Free Zero Waste Teaching Resources

Aim to educate one million young people globally on the circular economy

Yunus Thailand Foundation, a non-profit organisation co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, has launched a free global education program called “Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero”. The program provides free-to-use teaching resources designed for students from K-12 to university level, focusing on three main pillars: recycling fundamentals, creating zero waste, and building the circular economy. Waste Hero education is available globally with the goal of educating one million young people by 2030.

An Educational Advisory Group consisting of 23 teachers, academics, educators, and zero waste specialists from 17 countries helped guide the creation of 19 lesson plans and activity worksheets. The teaching resources are available in 19 individual lesson plans, organised by education level, and translated into a variety of languages, including Thai, English, Spanish, and Portuguese, with Bahasa Indonesia, Dutch, and other languages to follow.

The “Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero” teaching resources are available for free online and will be distributed by Yunus Thailand in 38 countries, 102 universities, and will create Waste Hero supported 3 Zero Clubs for young people to begin taking action on a global scale. The materials were also tested and validated in classrooms in the United States, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and the United Kingdom.

Prof. Muhammad Yunus stated, “Old roads lead to old destinations. We need to empower young people to build new roads towards a circular economy… By supporting education about the circular economy, we give waste an economic value. This is an opportunity for social business as we de-risk investment in collection, sorting and recycling, with the social and environmental benefits of less waste and cleaner communities.”

The “Waste Hero: Reduce to Zero” teaching resources have been validated by an independent panel of global education experts who concluded that the materials are appropriate for use with learners at different educational levels in diverse contexts globally. The editable design of the materials allows educators the opportunity to contextualise the lessons to fit their local educational and waste management context.

Schools, universities, and interested organisations can access the free teaching resources on the Waste Hero Education website. This new initiative is expected to make a significant impact by educating young people on how to reduce waste and create a more sustainable future.

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