About this Collection


This is an alternative version of the activity What’s the best way to protect the environment? designed to find out about the impact of our choices specifically in relation to consumption and waste.

What do I want to find out?

What pupils think and know about the impact of our choices on the environment, the connections between local environmental actions and global impacts, and their own willingness to take action for the environment.

In this adaptation, use a set of nine cards for each group, with one of the following statements:

Re-use Recycle Reclaim
Re-charge Re-fill Reduce
Refuse (say no!) Re-think Repair

What do I do?
Timing: 10 minutes

  • With pupils in small groups of four or five, ask them to look at the statements.
  • Give a short explanation of any card the pupils don’t understand.
  • Ask the pupils, what is the best way to deal with waste? Ask the pupils to arrange the nine cards into a diamond pattern with the most important at the top and the least important at the bottom. The position of the cards can be moved around until the group is agreed on the ranking.
  • Note pupils’ comments and discussions as they do the activity.
  • Once consensus has been reached, record the position of each card. Photographing them is a quick and easy method to record their position.

How do I analyse the results?

  • Score the results as follows for each group: cards placed in the top position get a score of 9, the second row a score of 7, then 5, 3 and finally, the card in the bottom position gets a score of 1. 

How do I measure the change?

  • Use alternative cards with the same criteria as for the baseline activity, or use the Re-Activity to measure change.
  • Compare the extent to which pupils’ understanding of the impact on the environment has increased. Are they more likely to rank high priority actions at the top of the diamond, and low priority actions at the bottom than in the baseline? Do their comments and discussions indicate a greater willingness to take action?
  • Note whether pupils are better able to discuss the intricacies of each statement and understand multiple reasons and differing viewpoints on each.
  • Observe whether they make connections between consumption and waste by choosing to place statements such as Only buy what you need or Buy products with less packaging moving to the top of the diamond.