Open Your Eyes to Litter Book Series

The importance of anti-litter education for school-aged children

Posted by BailyO'Brien at 04/25/2024

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Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Open Your Eyes to Litter book series gives children the chance to learn about the impacts and origins of litter and ways to combat the litter issue in a manner that engages them as a reader. After a new piece of information is introduced, it is applied and reinforced in an interactive way. The books establish problem-solving skills through crossword puzzles, math tables and naming/spotting the items. The books apply problem-solving skills to real world situations, which promotes environmental stewardship and consciousness within the child. The series outlines the importance of keeping natural areas clean and provides the children with ways they can become involved in stewardship efforts. Children are encouraged to fill out a survey at the end of select books that allows them to express their feelings/opinions on litter and report on instances of litter in their neighborhood. The interactive aspect allows children to feel personally involved in the effort to minimize litter and gets them interested in the topic.


The first book in the series provides a thorough introduction to litter. It is a great place to start to ease the child’s way into learning about topics such as what is considered litter, who does litter effect, what is biodegradable, where does litter end up and provides ways the child can get involved. The book encourages children to educate their friends on litter and proper disposal practices.


The second book, Our Littered Past, covers the origins of litter and the disposal practices of past civilizations. This selection does a wonderful job in helping children realize that litter is a constant issue that takes every single person individually putting in effort to clean up.


Book three, Think Before You Toss, introduces children to the different methods of disposal. Children see how trash is processed in a landfill. They learn the concepts of reusing and recycling to reduce the amount of trash ending up there. The book also outlines the best methods for children to reuse or recycle their own materials. 


Books four and five, Open Your Eyes to Litter in a Watershed and Keeping Our Greenways Clean, define the terms “watershed” and “greenway” and outlines the negative impacts of litter in waterways/greenways, the harm done to wildlife, and how litter in these areas comes back to harm humans.


Introducing education materials to children at a young age is instrumental in cultivating qualities of environmental stewardship and consciousness as well as volunteerism. This series does a phenomenal job promoting these values and providing children with a thorough introduction to litter and how to combat it through engaging activities. When considering how to introduce these concepts to a child or group of children, Open Your Eyes to Litter provided by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is a great resource to incorporate into the mix!


The books, in English and Spanish, and teacher’s guides are available to download. For more information, visit our website or contact our office 724-836-4121.


Funding for the development of the books was provided by the PA Department of Environmental Protection.