Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, teaching kids about recycling and responsible rubbish removal is as important as teaching them manners and how to respect other people. You are essentially teaching them how to respect our planet and how to respect future generations. Below are some ideas on how to teach kids about recycling.
Make Sure They Understand the Broader Concept of Recycling
Some kids, as well as adults, seem to think recycling is all about putting your rubbish removal in the right kerbside bin. This in fact is only a small part of recycling and the earlier kids learn this lesson, the better functioning human beings they’ll become in our society. This knowledge will allow them to become the solution rather than growing the problem as the older generations alive today did.
Make sure the kids understand that composting is a method of recycling waste removal from homes and businesses. In fact, it is a preferred method to kerbside recycling as it is more efficient and economical. The best way to teach kids about composting is to start at least a small compost pile in the garden for kitchen scraps and yard waste. Even if you live in a flat, you can set up a small scale compost bin on your deck or patio. You can even set up a miniature version in glass jar so the kids can actually watch it happen in stages.
You can also take a little extra time when shopping to teach children about how to select products with no packaging or packaging that can be easily composted or recycled at the kerbside. You can explain why no packaging is preferred and why compostable packaging is better than packaging that can’t be composted but can be recycled in the rubbish removal bin designated for recycling.
Make It Relevant To Them
It’s easier for kids to learn about a complicated topic if you make it more relevant to them. For example, you could start teaching them about responsible rubbish removal and recycling by starting with their toys. For example, if they want a new stuffed animal or a new doll, you can help them make a selection that would be more easily composted or recycled at the kerbside. Be sure to explain why and help them figure it out on their own too.
Here’s an example. You can teach them about how to find the recycle codes on plastic products and how to interpret those. Then, you can turn it into a game of sorts to always look for the recycle code on their toys at first but then on other household products as well. You can also teach them that some products are actually made of different kinds of plastic combined together and this may make it near impossible to recycle the item unless it is broken down into separate parts.
Ask the kids to help you figure out first if a plastic thing is made of only one type of plastic or of two or more types of plastic. If it is made of more than one type of plastic, ask the kids how they could separate the different plastics when the time comes to recycle the item. Ask them if any part is not able to be recycled and will have to go into the rubbish removal bin destined for the landfill instead.
Another way to make it relevant to them is to put them in charge of their own recycling! This is perfect for older kids wanting to take on new responsibility and demonstrate to you how they’re maturing. This should include the recycling of clothing, cleaning containers used to clean their bathroom and bedroom, all their toys, all packaging for toys, any food waste removal they leave on their plate, and any food containers they need to discard.
Read Also: GETTING THE KIDS INTO THE GARDEN
The tips above should help you get started teaching your children about recycling and responsible rubbish removal. It may make it a funner process, and easier for the kids to learn, if you team up with other parents who have kids of around the same age as your kids. You could also get parent groups or school groups involved. This way, play dates could include a bit of rubbish removal and recycling education.
You can also teach your children how to be responsible about the ultimate place their rubbish removal goes. If you are using a council service for your rubbish removal, you may want to take the kids on a field trip to the landfill where that rubbish goes. When they see how horrible a landfill is in person, this may impress upon them why it’s so important to divert as much rubbish removal away from landfills as possible.
You can also show the kids alternatives to using the council services. If you are in the UK, you can ring Clearabee, the largest rubbish removal service in the entire UK. Explain to the kids that Clearabee takes measures to divert ninety percent of the rubbish they collect from landfills. Instead, this rubbish is recycled, reused, or resold in resale shops or charity shops. You can even ask Clearabee if they know what they’ll do with certain items after they collect them and then take the kids on a field trip to that place.