Make Recycling a Family Affair

It wasn’t long ago that recycling seemed like a choice. You were either someone who made the effort to do it or you weren’t  But with our natural resources becoming increasingly scarce, and our planet overwhelmed with toxic waste, recycling is no longer a choice but something each one of us must commit to for the long haul.

If we want our kids to be environmentally-conscious adults, then we have to teach them the significance of recycling while they’re young. Fortunately getting them involved in recycling can be fun and easy.

Who’s in Charge?
Every kid likes feeling they’re in charge, so assign one recycling task to each child. For example, someone will be in charge of paper and cardboard, someone else in charge of collecting aluminum cans, and make another child responsible for glass bottles and jars. Depending on the ages of your children, make sure the recycling bins are low enough for them to reach, and consider using pictures to label what goes inside each.

Get Crafty
Why not get creative and have the whole family decorate the recycling containers? Consider using paint or wallpaper to decorate them, or maybe even stickers. For bins that will be placed inside the home, let the kid’s imagination rule. As for recycling that is collected curbside, make sure any decorated bins meet local regulations.
You can also use some of the recyclable material itself for crafts. For instance, let your kids select a few of the different colored bottles and jars out of the bin and use these in a mosaic project around the house. Perhaps one week a few cans could be made into candle holders. Make sure to wash the cans very well and then simply punch holes in the sides in a random pattern to let the candlelight escape.

Let Kids Observe the Process
Find a local recycling plant and take the kids on a field trip so they can see what happens to all of the bottles and cans that they’ve helped to collect. Knowing where these items go and what happens to them after they leave your home is a great way for kids to learn the importance of recycling.

Make a Day of It
Kids will look forward to recycling day if you make it extra fun. If Saturday is your day to collect and bin all of your recyclables, then perhaps every Saturday morning after the job is done, the whole family could go out for a special breakfast.

Teach your kids early that recycling isn’t a chore. It’s an important commitment to help keep our planet safe and healthy. And besides, recycling can be a lot of fun, too!

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