Helpful Tips for Teaching Your Kids about Recycling

Published Nov 7, 2016

You should teach your children not only by speaking to them about recycling and waste removal, but also through your own actions.

You should start teaching your children about recycling and responsible waste disposal at an early age so that they can grow up to be responsible human beings who won’t harm the environment. However, recycling can be rather hard to discuss with younger kids, as the concept may be too abstract for them to grasp.

Here are a few tips that could help you present the concept of recycling to your kids more easily.

  • Discuss the subject of recycling and energy saving with your kids in a way they will understand. For instance, tell them that the amount of energy that is saved by recycling just a single soda can made out of aluminum will be enough to keep a 100-watt light bulb lit for around 20 hours.

  • Designate a place in your home for your recycling bins. Get different colored rubbish disposal bins for the different types of recyclable waste – plastic, paper, glass, metal. Decorate the bins with your kids or play a game of recognizing the symbol on each bin and what it means.

  • Teach your kids to put the waste items the relevant bins, after cleaning them as necessary. Add some incentive by offering them a reward for a certain amount of items deposited for waste recycling.

  • When you are out shopping with your children, point out the products made out of recycled materials and encourage them to read labels in order to check if the product packaging is recyclable. That will teach your kids to look out for green products and packaging.

  • Take a trip to the local recycling depot. This will make for a fun day out and teach your kids about proper waste disposal and recycling. Ask the people at the recycling centre to explain to your children how they recycle things such as light bulbs, batteries, computers and other electronics. This is a good opportunity to tell your kids about the negative effects of irresponsible junk disposal and dumping items that can be recycled into landfills on the environment. If your kid is a bit older, you can also go into details about land pollution and contamination of ground waters, etc.

  • You can also volunteer at the kids’ school for any waste recycling and reduction initiatives they may be participating in, like composting, recycling drives, rubbish-free lunches, etc. Talk with your children about the significance and purpose of such initiatives and encourage participation in them.

  • Try composting at home. If you have a garden, designate a spot for a composting bin where you’ll put food scraps and green waste. You can use a corner of your garage for the purpose too. Encourage your kids to participate in the process and teach them about composting and how compost can be used in the garden. If you don’t have a garden or don’t have any space at home for a composter, research local community gardens that accept green waste and food scraps for composting and take your children out to visit one and learn more about the process of organic waste recycling and its benefits.

These are just a few of the things you can do to teach your kids about recycling and proper rubbish disposal. You can also encourage them to collect glass bottles and aluminum cans for recycling, but be sure to supervise them when depositing bottles into the glass container so that they don’t suffer any cuts or injuries. Children should be taught about the adverse effects of treating waste irresponsibly and start learning about how and what should be recycled from a young age.

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