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How to teach kids to recycle

The planet’s future is not just in our hands, but the hands of our children. Teaching kids to recycle is therefore vital for ensuring a sustainable future, and instilling environmental values that they can carry throughout their life. It’s not enough to show them how to recycle; kids should also understand why recycling is important. In this article, we’ll be covering some fun, simple tips to get kids recycling.

Why is recycling important?

Resources declining, climate changing, and sea levels rising - these situations are all too real for our planet, and will not improve unless every human being starts adopt more sustainable behaviours. Recycling is a simple, yet beneficial, activity that can be done from the comfort of your own home, giving you the chance to involve the next generation as well.

Tips to teach children to recycle

Practice what you preach:

Children learn by example. Make sure your kids see you recycling and engaging in environmentally-conscious behaviour from an early age. If we set an example to youngsters and normalise the process of recycling, it will soon become second nature to them.

Practice what you preach

Wise up:

It’s tricky to teach others about a subject if you’re not clued up yourself. Whilst you shouldn’t aim to lecture children, having the essential background knowledge (such as reading articles like this) can help lay the foundation for helping your kids learn.

Wise up

Get crafty:

Children like to flex their artistic muscle, and engaging them in a creative project can be a really effective teaching tool. Show them the worth of household waste by starting your very own upcycling project, such as creating your very own milk carton houses or toilet roll people.

Get crafty

Activity: You could also make themed creations, for example, papier-mâché planet Earths.

Make facts fun:

Recycling facts for kids are best explored on an internet platform. Twenty-first century children are the most IT literate generation in history, and respond well to online resources as a way of learning.

Make facts fun

Activity: Have them explore Recycle City, or play some games at the Kids Recycling Zone.

Create a home recycling centre:

Roleplay can work wonders with children, and having them play the part of a recycling centre operator/manager can not only make them feel important, but add a strong element of entertainment. Label boxes for each type of material, and create sorting games for your children to play.

Create a home recycling centre

Activity: What about a timed race to see who can sort their pile of recycling the quickest?

Take the fun outside:

Kids like to get messy in the garden, so why not establish your own outside compost heap? In addition to disposing of food waste, put some plastic onto the heap to teach children about the differences in biodegradability. Seeing the process with their own eyes, and witnessing the difficulty of plastics to break down, will give your kids insight into some of the issues surrounding waste disposal in an engaging, involved way.

Take the fun outside

Activity: Another idea is to establish a wormery; these aren’t for the squeamish, but your kids will love them.

Home improvements:

Refurbishing the home, or moving house, can be a big challenge for kids, so it’s important to inject some fun into proceedings. Often you will need to hire a skip to handle the high volumes of waste.

Home improvements

Activity: Get your kids to gather some waste materials to go in the skip, and inform them that many skip hire companies recycle a high proportion of the waste they collect, saving it from landfill.

For a green-thinking skip hire service, look no further than Woodford Recycling. We recycle almost 100% of waste we collect using our state of the art recycling centre. Our specialists deal with DIY and home waste, as well as commercial waste. Get in touch today to find out more about our waste management services - we serve Cambridgeshire, Huntingdon, Peterborough and surrounding areas.

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