Kids are the future and the planet is in danger. If we hope to save our planet and become more aware of the environment as a culture, we must teach them to value the environment and work to keep it protected. They may not be able to scuba dive at the coral reef or spend time cleaning up rivers just yet. They may not be ready to work with endangered animals or start up their own non-profit. They don’t own a car, so watching their fuel consumption and emissions is not really plausible.
But, there is one thing that every single kid can do. It’s so simple and easy that most 3 year olds can help with it and it will instill an eco-conscious mindset early on. That one thing is recycling and here are 5 simple tips to get them started:
•Put a recycling bin in an easily accessible area and help them to sort out which items are recyclable and which are not. This is also a great way to get some pre-math skills practice. Sorting is a beginning stage of math. You can also count while you put the recyclables in the bin.
•Teach them the joy of making DIY crafts with old items like toilet paper rolls, scrap paper or old milk cartons. Make telescopes, treasure boxes, musical instruments, robots and more. Let their creativity run wild.
•Help them to choose recycled merchandise at the store. Show them the symbol on the package that indicates that it is made from recycled items. Explain to them that these things have been made from OTHER things rather than just making more garbage.
•Model it. If you want your kids to do something the very first thing that you must do is DO IT YOURSELF. They look to you to show them what to do and they will likely do what you do and not do what you do not do. If you want them to recycle then be sure that you are. If you want them to reuse old paper then don’t let them see you throwing away scrap paper. Find uses for it like making lists or wrapping gifts.
•Appeal to their sensitive soul. Most children are very loving and kind and are horrified to think that animals, plants or other people are being hurt by their choices. If you explain to them that animals can be in danger when we pollute their environment or we cut down their tree habitats, they will be shocked into action.
Kids will recycle if they are taught to do so. If they see you do it then they will follow suit. If you explain to them the problems that face the environment, they will care. You just need to take the time to make it a priority for your family.