Nature Challenge: Trash or Treasure

One person's trash is another person's treasure. Try this nature challenge, download the activities to add to your Nature Notebook, and see if you can make something useful out of rubbish.

Take part in this Nature Challenge activity to find out what rubbish does to our environment and how trash can be reused.

You can make a Nature Notebook and complete the mini-challenges in your notebook, or just use a regular piece of paper.

I spy rubbish…

How many of the following can you spot on a walk?

  • Plastic bags
  • Drinks cans
  • Crisp packets
  • Paper coffee cups
  • Chocolate wrappers
  • Takeaway boxes
  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic bottles



Could you go zero waste for a week? Write down your ideas to reduce, reuse or recycle the things your family buys.

Garbage gatherers

Rubbish isn’t just bad for people, it’s also a problem for animals.

Sea turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and eat them. This can block their airways and sometimes they die.

Sea birds can also mistake rubber bands for worms. They get tangled up in their stomachs and cause lots of problems.

Hedgehogs are very curious and will try to eat almost anything. They have been found with their heads stuck in tins, yoghurt pots and plastic cups.


Go on a walk and see if you can spot some local wildlife, maybe a bird or an insect, or perhaps something bigger!

Describe them in your notebook, and try to draw them.

Make treasure out of trash

Some children in South Africa used to make their own toys from bottle tops, old clothes and wire. Now tourists buy them.

The hat in the image below is made from old plastic bags, which were cut up into long thin strips and then woven together.

A toy giraffe in our Handling collection is made from recycled flip-flops in Kenya. The company Ocean Sole uses discarded flip-flops washed up on beaches.


Can you create something amazing from the things you normally throw away?

Look around your home. In your Nature Notebook, write down all the different things you could use to make something amazing.

Make sure everything is empty and clean first!