Litter Free School Zone

The Litter Free School Zone is a program for students, clubs, classes, and even whole schools to keep their school zone litter free. Keeping their school grounds litter free is an easy and fun way for students to work together, learning valuable community leadership and responsibility skills, and gain a respect for the environment and world around them.

The Litter Free School Zone is introduced to your school by Keep Knoxville Beautiful with a class discussion format presentation about litter. During this discussion we will learn exactly what litter is, why people litter, why should we prevent litter, how we can prevent litter, and how the Litter Free School Zone program works.

The Zero and One Club

Keep Knoxville Beautiful strongly encourages students to join the Zero and One Club. To join the Zero and One Club, students volunteer to produce "zero" litter and pick up "one" piece of litter every day. The club is based on individuals making "one small step toward a litter free community." If a single classroom of 25 students participates in one day they will pick up 25 pieces of litter, in one month they will pick up 750 pieces of litter and in one year they will pick up 10,950 pieces of litter. That is a huge impact on litter for such a small part of the population!

These programs, combined with the Talking Tree and Youth Advisory Board provide litter-prevention and introductory environmental education to students in all grades.

Minimum Requirements From the School

  • There must be a designated faculty/staff member to be the contact person.
  • A student group (science class, environmental or service club, multiple classes, etc.) must agree to be responsible for implementing the program.
  • Students must conduct periodic cleanups of the campus.
  • Recyclable (must be clean, etc.) items must be separated from collected litter and taken to a recycling collection center.
  • Report graffiti to appropriate school officials.
  • At least one school event must be litter-free - such as a sports events, assemblies, field trips, etc.
  • Report activities in school publications, bulletin board, website, etc.
  • Report the results of these activities to Keep Knoxville Beautiful.
  • Keep Knoxville Beautiful Provides

  • A Litter-Free Schools manual with plenty of tips for making the program work.
  • Clean up supplies such as heavy gloves and litterbags.
  • An attractive Litter-Free School sign when minimum program requirements have been met.
  • Presentations about litter-prevention, source reduction, buying recycled, composting, and many other topics.
  • A speaker and material for in-service training.
  • Make periodic inspections (by your invitation) of the Litter Free School Zone.
  • Provide certificates of appreciation to all students involved.
  • For More Information
    Please contact the staff of Keep Knoxville Beautiful for the Litter Free School Zone at 865.521.6957 or We would be more than happy to talk or meet with you to work out a time that is suitable for your classes or to discuss a lesson plan suitable for your students.

    The Talking Tree

    The Talking Tree is a person in a tree suit who comes to talk to your class about the importance of trees to both humans and the environment. In addition, the “Tree” discusses the importance of taking care of our community rather than trashing it. The Talking Tree offers a variety of environmental education lessons designed and developed around your specific needs and age groups, including tree parts riddle games, pretend you’re a tree games, as well as out-loud readings from children’s books.

    The program generally lasts from 25-40 minutes. We can customize it for you!

    For more information call Keep Knoxville Beautiful at 521-6957.

  • Educate- Teach young children about their local environment, how nature impacts them, and fun and easy ways they can make good environmental choices.
  • Experience- The Talking Tree program offers a fun and exciting opportunity for environmental education through games, crafts, puppets, speakers, or multimedia presentations.
  • Expand- Keep Knoxville Beautiful is committed to working with educators to tailor unique presentations based on age ranges and curriculum topics of focus.

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