There has been a lot of talk about the need to take care of the planet. Environmentalists have been trying to warn the public that if they do too much damage to the planet, they will be putting the future generations in danger. It is very common to hear about doing things that are good for the environment to help future children.
If it is the children of the future that will be affected, maybe it is the children who need to be taught how to do things that are good for the environment! The knowledge that they get as a young child is something they will eventually teach their own child. Eventually, good habits will become the norm. One of the easiest things to teach a child is the value of recycling. In order to teach a child to recycle as a normal event, a parent can focus on a few key areas.
Make Recycling Fun
Kids will be more willing to do things if they are fun to do. Taking out the trash is a chore and most children do not like having to do a lot of chores. They might accept the fact that they have to do it, but if they can find a way out, they will. Recycling might be a chore, but it can be a fun chore for kids to do.
- If you use recycling bins in the home to sort the trash, let the children decorate them in the way they want. The fact that they created the bins will make them more likely to use them.
- Turn collecting the recycles into a game by allowing the child to figure out what kind of recycle material it is. Paper, plastic and glass can be put into different containers.
Children respond well to rewards. If you collect recyclable materials and can turn them into a recycling centre that pays for them, give the child the money to do with as they please. If you want to make a family affair, use the money that is earned to take the family out for a fun night together. Children may not be able to grasp the concept that recycling is important for the health of the planet as quickly as they can learn that they are rewarded for recycling.
Put the Child in Charge
The best thing you can do is put the child in charge of recycling. Get them to make sure that the adults in the family are doing their part. Have them put the recyclables together to take to the recycling centre. Allow them to write tickets for the people who fail to recycle. It will allow the child to feel like they are an important part of the process and they will be much more involved in recycling.
The steps above can get a child to learn how to recycle, but it will not necessarily teach them why recycling is important. That is something that will take more time and education. If you take a child to place where they can see how nature can be affected by man and how beautiful it can be when preserved, they can learn the lessons about why recycling is important. Over time recycling will become a normal behaviour for a child and it will be something they will continue to do as an adult. That is the best way for future generations to embrace recycling.