really creative you could use long branches to make a cube shape (don’t worry about the base – the worms will love to come up through the soil to eat the waste!)
An old towel or rug to lay over the top to keep it warm.
A4 Paper folded to make a booklet, pens

Use your slats of wood or long branches to make a square shape roughly 1 metre
squared. Build up the sides to about 1 metre so that you can easily reach into the
compost and study the wildlife once it is established.
Place your towel or rug over the top – this can be lifted each time you feed it with food scraps.
Add your kitchen food scraps and scraps of paper or toilet tubes and (remember not to add meat or fish)
Each time you visit your composter you can keep a record of any new insects you spot there. Use your paper to make a simple booklet to draw or write in the new visitors!

Extension ideas:

Now that you’ve done this, maybe you could make a minibeast hotel out of sticks and stones in the garden to attract more wildlife.
If you have an old drain pipe, can you attach it to the wall or fence, add seeds and lard and watch the birds come to feed!
Could you think of ways to make a water saving feature nearby using drain pipes or guttering to catch the rain?

5. Be an energy saving hero

Now that you know what you have in your home that uses electricity, you can check when things are left on that shouldn’t be!

You will need:
A grown up
Sticky labels or paper and pens

With a grown up, walk around the house and check if things have been left on when they are not being used. Maybe someone left a light on in an empty room or cupboard? Maybe someone left the TV or game console on or on standby? (standby is when the appliance is off but has a red light still showing on it). 

Maybe the heating is on, but it is a hot sunny day outside and could be switched off? Perhaps there is a freezer or fridge in the garage that is empty and can be turned off?

Have a chat with your grown up to decide which items should be unplugged or switched off when not in use.

Make some labels for the appliances you found and write 'Turn me off' or 'Keep me on' on them so that everyone knows which are safe to turn off when finished with.

Extension idea: Can you go electricity free for a few hours? Switch the lights off and use candles outside with your grown ups and play games without the lights on!