For kids, recycling can quickly fall into the realm of the hated list of chores that drags down their day. As parents and guardians, it is critical to see that the practice does not become associated with drudgery. When this dreaded thing happens, we run the risk of bringing up generations of people who will become lazy when it comes to doing their part to protect the environment from the dangers of irresponsible consumerism. However, there are some fun and easy things that people can do to put the thrill back into the recycling game.
1. Try a recycling bin designed just for kids
Ooomy Design Company has developed a fun recycling toy that will peak the interest of the most jaded child. These bins allow the act of recycling to become a pleasurable activity. The bins are shaped like garden robots and are meant to be placed outdoors in a natural setting. Each bin will create a dazzling light show when put to use. Capturing the minds and imaginations of the children requires pulling out all the bells and whistles. The patterns and colors of the bins actually change according the type of recyclable item that is put into the receptacle. When the kids mix up items that do not go together, the light show will not be triggered.
2. Repurpose your grown up recycling bin
Individuals that cherish a sleek and elegant look for their home and do not want to spend money on extra “kid bins” that can only go outside, can alter high end ones like this Simplehuman recycling bin to create a game. Installing a basketball hoop above the bin itself can make recycling time into play time. Parents can put a different hoop above each type of recycling receptacle, allowing different items to count for different numbers of points. You can even go so far as to tape off free throw areas and three points lines around the bins should space allow for it. When guests come over the hoop can be removed and the home still looks strictly grown up.
3. Make it a competition
Homes with multiple children may also want to make a competition out of recycling to encourage the proper sorting of the materials. Each type of container could be labeled with a child’s name and designated ten or so points at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week, when the time has come to take the recycling to the curb, you can deduct points from each bin for containing an item that should have been sorted differently. The child with the most remaining points can receive some sort of reward or be considered exempt from some other duty in the house.
4. Snaz it up with arts & crafts
Depending on the age level of the child, crafts can be a good way of introducing the value of recycling materials on the local level. Demonstrating that almost any item can have multiple lives in different capacities will assist in developing the enthusiasm needed to maintain their recycling efforts throughout life. Come up with craft ideas that use old toilet rolls, scraps of construction paper, or old clothing. The possibilities are virtually endless. Create toilet paper fantasy creatures, make t-shirt purses, or collage picture frames. It is also important to incorporate real-world knowledge about why recycling is important and how it positively impacts our environment. The educational aspect may be put into action by coming up with a quiz or fact board that is revealed through different contests or recycling activities throughout the week.