Recycling is not typically a topic that kids get excited about. The good news is, there are ways in which we can approach it that will get them more engaged.
Break it down to their level
We’ve all seen those horrifying images of entire islands covered in trash, like the one below. That’s a good place to start in order to help children grasp the importance of the task at hand.
Conduct a waste audit
Take a look, together, at what your trash consists of. Determine the materials used, and look up the length of time it takes for each piece to break down in the environment. Come up with ways in which you can reduce, reuse or recycle in order to shrink down a typical week’s waste.
In addition, this video is a great summary of what happens to our recycling once it gets picked up by waste management.
Participate in the one bag challenge
Make a conscious team effort to toss as little as possible into the trash this week. Decide upon a fun incentive to reward yourselves, if you are able to accomplish this goal. Some ideas are a meal at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, or a visit to a local attraction.
Create a unique sorting system
Decorate your bins to look like monsters or some other fun theme they are into. Label them according to how they need to be separated for your city’s waste collection unit. Include images for younger children who can’t yet read. Create an “other” bin for items that can be repurposed or recycled in other ways (i.e. grocery bags, batteries).
In addition, gardeners can save their produce scraps, eggshells and coffee grinds in a bucket under their sink to be used to fertilize their soil. This link will tell you more about that.
Turn your trash into something useful
During the week, use items from your repurpose or “other” bin to create fun crafts together as a family. Check out my pinterest link for some awesome bird feeders just in time for spring!
Get older children involved
If you have older children, get them involved by sending them on a hunt for information regarding where things like grocery bags, batteries, phones and other electronics can be dropped off. Earth 911’s website is a great place to get them started.
Clean up the areas that bring you joy
Schedule a family outing to your favorite park, beach, or other natural environment, for a recycling scavenger hunt. Discuss the effect of trash on the wildlife and natural beauty there.
Check out some environmental books
Your local library should have a variety of kid-friendly books to help get your environmental message across. The Little Green Books series is a great place to start
Give them a sense of power & responsibility
Your kids’ environment is their future potential for a peaceful and enjoyable well-being. Inspire within them the idea that they indeed do have the power to make the world a better place, and not only that, it is their responsibility to take part.
How do you get your kids to care about the environment and recycling?
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