Children can be taught about recycling from a very young age. Kids are a lot more receptive to learning new things, such as how to do dishes and vacuum, when they are little, as they are trying to be like their parents. This is the time to get them in the habit of reusing trash and placing recyclables in the proper bins. Besides modeling their parents, children also learn from recycling activities.
Teach your children about the use of trees to make paper products. Besides attracting their interest, this will also teach them to respect the amount of work and resources used to make paper plates, napkins, paper, etc. To learn about the process of making paper products from trees visit borealforest.org.
The Environmental Protection Agency offers a recycling program online, referred to as the Environmental Kids Club. This program helps motivate children to recycle by offering games, crossword puzzles and interactive storybooks. Children can learn to be planet protectors by starting a recycling program in their community.
Kids are more likely to practice recycling if it becomes their responsibility to manage it. Designate your child to be in charge of making sure everyone recycles. He can label the bins, crush cans and separate paper. Making him feel a little more powerful in the household will go a long way.
Plant a garden with fruits and vegetables. When at the grocery store point out all the paper and plastic used to package the produce. Tell your child that you are helping to reduce the amount of trees harvested to produce these products by growing your own. Let him care for the garden and pick the fruits and vegetables. Besides teaching your child about conserving the environment, you will also be encouraging him to eat healthier.
Money is a motivating factor for adults and children alike. Encourage your child to collect all the bottles and cans in the house and place them in a recycling bin. Have him check the trash can regularly to ensure no one is throwing away recyclable products. After the bin is full, take your child to the recycle center to exchange them for cash. Allow him to keep the cash and spend it as he wants.
When encouraging your child to recycle, make sure to practice what you preach. Just like anything else in life, you can't tell your children to do something that you won't do. Children learn by example and parents are their greatest role models.