Recycling & Upcycling

in East African schools

Redearth Education works to transform public school classrooms into inviting and inspiring learning environments for every child.

We help empower local teachers with the skills to create engaging learning aids and resources from free, locally-sourced, recycled materials - such as plastic bottles, cardboard, sugar & rice sacks and banana fibre.

These learning aids, games and activities are crucial in helping engage children in their lessons and improve the quality of their learning. Here are some of the resources we help teachers create and utilise in their classrooms....



Plastic bottles are cut in half to make “bottle lines” which hang across the classroom. A letter or number is placed inside each bottle, which are then used interactively to teach reading and counting. Children can combine individual sounds to make words or they can combine numbers to practice mental arithmetic.

Watch a "bottle line" in action →

Rice & Sugar Sacks

Rice is a staple food in East Africa, and you can find rice sacks wherever you look. Rather than throwing them away, we re-use them to make colourful posters and informative charts for the classroom. We also use them to create durable book covers for books made by the teachers. Books and other reading materials are noticeably missing from most classrooms.


Cardboard is used to make all sorts of fantastic aids that help children become more independent learners. This includes masks for role-play activities, games like bingo, and faux "slates" for children to practice writing on instead of using the mud floors. We even make pretend shops, where children can play & practice their numeracy, language and social skills.


The Redearth team are now experts at building nursery playhouses out of bamboo sticks and dried papyrus reeds - both very versatile. We train local teachers in how to make these upcycled playhouses for their own classrooms. We even decorate the inside, from folds of coloured crape paper to toy radios made from cardboard.

Recycling &

Up-Cycling Challenge

Click here to access our Challenge PDF file