One of the core tenets of Trick or Trash™, Rubicon’s annual recycling and education campaign designed to help reduce the waste that accumulates every year around Halloween, is to provide recycling education to all.

To set educators up for success in teaching about recycling, Rubicon has created a list of downloadable lesson plans designed for students ages K-12. Lists of recommended reading materials have also been compiled for colleges and universities.

Rubicon’s Trick or Trash-themed lessons introduce students to new terms, phrases, and ideas about the circular economy that can be integrated into any curriculum, and provide fun, interactive, critical thinking exercises with the goal of helping children understand recycling and why it is important to the health of our planet. Additionally, recommended readings are available to students in older age groups who want to gain a more in-depth understanding of the circular economy.

Educators looking to make lessons more fun and engaging can also use Trick or Trash to encourage friendly competition between classrooms, homerooms, or grade levels! Additionally, as students involve friends and family in their candy wrapper collection efforts, they bring home with them the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom and inspire others to prioritize recycling all year-round. To this end, some of the most successful implementations of Trick or Trash have engaged the broader school community by hosting boxes in assemblies, working with parent organizations, or featuring the box during Halloween celebrations such as “Trunk or Treat” events.

Once collected and brought to school, wrappers can be put straight into the box or be the focal point of other classroom activities. We’ve seen some great counting and sorting-related bar graphs come out of STEM classes! Additionally, some classes weigh their wrappers and boxes regularly, “racing” to be the first class that fills a box up for return shipment. By combining the hands-on activity of collecting wrappers with educational lessons, exercises, and video content, students come away from Trick or Trash feeling informed and empowered.

Finally, for students who may be inspired to take further action and make a greater change, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a program called Eco-Schools USA, in which student-led “Eco-Action” teams work with their schools to create new guidelines that encourage and implement more environmentally friendly practices and behavior. Over 5,500 schools have joined the program so far, each making small-scale changes that add up to an outstanding effort towards the preservation of our planet.

If you are interested in learning more about how Rubicon helps schools and businesses keep candy wrappers out of landfills, please take a look at the Trick or Trash website and and its library of downloadable content, or email We look forward to schools around the country joining us for what promises to be another great Trick or Trash season!

Katie Kinnear is Director of Engagement Strategy at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.