There are many ways to instill good recycling habits in your children as they grow and learn about the world. By starting young, you will be sure you’re helping your child be a good steward of the planet. Here are some tips on how to establish household recycling habits with your children.
Introduce and Explain Why Recycling Matters
Introducing your child to recycling can start before your child is in school. You can use simple craft projects using recycled materials to get your child to start recycling in a fun way. Once your child is in school, you will want to make sure your at-home recycling efforts complement what your child is learning at school.
If your child is part of the 10% of all PK-12 students attending private schools, then your child is probably learning quite a bit about recycling. Since not all children can attend private schools, it is important to set up a process for at-home recycling if your local public school doesn’t have a robust recycling program.
Set Up Labeled Recycling Bins In Your Garage
A simple way to keep up your recycling habits and improve as recycling technologies get better and more efficient is to set up recycling bins in your garage. This can be part of a green home project to make your home eco-friendlier. Start when your child is young by color-coding your recycling bins based on the common standards in your community, such as blue for paper, yellow for plastic and cans, black for items to donate, and brown for non-recyclable waste. Once your child is older, you can use the bins to encourage their reading ability by labeling the bins with words as well.
Sort Through Old Items In Your Home Together
An important part of recycling is donating items that are still in good condition but are going unused in your home. As part of your daily clean-up after playtime, you can ask your children if they have any toys they want to donate and have them put their toys into the donation bin. It is not hard to find places that take these donations; in fact, you can add to the 3.5 billion daily Google searches by searching for donation centers in your closest city or town. You can drop off your items at Goodwill or put them in donation boxes located in many grocery store parking lots.
Be Creative and Make It Fun!
You can start by crafting with recycled materials as an early way to get children interested in recycling. You could turn your donation bin into a competition or reward center where, if your child is willing to donate five items in a week, then they get to choose the next plant to go into your garden. When out on a walk with your child, you can make it a game to collect the most recyclables to put in your bins and whoever has the most gets a “Top Recycler” badge or sticker.
Show Your Kids How It’s Done
Kids imitate their parents, so if you are recycling, then they will too! Make sure to rinse out and clean alcohol bottles in private, such as the Bourbon you purchased from Kentucky, which crafts 95% of the world’s supply of the beverage. However, be sure to show your kids how to rinse out, clean, and recycle common household items in the kitchen, such as empty cans and empty juice and milk jugs. By showing your kids how to recycle and making it a common occurrence in your home, you can show your kids that you can have a good time while keeping the environment in mind.
It is important to get your children recycling at a young age so that it becomes part of their daily routine. Starting at an early age allows your child to see it as a normal and expected part of being a responsible citizen.