Book guide: The Garbage Heroes

Sort trash, recycle and become a trash hero!

An ice cream paper on the ground and a piece of glass. Where should they be? And who takes care of our trash and turns it into new things? Join us down into the bin and meet Cool Compost, Magical Metal, Squishy Cardboard, Glittery Glass and Peppy Plastic.

Questions about garbage

Have you seen any trash? What was it and where did you see the junk?

Have you seen an adult throw trash on the ground? What can we do if we see someone littering?

What can we do if we have a litter but there is no bin?

Exercise: What do you think animals think about litter? Pretend you are birds and talk to each other about what you think birds think about litter. Change animals and become worms, what do they think of garbage?

Become a junk hero - play junk hunt!

Print the Garbage Heroes face mask, one mask for each child. Let each child color their own mask. If you want, you can talk about what magical ability you would have if you were a junk hero.

Put on the masks, bring garbage bags and gloves and go out and look for trash. Set the timer for 30 minutes and see how much trash you can find! Take a photo of the trash and send it to the local newspaper or share it on social media.

Junk Hero Mask


How long does it take for trash to disappear? How long does it take for an apple powder to decompose? How long does it take for a newspaper to mult? How long does it take for a prank to break down? How long does it take for a diaper to break down?

Draw together! Look at the pictures next to each junk hero in the book and see if you can recognize the different things that the junk heroes can recycle. Take a large piece of paper for each junk hero; cardboard, compost, metal, plastic and glass and draw together. If you want, each child can draw on a separate piece of paper.

What kind of things can paper and cardboard become if they are recycled? What can food scraps become if we recycle them? What can metal become if it is recycled? What can plastic be recycled and become? What can recycled glass become?

What is circular thinking?

In order to cope with the climate crisis, we must change and start thinking circularly: that everything is connected and forms a cycle. Instead of seeing trash as something we throw away, we recycle it so it can become new things. In a circular economy, resources are retained in society's cycle instead of becoming waste. Sweden's government and parliament decided in 2020 that Sweden will change and become a circular economy.

About littering

As of January 1, 2022, littering is prohibited - it costs SEK 800 to throw a piece of trash, chewing gum, glass, paper or any other trash on the ground. SEK 800 is roughly the same as eight pizzas! In June 2020, the first national litter survey was carried out in Sweden. During one week, 35 million items of rubbish were thrown on the ground in Sweden, weighing 60 tonnes. Think how much rubbish there is in a year! More than a million birds and hundreds of thousands of mammals die every year in the world after eating or getting stuck in garbage. Littering is a big problem. The trash harms animals and nature and it costs society a lot of money to pay people to pick up the trash and to sort the trash. Time that we could instead spend growing berries, vegetables and fruits or investing in other things that make us have a cozier local environment.

Environment and climate crisis

In 2022, children and young people are suing the Swedish state because they are failing in their work with the climate. The Swedish state does not take into account children and young people's right to life, health and development in accordance with the European Convention, the Form of Government and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In several countries, children have sued the state for lack of climate action, and the children have won against the state.

The climate crisis is acute and we must find new ways to relate to nature and the earth's resources, and thus change our way of life and our consumption patterns. We all have a responsibility to get involved in the environment and climate so that we can change together for a sustainable future.

The preschool curriculum

"A positive belief in the future must characterize education. The education should give the children the opportunity to acquire an ecological and careful approach to their surrounding environment and to nature and society. The children must also be given the opportunity to develop knowledge about how the various choices that people make can contribute to sustainable development - both economically and socially as well as environmentally." Lpfö 2018