Considering how much waste Brits go through every day, and collectively as a year, it is having a catastrophic impact on the natural environment. And what’s most important is teaching our younger and future generation the importance of recycling and waste removal. When we recycle, we reduce the pollution caused by waste, we reduce the need for raw materials and we use much less energy which helps preserve natural resources.
Children are very likely to pick up the habit of recycling and the importance of being considerate towards nature if taught from an early age. For kids, it’s easy to put their cartoon of orange juice in the bin, or on the floor when mum and dad aren’t watching, but if they are taught using fun and interactive methods to recycle and clean up after themselves, they will carry it through to adulthood.
Here are some top tips for you as a parent to help you show to your child/children how important it is to recycle.
Get your child to read about recycling
There are many books surrounding this subject that are targeted to children, to teach them hidden morals about important aspects of life, but in a child-friendly way. With colourful pictures that will grab their attention, these books will speak their language by using words that are easy for them to understand. They will learn about the concept of recycling and throwing away things that are broken or no longer needed. The book will highlight the importance and benefits of rubbish, and how to do it properly and perhaps something the kids will find fun.
Inspiration is key
It’s time to demonstrate. But your role as a parent is simply to always inspire and demonstrate to your children the way of the world, no matter their age. your child will follow your lead and if they can see you are recycling, they will do the same. They will ask you questions like ‘which bin does this go in’, or ‘Mummy I want to eat a banana’, to which you can respond ‘make sure to put it in the green bin’. And if you stick to it, they will automatically know the answer when opening something.
Make it a fun activity
Teach them that recycling is not a burden by turning it into a game. Children enjoy tossing all sorts of objects around, so try putting the bin on a table or somewhere high for them to be able to play a little ‘basketball’ game. But make sure you secure the bin properly or supervise them so when they play, they avoid any potential injury. You can also play a game with the colours of the recycling bins, such as green, blue and brown, where they must match household items to the bin colour. You could even go as far as asking them to create a shopping basket of items that would be suitable for each bin type.
Use recyclables to create art
This is a great idea if you like playing artistic and DIY games with your child. You can use a plastic bottle to paint on it and turn it into a vase or you can make beautiful decorations out of thin cardboard by cutting it into shapes and hanging them in their room. This will not only be a lot of fun but also a valuable lesson. And the joy of being artful, is that you’re not only being friendly to the environment, you will be keeping your children away from technology and never-ending hours in front of the television, which for any parent is a bonus.
Hire a rubbish removal company or have a chat with the bin men
Companies such as KwikSweep work with people that are specialised in the art of recycling and they will be the best at explaining what happens with the trash after it leaves your home, about the process of decomposing, and the negative effect of carbon dioxide which is let off into the air.