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10 ways to teach kids how to recycle

Aluminum Cans Crushed For RecyclingRecycling is such an important topic and it has never been more prominent in our daily lives. Our children will be growing up with recycling being a more normal practice. We need to encourage this behaviour in order to ensure they and future generations continue to recycle as much as possible and understand the importance of it. Here are some ideas you can use with your children to help teach them about recycling and encourage recycling behaviour.

1.    Increase the number of recycle bins around the house - Try and have recycle bins on each floor of your house to encourage kids to recycle first rather than placing all rubbish in the general waste bin. Having a small bin in the child’s bedroom and teaching them what items to put in there will also help.
2.   Label your bin using graphics - Place a graphic of cardboard, plastic etc on the bin so kids can easily identify which bin is which. When you are throwing something away, hand it to the child and ask them which bin they think it should go in. You could also get them to decorate the bin themselves as a fun art project.
3.    Use both sides of paper - Colouring and art are great activities for your child to do but try and encourage them to use both sides of the paper to reduce the amount of waste. If you are using paints, get specific paper designed for paint so that both sides can be used. Try and get them to use crayons instead of pens or colouring pencils as they are softer and don’t dent the other side of the paper.
4.    Get creative with recycling materials - Before you throw anything in the bin, think about whether you can create anything with it. Building a rocket, musical instruments and more are possible with a bit of creativity. You can use old containers to place paint in for future art projects as well.
5.    Compost - Get you kids to place food waste into a compost container in the garden. This will show them how compost works, and they can help you use it in the garden to plant fruit, veg or flowers of their own.
6.    Go to the recycling centre - An easy way to teach kids about recycling is to take them to your local recycling centre so they can see recycling on a large scale for themselves.
7.    Games - There are online games available specifically made to help kids learn more about recycling.
8.    Donate clothes and toys - On a regular basis, get your children to go through their stuff and see if there is anything they don’t play with anymore or clothes that no longer fit and get your child to donate them. This teaches them how people less fortunate than them can benefit from their unwanted clothes and toys. It also helps keep your house a bit more clutter free.
9.    Rewards - Incorporate a reward system into your recycling efforts. Give them a gold star every time they recycle and keep a record of their progress so they can see how far away they are from a reward. The rewards only have to be small but it’s a great way to make recycling more fun and engaging.
10.   Demonstrate - You need to ensure all members of your family are taking part, not just your children. Kids learn a lot of their behaviour from their parents and older members of the family, so you need to lead by example.

A lot of these ideas are simple to implement but could have a massive impact. By normalizing recycling when children are young, they are more likely to continue this behaviour as they grow older. So, taking time to incorporate some of these activities into your daily routine can reap huge benefits in the long term. The important thing to remember is to try and make the tasks fun and easy to do, otherwise you will lose their attention and they will think recycling is boring and not something they want to do.

To find out more about how we can help you with your waste disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

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