Recycling is more important than ever and with our future generations at stake, it’s important to teach them to care for the planet. Here’s how to do it:
#1 – Talk about the three R’s. Children like thins explained in a way they understand and the three R’s will be easy for them to remember – they are Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.
Reuse – Show your children how they can reuse common items. Give examples throughout your day and say things like “don’t throw away that yogurt pot because we can reuse it to sow our seeds.” Giving small examples throughout the day will help your kids develop their own concepts of how to resuse common household items.
Reduce – Explain the important or reducing waste in the first place. Let your kids know that although recycling is the better option, the very best option for the planet is to reduce the amount of waste they produce. Show them that they don’t really need so many things, give examples of how people have lived with very little in the past and been absolutely fine. This will help your children think things through and hopefully get them to develop a “reduce” mentality throughout their lvies.
Recycle – Set up an easy to manage and clear recycling system in your home. Have a section for glass, metal, cardboard, paper, and even food waste. Make it extra easy for your kids to recycle and make it fun. You can color code the boxes and give your kids positive feedback when they do recycle.
#2 – Take them to the environmental center. Many cities have set up educational centers at the local garbage tip. These are perfectly safe and clean to visit and can really make an impact on kids and adults alike. Here you can see exactly how much waste is being produced in your local area, what it costs the government to fund waste removal and how you can do your part to reduce the amount of waste produced in your household.
#3 – Add fun “green” items to your garden. Kids love to garden and be outdoors, make recycling fun in the garden. You can build a rain water collector, a compost heap and get a wormery too. Wormeries are great fun for kids, educational and a great way to get rid of your food waste – not to mention getting fantastic casting for your plants and vegetables. Wormeries range in price but setting one up is well worth it. You can then get your kids to put all the daily food scraps into it and see how the worms turn it into worm casting which can then be used as a super-potent and natural fertilizer in the garden.
There are many fun and educational ways to introduce recycling into your garden. It’s a fantastic opportunity to teach kids about the planet while having fun together too.
#4 – Set a positive example. The main thing you can do to teach your kids about recycling is to set a positive example in the first place. Talk to your kids about your feelings and thoughts about the planet. Build empathy in them by explaining how simple things like using too much water and resources affect everyone in the world. Give age appropriate examples of children in other countries who don’t have water or of natural disasters occurring because of global warming. Of course, you don’t want to scare them so keep it simple and to the point.
Also talk to your kids about what you’re doing. If you’re sorting items for recycling let the know why. If you’re reusing an item let them know. If you feel a certain item at the stores has too much packaging and don’t want to buy it for that reason let them know
Setting a good example for your kids and talking to them about these important issues is the one sure way to ensure a greener future for us all.