Recycling at Home for the Whole Family
Day-to-day recycling is starting to become as normal as throwing things in the trash. Recycling no longer seems to be a choice, but a duty we have to protect the future of the planet. If we put our rubbish in the wrong bin or forget our KeepCup, we get this terrible sense of impending doom.
But recycling doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom, it can be enjoyable, especially when you get your family involved. When something is enjoyable, it quickly becomes habit rather than a last-minute thought/regret.
The more engaged your kids are at a young age, the better. Kids who recycle turn into adults who recycle, which contributes to a greener future. We’ve pulled together a handful of activities to make recycling fun for the whole family.
The ins and outs
First, start with the basics. By simply decorating the recycling bin/boxes with your children whilst explaining what goes in which box you will make your kids more engaged. Using colours which match the collection bins outside is an easy way to build a better connection of what we’re doing at home benefits the wider community.
Understanding the theory of recycling may be difficult for some children to appreciate, and they may have some questions which we don’t really know the answer to. A great solution and a fun day out is taking a tour of your local recycling centre. Many local councils do offer group tours and open days throughout the year, check online to see whether there’s one coming up near you.
A captivating book is also a great way for kids to get the ‘full picture’. Visit your local library to see what books they currently have available.
Since Aussie households throw away roughly one in five grocery bags, composting is a great way to divert waste that otherwise creates methane in landfill. The part your kids will love, is the compost pile will become filled with live bugs and worms, working their magic!
In no time, you will turn your leftover waste into rich, organic soil that’ll feed your garden.
Although worm composting bins (known as vermicomposters) are an option for people without an outdoor garden, having a hundred worms in your home isn’t for everyone. Composting indoors is still possible without worms, it just requires a lot more TLC.
Turn the trash into treasure
Reusing is just as important as recycling. Before anything is thrown into the newly decorated bin, try to think whether you can use it again – the sky is the limit. Pinterest is a great source for inspiration, and you’ll often be able to find simple steps and items you need. Old egg boxes and plastic bottles will become gold dust in your household. Just make sure everything has a good clean first!
Relatives’ birthdays are a great excuse for a craft project, a gift handmade will have more value to the receiver than one bought new.
Recycling could be included into daily chores, and in return, children could receive pocket money. In larger families, you could take turns being on ‘recycling duty’ and someone each week checks that everyone has been recycling correctly. This ensures that standards don’t slip and recycling remains front of mind.
Rewards are for adults too – and it’ll be well-deserved if you’ve noticed yourself saving money in result of the conscious choices you’re now making. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, take your family down to the local op-shop and everyone has a budget to buy something ‘new’ – what you buy may even turn into your next creative reuse project.
In the course of recycling and reusing becoming standard protocol within your household, it’s gratifying to build a stronger connection with nature around us. By exploring the local outdoors, it’ll build a greater appreciation of what you’re doing at home.
We love hearing from our community, email us your recycling top tips and stories.