Green family: 5 ways to get your kids excited about recycling
Lots of little differences make a big difference. Our Green Family series help parents to get their heads around what South African families can do to recycle, save water, reduce pollution, change our diets and leave the world a better place for our children.
going green (Parent24)
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Hello there, green parent.

We hear it often: We need to take care of our planet in order to ensure sustainability for generations to come. Seeing that the future lies in the hands of our youth, it is crucial that we teach our children about the importance of recycling.


Do you encourage your children to recycle? Send us some of your tips and we could publish them. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous. 

Many schools already focus heavily on environmental issues, with regular talks, clubs and incentives.

Not only does this teach kiddies to respect the environment, it encourages them to develop healthy habits from a young age. Although teaching children new habits may be challenging, we’ve come up with 5 ways to help parents along the journey!

1. Teach your children the importance of recycling

Nothing like shaping those young, impressionable minds into learning all the ways that recycling helps our planet.

Teach children about how waste disposal emits harmful greenhouse gasses, which aren't only bad for your health, but the health of the planet as a whole. Naturally, we want to live on a planet that's as healthy as possible for our family, but that won't be possible if we're the ones harming it.

Reinforce the importance of the three R’s: Reduce, reuse, recycle. 

Before mindlessly tossing things away, make sure your children put aside the items that can be recycled. 


Also see: Recycling made easy

2. Create recycling bins in your home 

Designate a space in your home where recycling bins can be created so that children know where to put all of the various materials. Create separate bins for glass, paper, plastic and "other."

This shows them you take recycling seriously and challenges kiddies to distinguish the various materials from one another.

3. Do regular recycling drop offs

Choose one or two days out of the week to stop at your local recycling drop-off and bring your kids along to empty out the recycling bins in your home.

Aim to be as consistent with this day and time as possible so that your children recognise your commitment to recycling hopefully adopt that same attitude. 

4. Create incentives for recycling

Making recycling a fun family game will definitely help kids become more interested in it.

Creating incentives will make it even more appealing, we all know how much children love a little prize every now and then! 

Incentives could be in the form of a treat, cutting down on chores, creating a rewards chart or perhaps even a “recycler of the month” picture on the fridge. A little healthy competition never hurt anybody.   


Also see: Top recycling SA school announced

5. Use recycling during crafts 

Why spend money on new craft materials when you could be using the likes of old plastic bottles or egg cartons to create something pretty?

Even creating objects for kids to play with such as a cricket bat made from newspaper or bowling pins made from old bottles is a cost-efficient way to have fun. This is a great opportunity for children to use their imagination and really express themselves creatively.

Crafting with recycled material can also help children by improving their fine-motor skills. When children work with various recycled materials to create crafts, they make use of smaller muscle groups which improves their fine-motor skills and provides them with a range of sensory experiences. They are also exposed to a wide variety of textures which improves their tactile development.


Also see: 18 eco-friendly kids party ideas for the coolest parents on the block

Teaching your children about recycling and implementing it into their daily lives not only enriches them, but helps them enrich the world, and that. What a beautiful cycle!

So, don’t waste any more time, help save the world from waste. 

Chat back: 

Do you encourage your children to recycle? Send us some of your tips and we could publish them. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous. 

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Read more: 

Does having children make us care more about the environment?

Water crisis: cloth vs disposable nappies

Help your child fall in love with nature

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