How can we deal with the growing problem of waste and pollution? That’s the question that research firm Latitude asked 270 children aged 8 to 13. The results may not give environmentalists much to work on but they certainly tell us a lot about how kids think about technology and the world around them.

Below are some of our favorite solutions devised by the children. You can find the full ‘Trash to Treasure’ report here [PDF].

Today’s children will one day live in a world where robots do many forms of menial and manual labor. This girl won’t be phased by that.


If a forthcoming wave of robots is going to steal our jobs, we might as well feed them trash during their lunch break.


This next one sounds outlandish but maybe a 3D printing could be combined with recycling?


This might not be physically possible, but we like the way this girl is thinking.


Space pollution, anyone? It would certainly shift the problem away from Earth.


Not all the suggestions were so ‘out there’, some were down-to-Earth and practical. This one sounds a bit like Groupon precursor Tipping Point.


Latitiude founder and president Steve Mushkin notes, “These kids’ ideas, while fantastical at times, suggest real possibilities for innovative companies and organizations, academic institutions, and governments to invent smarter products and technologies, educate people, and redesign the consumption-waste experience.”

We’ve covered some of Latitude’s previous journeys into children’s imaginations, too. Check out: