The rate of recycling of ‘waste from households’ in the UK reached 44.9% in 2014, with an EU target of at least 50% of household waste being recycled in the UK as reported by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.
For the percentage of household waste being recycled to continually increase, it’s important that we all contribute to helping protect the environment, which of course includes the younger generation.
Yet not only is it vital that the population’s kids recycle because everyone else is doing so, but teaching the younger generation from an early age about the importance of recycling and why we’re doing it are fundamental.
Home is the perfect environment in which to educate your kids about recycling, so we’ve put together a few useful tips to encourage your children to recycle in the home.
Practice what you preach
Children are constantly learning new things, a lot of which happens in the home environment as it does also in school. The more your kids see you recycling, the more likely they are to do it too.
Separate your rubbish into different coloured bins, and as you do it, make sure you say it aloud for your little ones to hear. The more your child sees and hears what you are doing, the more rapidly they will adopt the activity for themselves.
Transform recycling into a fun activity
The more engaging and less of a chore recycling appears to be, the more likely it is that your kids will participate in the activity.
There are lots of ways you can make recycling fun and exciting. Earth911 suggests letting your kids’ creative side flare by asking them to decorate the recycling bins or designing labels for the boxes.
As children love getting involved in various activities, taking them to the recycling centre and asking them to help you dispose of the rubbish could be another great way of encouraging them to recycle, as well as educating them as to what happens to the rubbish.
Educate with books and videos
Children are inquisitive and love asking questions, so to help teach them as to the importance of recycling, educating them through books and online videos is a great way for them to learn more about protecting the environment.
Take a look at Lovereading4kids.co.uk for a range of children’s books themed to help educate about saving the planet.
There are also a series of apps for children, including Recycle Hero for Kids which can be downloaded straight onto your iPad or iPhone to help make teaching that little bit more fun and interesting.
Make recycling easy
The easier it is to recycle in the home, the more likely it is that your kids will get on board with it. Place recycling bins in convenient locations around the home including the kitchen and bathroom (for collecting shampoo bottles and loo roll tubes).
It may also be worth putting a special bin in your children’s room to recycle paper or plastic.
All in all, accessibility and ease are key, so make sure that each bin is clearly labelled so that your child understands what should and shouldn’t go in each bin.
Create incentives and give rewards
Giving rewards to your little one is another great way of encouraging them to recycle in the home. You could look at devising a points system for the amount of items recycled over the week.
Encourage your kids to come up with new ideas of recycling around the home, and if they discover more ways to increase recycling, then ensure that you reward them with a treat!
As you can see, there are lots of ways in which you can encourage your children to recycle around the home. Praising your kids’ efforts and teaching them why recycling and other energy saving activities are so important will certainly go a long way in inspiring your kids to do what they can to help protect the environment.
For more top tips for recycling in and around the home, take a look at our blog here.