Teaching you children about the importance of the environment is one of the key lessons parents can instil in their loved ones. The environment is important to preserve for the current generation as well as future generations. Conserving water, electricity, natural resources and recycling are key aspects in ensuring that these assets will be here in the future.

There are many ways parents can encourage their kids to recycle. Let’s look at a few. First, parents can make children separate what they consume when it comes to trash removal. Instilling in children the idea that they should separate paper garbage from plastic items, as well as segment out aluminium cans from glass waste is important when it comes to reducing the amount of resources used to make these products. Using marked bins for these specific items can aid in the recycling process.

To make it interesting for kids, parents should create a chart that breaks recycling items into different categories and then reward children for utilizing different recycling bins from their local recycling provider. On this chart they should keep track of items by assigning a gold star to certain amounts of recycled objects. After the accumulation of gold stars, parents should reward their child for recycling.

At the end of every school year, parents and children should inventory the child’s room and see what can be recycled. This could include clothes, crafts made in that particular school year, paints used in arts projects or papers that are no longer needed. One purpose is that the child will learn to clean up their room after the school year is completed. The child will learn that items used for their purposes can be repurposed into items for other families to use.

Another thing parents must do when trying to instil a recycling concept in the household is to explain to children the ramifications of recycling. Let’s take plastic bottles as an example. The amount of plastic bottles that fill landfills is staggering. It takes many years for these items to decompose, thus these bottles will be a burden on the environment for many years to come. Children should try to reuse bottles as often as possible, or get into the habit to drink out of a thermos. Explaining to children to repurpose bottles for other uses is another great way to recycle. Just because an individual uses a plastic water bottle once doesn’t mean that they have to throw it away. The plastic bottle can be sterilized to be used over and over. The plastic bottles can be gathered into recycling bins which then can be melted to create new plastic bottles so that additional land won’t be needed for future landfills.

Teach kids more than just the basics. Another type of item that needs to be recycled is the energy efficient (CFL) light bulb manufactured today. The materials that are contained in these light bulbs contain hazardous materials when broken. Parents should explain to children that many items in a household should be recycled because if they are mixed into other garbage, the garbage may become toxic. Paint is another good example of a durable good that should be recycled. Many paints include toxins that can seep into the soil if they are not recycled. Often times paint can be recycled and used again by other consumers. It is estimated that households have between ten and twenty cans of paint sitting around collecting dust. These items must be disposed of in a proper fashion.

Recycling can become a fun endeavour if you engage your children in this important practice. Teaching children this important task will save resources for future generations. Start recycling today!

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