Photo by Stas Knop
There are plenty of books teaching children to recycle, but as a parent, you should try to make that a starting point, not the endpoint, and make green living more enjoyable.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, recycling is the gathering of trash and the process of making it into something new that is both environmentally safe and useful. While the recycling process differs from county to county and state to state, there are generally three steps that we follow:
- Collection is when trash and other materials are gathered to be given to a processing facility.
- Processing is when the trash and other materials are sorted, cleaned, and prepared for shipping to manufacturing facilities.
- Remanufacturing is when the processed materials are made into new products that are either given away for free or sold.
What Is Green Living?
Now, recycling is an integral part of protecting the environment. Practicing how to recycle on a daily basis is also a very important foundation for green living. But what is green living?
Green living, or sustainable living, is an approach to life that takes into account how our actions affect the environment. We only have this one Earth to live in, and it’s our duty to protect it as best we can.
When you are practicing green living, it means that you are orienting your daily habits in a way that is cognizant of nature and the long-term possibilities of your actions. Green living is working alongside nature instead of against it.
If everybody adopts green living, then we are creating a more just and more equitable world for ourselves and the people after us.
As such, we should always do our best to try and reduce pollution, preserve our wild spaces, and conserve our natural resources. Green living is also a very important way to fight against climate change.
The best way to start living a sustainable and green life is always at the start. What does this mean? This means that we are obligated to teach our children how to take care of the world around them, which also means teaching them that recycling can be fun.
Recycling Can Be Fun
Here are some tips on how to make recycling more enjoyable for children:
- Make recycling a fun game. Kids love games. Adults love games. Everyone loves a game! So why can’t recycling be one, also? One idea might be to create a competition between you and your kids to see who can do the most recycling in a week. Or, if you are in the collection phase, you can do a scavenger hunt for trash! There are plenty of ways you can incorporate recycling into having fun.
- Be creative with recycling. There are many, many ways you can have fun with recycled materials. Be fun and innovative with it! If you start googling on the internet now, you will find thousands of examples of beautiful artworks made from milk cartons, yogurt cups, glass bottles, etc. This is also a good way to teach your children that there is still value in things beyond their initial use.
- Teach them about recycling. Green living is important if we want to live in a cleaner, more sustainable world. Let your kids read more books that are teaching children to recycle. Explain green concepts to them yourself. Watch movies and documentaries about the importance of recycling and such. Once your kids understand what green living is and why it’s important, they have the motivation to develop a habit.
- Make recycling easier. Don’t make recycling a hassle for your kids; it can be for you because you’re an adult, but let it be simple for your little ones. Place recycling bins in convenient areas and label them properly. Use pictures if possible. Always make them feel happy when they are recycling.
- Lead by example. If you are recycling, your children are recycling. It’s that simple.