One go-to place for students to learn is My Garbology. The website opens with a clickable kid-sized quiz filled with an assortment of animated fun facts. Along the way, you need to sort out where the banana, the plastic bottle, and more should be deposited: compost, reuse, recycle, or landfill. Many of those facts and figures you click upon are startling in their statistics. Definitely good food for thought, and you will encounter a challenge or two along the way. There are also links to parents, students, and teachers, as well as many other resources on their site.
Another place to take notice of our over-consumption & garbage is the arts. Namely, the photography of Gregg Segal. In his bio, Gregg details how he was taking pictures of his neighbor's garbage with his new camera at the age of 11. Early on, he had a vision of how garbage had an artistic quality about it. At the very least, he knew photography could capture a story worth telling, revealing volumes about our cultural values and beliefs. His work has been featured in many well-known publications
Some of his garbage/over-consumption series include:
7 Days of Garbage
Essential questions such as "where does the garbage go?" and "What happens when that space is maxed out?" were driving forces that led to this series of Gregg's. Especially when you consider that Joe "Average" American can self-generate approximately 29 pounds of garbage a week. Photographing this personalizes it and definitely brings the problem home. This series also brings home the idea that companies need to figure out a way to help with the excessiveness and build in their own circular construct of recycling to help the product go "cradle to grave"--from creation to safe and proper disposal.
To investigate some of his other thought-provoking series, check out his website!
Garbology definition from a google websearch https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=garbology+defined; "My Garbology" image from http://educade.org/lesson_plans/brainstorm-sustainable-activities-with-my-garbology; Greg Segal's images from his website: http://www.greggsegal.com/projects.php