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How to Encourage Your Children to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Recycling is a vital part of saving the environment and lowering one’s ecological footprint. Therefore, it is important to teach these values to children and get them started at being green. By teaching children how to reduce, reuse and recycle at a young age, you can help them build healthy habits that extend throughout their life.

5 Ways to Encourage Children to Save

When devising ways to encourage your children to save, it is important to remember that you need to make your efforts kid-friendly. Anything that is dry or too complicated may dissuade your children, causing the opposite effect. The following are useful tips when teaching children the importance of conservation:

  1. Educate them about the Environment
    In order to teach children to save and recycle, you’ll need to first teach them what they’re saving. Educating children on important facts on the environment can stress the impact and dangers of not recycling, and why it is important that they take action. One valuable topic is to teach children on how long it takes for materials to decompose. In addition, there are a variety of fun resources, both online and offline that can educate children on the environment.
  2. Save Together
    Make recycling a joint endeavor and devise ways in which you can recycle alongside your children. One way in which to save alongside your children is to integrate recycling throughout the home. Whether through placing recycling bins in various locations or turning an area into a recycling center, showing children your own commitment to saving the environment is a valuable tactic. By turning recycling into a joint effort, you not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.
  3. Integrate Games
    One common technique to encourage children to start recycling is to turn activities into a game. Devise monthly contests in which the child with the highest amount of recyclable materials wins a prize. Another game is to make a pile of unsorted recyclables and have the child place each material in a corresponding bin. By turning learning into a fun activity, you can foster positive connotations with recycling.
  4. Go for a Nature Walk
    By going on a nature walk, you can show children exactly what their actions are saving. Whether on a hike or a walk on the beach, exposure to the different elements can leave a great impression on your children. In addition, you can also integrate the walk with interesting facts and tips, further increasing the effectiveness of the trip. By exposing your children to the great outdoors, you can stress the connection between conservation and the environment.
  5. Encourage their Efforts
    After a certain point, try encouraging children to devise their own efforts and continue with recycling on their own. When they are able to come up with activities and projects on their own initiative, it further builds upon the values you are trying to instill. Once they are finished with their efforts, reward them with encouragement and praise, demonstrating how proud you are of them. By connecting recycling with emotional reward, you can build a solid foundation of conservation upon children.

Sara Fletcher enjoys learning about all aspects of the home, ranging from walk in bathtubs to green furniture. She one day hopes to build her own dream home, complete with double bathroom vanities.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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