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Challenge: Walking the Talk

Recycling with kids – easy tips to get them involved!

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Recycling with children is incredibly valuable to do, and an excellent idea to improve as parents and teachers. Kids will understand that recycling goes beyond only having a second trash bin. By repurposing things before launching them away, kids will learn that creating new items from recycled ones takes less power and fewer resources than making goods from brand new materials.

Best Tactics for getting children inspired about recycling

1. Composting

Give kids the role of family compost director. If you have a family compost box in the backyard or a worm garden or even some hens, kids can help to get kitchen trash in a special bucket or tabletop container with a lid and bring them out to the backyard bin or feed the worms and hens. Speak about what can go in the compost box and what shouldn’t. They can also accumulate leaves, plants and other green stuff from outside to also put in the compost container. Give your compost director a child-sized rake and shovel to assist with their leading role.

2. Share old stuff

Assist children to go through their toys and outfits every 4 months and take some things they no longer apply to give to the local op stores. Use this as an idea to talk about recycling things and toys so that others can reuse and enjoy them too. With more aged kids you can talk about how some children aren’t as fortunate as them and often require to rely on the help of others to provide essentials they take for given like warm clothing and toys.

3. Sell old mobile phones

Mobile phones include a range of elements including metals, plastics and several expensive components - such as silver - which can be removed and re-used. There are a growing number of opportunities for recycling and re-using old mobile phones.

According to current mobile phone recycling in the UK statistics, 46% of people recycle mobile phones. This includes using or giving it away or using phone recyclers where you can sell your mobile and get cash for phones.

4. Carry green bags

Most children will know the green reusable shopping bags or perhaps have a picturesque favourite of their own. The next moment you go shopping speak about how smart it is to be able to take the same bag and use it again and again rather than launching a plastic bag in the bin and adding to our rubbish collection. Help them to feel great by putting them in charge of keeping the bags for you until you end the checkout. You can also help older children to keep the bags washed and then fold and save them for next time.

5. Paper and cardboard

This is a simple one but you will be amazed how excited children can get about something easy if they feel they are helpful. Set up a box or container and provide any craft supplies for children to paint their paper recycling box. Give them the job of collecting papers, magazines and junk mail when other family members are completed with them and placing them in the box. When their box is full, support them to tip it into the general household recycling wheelie container for collection or takedown to your neighborhood recycling station.

6.Recycle stuff for craft

This is my own favourite and my kids absolutely love this job. Show children the importance of collecting good materials from around the house that they can take at a later date to show themselves creatively. Talk about the ideas of reusing, upcycling and reclaiming to make something ‘unique’.

7. Sort waste into the right containers

Most councils presently have a recycling and waste plan in point. We have a rubbish bin where I live, recycle box and organics box. It’s essential that we put the right trash in the right bin so take a limited time to train yourself about the program that transpires in your local neighborhood and then consider using this concept to a smaller variant to include children.

Support kids to understand what the different boxes are for and what they can put in each. At mealtimes I have small containers that I put on the table so that kids can actively engage in putting their garbage into the right box. They like the feeling of responsibility and they always help me to shift from the small bins to our household bins or we go for a walk to feed the hens from our trash bucket.

For junior kids be sure to give them visible clues, it’s not enough to just record what each bin is for. I have writing on one side of the container and a painting on the other. Support older kids to guide younger children.

When making crafts with paper, I always hold the small paper box close by on the workspace so they can continue their scraps straight away.

There you have it – 7 easy ways to support kids to be actively involved and passionate about recycling while they are also learning. If we all take a little time as parents to help children understand these essential basics, I think we will give our beloved world and all its support in competent hands.

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