It’s never too early to teach your kiddo about small habits that can make a big difference. Children can make a world of change! After all, they are the future. Researchers have found, “Of the 40 million tons of plastic waste generated in the U.S. in 2021, only 5% to 6% — or about two million tons — was recycled.” That’s nearly 40,000 school buses filled with waste! The earth needs our help, folks. As we lead the next generation, let’s build the habit to create eco-responsible children for our planet’s future. While we’re at it, why not make it fun?
Here are 5 tips for getting your kiddos excited to recycle!
Take a day trip to your local park or spin around the block in your neighborhood and pick up trash. Then sort what you’ve found together and decide what can be recycled and thrown away. During this fun activity, talk to your child about the connection between helping their community and the planet. Make it a game. The first one to pick up everything in sight is the winner!
Read a book!
Check out these good reads on recycling!
What a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our Planet
Written by Jess French.
In this informative book on recycling for children, you will find everything you need to know about our environment. The good, the bad, and the incredibly innovative. From pollution and litter to renewable energy and plastic recycling.
I’m Trying To Love Garbage
Written and Illustrated by Bethany Barton
Do you ever wonder where we put all of our garbage, who gets rid of it, or how our planet isn’t a big pile of mess? I’m Trying to Love Garbage has all the answers! From scavengers to detritivores to decomposers, nature’s garbage collectors are everywhere. But humans play an important role too, and our favorite narrator is back to tell us all about it.
Written by Jess Stockham
Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Learn all about recycling, how to sort waste, and what products can be re-used in this children’s book. This book helps encourage children to have a sense of responsibility and develop skills that will be useful as they grow older.
Turn your packages into imaginative play!
As most of us receive packages in the mail, let’s not forget that these cardboard boxes do not magically appear. Instead of throwing them out, repurpose those packages into a creative activity. What will your kiddo create? A spaceship? A hair salon? Or a castle where they can reign as king or queen? Then, once you’re done playing, don’t forget to recycle!
Make recycling bins!
Get your kids into the habit of sorting recyclables with their own recycling bin. Grab a bin and have your child decorate it with their name, doodles, and drawings! Then catch them in the act of helping the Earth stay clean and green. Try making it a friendly competition to see who can recycle more items in your household.
Be an example!
Children naturally follow their grown-up’s lead. With each action, explain to your child that almost everything we do – including yourself creates waste. By following the three R’s reduce, reuse, and recycle, we can minimize the contamination we produce on the planet. Strengthen that connection with your kiddo and inspire them to think. If they love the ground they run on, the air they breathe, and even the waters they swim in, taking action for the planet is a must. Check out ways to be a global recycling citizen!
Happy Global Recycling Day from Children’s Museum of Atlanta!
We hope you have a great day reflecting on what you and your little one can do to help the planet and make it fun for the whole family. Join us in April for Earth Month and enjoy fun-filled, eco-friendly activities that will further expand your child’s knowledge of saving Mother Earth!
Did you know Novelis is the world’s largest recycler of aluminum? And thanks to Novelis, Earth Month at CMA is possible for all of our friends!
If you’re a local Atlanta resident and have tricky items that you want to recycle, check out The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM)! Managed by LiveThrive, CHaRM keeps hazardous and hard-to-recycle materials from going into Atlanta’s landfills and water systems. So, if you have stuff like old batteries, mattresses, or styrofoam materials CHaRM almost accepts anything!
Happy Recycling, friends!