We all aim to teach our kids good habits from a young age, so why shouldn’t recycling be one? Household waste is a huge contributor to environmental damage, and with landfill sites across the nation reaching full capacity, there has never been a more important time to recycle. If we can show our youngsters the benefit of recycling, then we are nurturing a very important habit for them to keep as they grow up.
At Skip Hire UK, we are proud of our impressive recycling rates from our waste collection services, and budget skips we’ve come up with a few great tips for teaching kids how to be greener.
In order to make your kids more likely to recycle, then you should think about why you are doing it in the first place. For example, why not take a walk in your local park and explain how the trees are used to make paper, so to protect the trees we need to recycle our paper instead of putting it into the ordinary bin?
While recycling is one of the most important issues in modern society, explaining it to kids doesn’t have to be a difficult process; by using simple associations, you can communicate the benefits of recycling with your children effectively, in a way that they can understand. There are plenty of online videos, books and other resources which are targeted specifically at youngsters, so put some time aside and talk them through it before you get started.
This simple recycling trick can go a long way — if you simply add labels to your bins, then you are instantly showing your children that there is a difference between ordinary household waste and recyclable products. Have a bit of fun with it by letting them design the labels or have them assign certain colours to the recycling bin. This will encourage your kids to distinguish between their rubbish, choosing what can and cannot be recycled based from the label recognition. Once they’ve designed the labels, quiz them about what each material is that they’re throwing away and have them decide which bin it should go in.
Visit a recycling facility
Whether you are simply visiting the bigger industrial bins usually located at supermarkets, or an actual recycling centre, by giving your kids a visual experience you can enhance their understanding of the process. The benefits of visiting an actual recycling facility can really bring the whole process to life, as your kids can apply their own curiosity and ask questions about the machinery, learning how the items that they recycle begin their journey through the facility. Most facilities will welcome visitors, sharing industry knowledge and explaining more about the benefits of recycling waste.
Bring your rubbish to life
Part of recycling is reusing or giving products a new purpose when you are finished with them. Why not gather up items such as milk bottles, paper cups, and cardboard boxes and challenge your children to get creative? Make a DIY toy or even a bird feeder, and it could really help to engrain the value of abandoning throwaway culture in favour of a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. These recycling projects give your children a first–hand experience of understanding that not all rubbish is only fit for the waste bin. Another great idea is composting, as it puts recycling and reusing into practice while also getting your kids outdoors for fresh air. Use banana and orange peel and explain to your children that these materials can become the soil to help other plants grow.
Acknowledge your child’s recycling efforts by putting a reward system in place. For example, introduce a star chart and add to it each time your kids choose to recycle an item. By recognising their efforts, you are encouraging them to recycle more, which is the aim. Add a treat into the equation so that for when they have got a certain number of stars, they get a reward. Place the star chart in your kitchen, so that they can see how they’re doing and meet their recycling goals!
People of all ages should be recycling household products where possible. Parents should lead by example for their youngsters, establishing good recycling habits for greener homes.