teaching kids how to recycle over the summer vacation

We have all heard the saying, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, but actions speak louder than words. Recycling is in a serious crisis, whether we realize it or not. Although it is a fairly common procedure, nine-tenths of all solid waste in the United States does not get recycled. If we want our kids to live happy and healthy lives, it is important to teach them to be responsible citizens and understand the benefits of being environmentally friendly. The skills your children will learn from recycling will help create a sustainable lively earth moving forward. This summer, schedule some time to teach your kids how to recycle. Use these tips below to make recycling seem fun while still being effective.

Make Recycling Bins Around the House

Think of the basic categories that make it easy to identify certain materials that we recycle. For example, “Paper”, “Plastic”, “Cardboard”, “Glass”, etc. You can go through pieces of waste together and have your child choose which material they think it is and which bin it belongs to. Explain how important it is to separate the items for easier processing at the recycling facility. Keep it simple and light-hearted, especially if they are just learning about the concept of recycling.

Donate Toys and Clothes

Instead of throwing out old toys and clothes that go unused in your home, donating is a great way to teach your kids the benefits and importance of reusing different items. Go through your child’s room with them and have them choose which items they don’t want anymore. Bring them to a donation center and let them participate in the act of giving back to the community. While practicing recycling, this activity also fosters charity work. 

Pick Up Litter

It is equally as important to be conscious of our choices outside of our home. A service project is another great way to teach your children to be environmentally aware. Take them to a public park or side street in your neighborhood. Leave the house prepared with trash bags and gloves, and be sure to throw recyclable litter in a proper bin! Also, be sure that your children don’t pick up dangerous items – such as sharp glass or cigarette butts. 

Practice Upcycling

Make recycling fun for your children! A popular practice in classroom settings for teaching important lessons is to introduce them using games or crafts. Show your kids how easy it is to repurpose common items in your house by making it enjoyable, yet educational. Some ideas may include: 

  • Making bird feeders out of old cartons
  • Building puzzles out of cereal boxes
  • Using plastic bottles as cups for writing utensils or paint brushes 

Let your child be creative by having them come up with their own upcycling ideas as well!

Lead by Example

One of the most effectual ways that children learn is by example. When parents, teachers, coaches, etc. exhibit responsible behavior, kids tend to observe and imitate those actions. The earlier good habits are ingrained, the more likely they will be implemented in their daily lives. Showing young people how important it is to take care of the environment by practicing recycling is the key to ensuring a sustainable world for future generations!

Learn More About Recycling Services by Cali Carting

Cali Carting is a family-owned full-service solid waste and recycling company located in Kearny, New Jersey. We are proud to serve your community by offering a variety of waste management services. At Cali Carting, we believe in the power of recycling and do everything we can to make recycling easy for you and your children. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with all your recycling needs!

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