Recycling is more engaging at home when you involve your children. Teaching your kids how to recycle is a great way to teach them good habits, and show them how recycling can improve our environment. Did you know that the average Canadian family wastes nearly 150 pounds of paper each year?
We Canadians have improved our waste diversion from landfills over the last decade. However, we only improved our residential waste diversion by 2.8% (Statistics Canada). So how can we make waste diversion at home more engaging, and fun for the entire family?
There is a lot of opportunities to show children how paper is made, and how recycling paper can save forests. You can also show them that plastic containers can be reused and recycled, instead of thrown away. Marine waste is the biggest challenge in 2018, and international organizations are trying to find ways to reduce marine waste. You might think that there is only so much you can do locally or within your home. But the truth is, every little thing you start doing – recycling, teaching your children – will snowball into great things.
So here are 3 ways you can encourage conversations about recycling at home with your children:
Personalize your waste bins
Make personalized bins for glass, plastic, and paper recycling can go a long way. This teaches your children the importance of recycling and provides them a sense of ownership. They can become proud of their work, and be more willing to recycle when you’re not around to supervise.
Give your children coloring challenges like coloring in images of waste products and gluing them to the bin. Or, you can create a recycling goal chart above each bin and create a competition with your children to see how much you recycle at the end of each week. If your kids are interested, you can also host challenges where they compete against each other or even their neighbour’s kids, to see who recycle the most in a week!
Visit a recycling center
Take your family on a trip to the local recycling center or depot is a great way to introduce your children to recycling. You can use the opportunity to show your children that there are recycling centers nearby, so they remember it in the future. You can also give them homework when they get home to look up other centers and see where they are located. On the tour, you can meet the staff, have your children prepare questions to ask them and learn how recycled materials are made. You can also ask the centers to see if your family or children can volunteer.
Repurpose Waste into Educational Toys
Some fun activities include turning old water bottles or soda bottles into plant gardens, that your children can watch the plants grow. You can turn old textiles into jump ropes or kites, depending on how crafty you are. This is an excellent way to show children that you don’t need brand new toys all the time. Something made from home can also be just as fun!
What are some of the cool ways you’ve taught your children how to recycle? Share it with us on Twitter!
Canadian Mattress Recycling is a 100% locally-owned BC company with a team of employees dedicated to customer service and environmental preservation through recycling. We are located in the middle of Metro Vancouver on Annacis Island on Delta, BC and serve the entire Lower Mainland region and beyond. We are winners of the Green Business of the Year in 2016 by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
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