Austin Recycling: How to Teach Children About Recycling

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Recycling
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Reduce, reuse, recycle…we chanted it over and over again in elementary school, but yet the majority of Americans still don’t recycle regularly.

Why is that? Could there be a better way to teach children to recycle?

The most effective way to teach children to recycle isn’t by simply telling them why recycling is important like we’ve been doing; it’s by leading by example. When children see their parents, grandparents, family friends and teachers recycling, they are more likely to recycle when they become adults.

But we often don’t lead by example. Few homes in the United States recycle their trash and many schools encourage children to “reduce, reuse, recycle”, but few recycle their own trash.

Fortunately, there are a few steps parents can take to encourage their children to live green.

  1. Start recycling at home. Make it a rule that all recyclable trash in your home gets recycled.
  2. Make it pay for children. If you live in a place that offers cash for recycling aluminum cans, let your children have the money they make off the cans they recycle. This is a great incentive that makes recycling fun!
  3. Start reducing and reusing. Reducing and reusing is still great advice for recycling. Use reusable plastic water bottles and Tupperware containers for your child’s lunch. Buy your child refillable pens and pencils and folders/paper made from recycled paper for school. Donate old clothing, furniture and household items to charities.
  4. Put it in terms children can understand. Children don’t understand depletion of the ozone layer or global warming or the oil crisis. To make them see how important recycling is you must put it in terms they can understand. The video in this blog provided by Miles Rose with Green Living Science is a great example.
  5. Help at school. Encourage your child’s school principal or teacher to set up recycling bins at school. Great places to set up recycling bins in schools include the cafeteria, computer lab, art room and classroom. Suggest turning recycling into a competition. The classroom that recycles the most trash at the end of the year could win a special party.

By following these steps, you can show your children that recycling and reducing your environmental footprint is important to you, making it more likely that your children will view living green as important and pass the tradition down to their children.

For more information on Austin recycling, visit www.dirtyworkservices.com.

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