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As teams are identifying trash-related problems for the FIRST® LEGO® League Project and getting ready to attend tournaments, here are just a few ideas to help you incorporate the TRASH TREK Challenge into your event experience.  Can you think of more?

  • There’s a fun tradition at many Tournaments for teams to hand out small gifts to other teams, often known as “swag.” As you think about items to share with other teams consider:  How quickly will this item end up in the trash?  Can we choose a useful item?  Can our item be recycled or made from something recycled?
  • Instead of bringing many copies of printed handouts, you could put them on a web page. Post a QR code to help people get there.
  • When creating handouts, reduce the size and quantity. For example, hand out business cards that direct people to the full handouts on a website.
  • If you plan to hand out swag items, what is your team’s goal in doing so? Do you simply want to interact with other teams?  If so, you could go around the pits giving high-fives to everyone you see.  If you’re hoping to share information, can you do that with little or no waste?
  • Many teams create elaborate pit decorations for tournaments. Could you use recycled materials?  How can you make sure your decorations are recycled at the end of the tournament?
  • Plan ahead for judging. Check with your tournament organizer on the specific requirements for your event. Is a Poster the best way to communicate your information?  If so, instead of creating a paper poster, make a digital one.  Remember to find out if there will be a projector available or bring your own and have a back-up plan, such as having a few small printed copies to hand to Judges.  If you prefer a paper poster, can you make it using recycled materials?  Remember to recycle your poster when you are done with it. FIRST LEGO League encourages you to reduce or eliminate the handouts you give to Judges.
  • How can you reduce the trash created at lunch?
  • Are there recycling bins available at your tournament? If not, consider taking your recyclable trash home to get recycled rather than throwing it away.

If you have not already explored the TRASH TREK resources on the FIRST LEGO League website for ideas and inspiration, be sure to check them out now.

Let us know how YOUR team is taking the lessons learned from TRASH TREK and applying it to YOUR local event. Share what you are planning at fllteams@usfirst.org.