Being a parent, there is no question that all you want is the best for them. With that in mind, you consistently question yourself whether you are doing enough to give them the very best, and if you are being the best parent you can possibly be, so your little one can grow up to be a well-balanced individual one day.
However, while we are thinking about their future, how many of us actually think about the current state of global warming and effect that this will have on our children’s future, and what we can do today, that will better their “tomorrow”?
If anything, what this shows us as parents is that we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand, and pretend that global warming is someone else’s responsibility, because the reality is that it’s not. Surely then, we have a responsibility to our children to change our attitudes towards recycling, and help shape theirs, towards making environmental consciousness a huge part of their upbringing – teaching them why recycling is important at a level that they understand, and that it can be lots of fun!
But where do you start? Interwaste have provided a few tips on how you can make recycling fun for your kids:
Take a family trip to a recycle centre
As a parent, you need to educate your children and give them an experience that sticks in their mind, one that helps them gain an understanding of what happens to recyclables when they leave your house. You can research and find out which recycling centre is near you and if they permit visits.
Get them involved in using waste to change someone’s life
There are initiatives that you can get your children’s school signed up for that encourage recycling for a good cause. For example, the famous Tops & Tags project. This initiative encourages participants to collect bread tags and bottle tops that are then weighed and once the set target (450kg’s of bottle tops or 50kg’s of bread tags) is reached, the school/church/individual or community that has signed up as a participant is then provided with a wheelchair, which they are able to donate to a person or NPO. Getting your child’s school signed up is a fun way to teach them about preserving the environment, the value of teamwork and bringing a level of consciousness to community involvement, through aiding those who require assistance.
Stir up some friendly competition
Within the household, run a friendly competition amongst your little ones where the one that collects the most recyclable items per week gets a prize. This will also teach them what kind of materials within the household can be recycled.
Set up different waste bins in the house
Contact your municipality to find out what recycling programmes they have in place, and what days the recycling is collected. Once you have this information, set up a recycling station in the house by having different bins for the various types of waste that can be recycled. An example of this, is cans, paper, bottles or plastics. If your children are old enough, make them in charge of the household recycling by asking them to manage the sorting of the household waste, but of course, you might need to throw in a bit of rewarding to keep them motivated (hint, hint). Get them to make fun signs for each bin that tells people in the home which bin is intended for which items.
Turn your waste into craft
If your children enjoy crafts, get them to identify waste items that they can repurpose and turn into their very own masterpieces. This can be anything from ice cream tubs, to coffee bottles or even tins. This will hopefully encourage them to use their imaginations and create works of art that can be displayed on your walls.
Remember that you are your child’s first teacher, so let’s begin by encouraging them to become recycling champions, that, make a positive contribution towards environmental preservation for the future of the planet – their planet!