If there’s one thing it’s crucial to teach the next generation, it’s the importance of caring for our world. If Greta Thunberg has taught us anything, it's that children have an important voice too. At schools, nurseries and homes, it's encouraging to see a focus on reusing and recycling goods, to minimise our global footprint.
It's great that these values are being taught from a young age, so that recycling and minimising waste is the norm.
How to teach kids to recycle:
- Make rubbish fun
It’s possible! Get yourself a collection of bins in different colours, say blue for papers, white for plastics and red for general rubbish. Make a game out of it with your child, by asking them which one their rubbish should go in, and reward them with stickers when they get it right.
- Recycle Toys
Once a year, and maybe just before Christmas, sit down with your child and invite them to pick out the toys they no longer use. Tell them that these toys will go to a new loving home, to children less fortunate than themselves. You might want to encourage them to do this by taking them to a charity shop to drop them off, so they can see the positive difference they are making.
- Take a trip to the dump
When kids see first-hand how products are disposed of, and how they can take on a second life, it gives them a greater appreciation for their possessions. Take your child to your nearest dump or recycling centre next time you’re going.
- Reuse at playtime
The pizza box from last night makes a great canvas for painting, the shoe box from their latest sneakers doubles up as great storage for toys, and old bottles can be cut in half to use as paint pots. Give everyday items a second life and encourage your child to think about ways they can be more mindful of reusing items.
- Be the example
If leading by example is important, there's a few everyday things we can do. For instance, using alternatives to plastic straws, reusing plastic bags and carrying a bag with us to prevent buying more disposable plastics.
- Reusable Plastic Plates
The repercussions of single-use plastics have been well publicised in recent years. Instead of using disposable plastic plates, whether for kids parties or picnics, try and opt for reusable kids plates that have a long shelf-life.
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