Kids recycling, family recycling

Teaching kids about recycling is essential (and fun!)
Image: Shutterstock

Most kids have learned that pollution is bad and recycling is good, but do they understand the fundamentals of recycling? Have they done it on their own?

There are myriad ways to teach children the importance of recycling, but we’ll just start with three of the biggest. Here are some “recycling for kids” tips to keep in mind:

First, kids should know how the process works. The great thing about recycling is you can treat it like a game. Those three arrows in the recycling loop? Each step is an adventure. Need a recycling bin for your trash? Finding one is a quest. Making recycling fun keeps kids, and even adults, interested. Eventually they will want to play the game on their own!

Second, kids should know why recycling helps the environment. Each component can be a lesson, where you ask them the questions. What happens during the recycling process? What are some of the positive effects? What will happen to Earth if everyone stops recycling?

Learning the personal benefits of recycling also helps. Think of all the allowance money you save from buying recycled or secondhand products! You are saving the world every time you recycle, just like a super hero!

Third, teach kids that recycling is fun – for them and their friends. What about starting a recycling club? How about a green club where kids can work on projects that are environmentally friendly? Group members can earn badges, prizes and awards. There can be pizza parties and costume parties and sleepovers. Getting involved with a cause at a young age, especially with friends, means you are more likely to stay involved as adults.

So let’s help kids be green. Let’s make recycling for kids, too–not just adults. After all – once a recycler, always a recycler.