When I was in high school I was on the fore front of making reycling mainstream, soon it took off and now people expect it. Now I think that we can use recyclable materials in school to teach creativity.
On Treehugger TV they have a couple videos that show how an interior designer used recycled materials to create a modern eclectic space that is eco-friendly.
Currently in one of my 7th grade classes we are making board games out of recycled materials that serve as an educational tool on earthday. I am hoping in the process the students learn a little about the environment while learning to creatively think about "trash". We'll see.