Recycling is an activity the whole family should work together on.
I think we underestimate our children sometimes as they are becoming more and more aware of the implications of waste and how it impacts the world we live in.
If anything, today’s children are more environmentally aware then their predecessors so teaching them to recycle at home isn’t the hardest thing in the world.
They know how vital it is and furthermore, most kids and teenagers want to help the planet. Recycling is an activity the whole family should work together on and this means everyone plays a significant role in reducing waste and recycling at home.
So where do you start? Well, separating is a good place to start and buying bins to separate stuff is important. Therefore, everything isn’t going to get thrown into the same bin.
Invest in three bins – one for general waste, one for recyclables and one for the food waste bin. Some people may have bottle bins too and this is a good idea even if you need to drop them to the bottle bins yourself in a local bottle bank. The best way to segregate the items is by marking them with a marker or choosing a different colour bin. Ask the kids to design them with markers or they can even name them if they like. That way they build a relationship and are more likely to remember their milk carton goes in the recyclable bin after being rinsed and dried out.
Make a chart if you don’t have one from your waste disposable company and use this as a point of information for where items go. Include notes on rinsing out milk cartons and other items as well as drying them out. For the food waste bin, remind your family of what can or can’t go into it too. Don’t forget to use biodegradable bags as they are a good way at keeping the items together and keeping your bin clean.
Show the kids how to reuse items and how to be creative with cartons, boxes and tubes to make cool things. Ditch wrapping paper and wrap gifts in newspaper or left-over wrapping paper. Use cardboard boxes to make gift tags and personalise them. They will look cool and they are better than buying new gift wrap and gift tags that will be thrown out. Use clothing items that can’t be sent to clothing banks or charity shops to make teddy clothes, cushion covers and doll outfits. Be creative and get the kids to be too!
Consider composting too. It can be fun for all the family and it may be ideal for you if your family likes gardening. Composting is a natural way to recycle organic material such as kitchen scraps or garden waste. It isn’t for everyone but if you can it is a great thing to do. Invest in keep cups especially for those who love a coffee or hot chocolate on the road. The same can be done for the water bottle instead of buying new bottles of expensive water every day. Encourage your family to walk as much as you can and leave the car at home. Remind the kids to bring litter home if they are out and about and not to throw rubbish.
Keep working on it and stay informed on all the latest recycling news.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.