It is August and that means back to school for our Placer County kiddos. Time for early mornings with packed lunches, backpacks filled with completed homework and “see you this afternoon” forehead kisses.
While teachers educate our kids about math, English, science and history, it is our duty as parents, community members and loved ones to show our children the importance of recycling! This month we are providing tips on how to engage your children on the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. The habits our children form now will influence the rest of their lives. So, what better time than now to prep our kids for green futures?
1. Make games out of recycling
Let your kids practice their skills by playing games that promote recycling. First, divide into teams. Place markers on your driveway with chalk and gather your family to see how many points they can score by throwing recyclable items into your One Big Bin.
2. Craft with recycled materials
Instead of purchasing new items to create arts and crafts projects at home with your little ones, try collecting items like old shoe boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, or aluminum cans and plastic containers for future crafts. Your child’s imagination can soar by thinking of things he or she can create like a homemade guitar, robot or whatever else they conjure up.
3. Have a donation and clothing swap party play date
Kids are constantly outgrowing their shoes, shirts and pants. Organize a clothing swap party play date with your children and their friends. Hand-me-downs provide gently used clothing a higher purpose and save money for other families. Invite your children’s friends and their families to bring their gently used children’s clothing for all to sort through, trade and up-cycle. At the end of the clothing swap party take any leftovers and donate them to your local resale shop.
4. Garden together with compost
Start by teaching your children about what happens to organic food waste when it makes its way to a landfill. Then begin to collect food waste scraps, peels and leftovers with your children in a kitchen caddy or outdoor compost bin. After the breakdown of the compost has begun, use the compost for a new family garden or planter box.
5. Instill green family traditions
Reducing, reusing and recycling materials can be a family affair. Select a day each season to clean up your favorite family park, river or street. Supply family members with waste collection buckets, gloves and trash grabbers. Once the family has completed the clean-up together, place all your items in a bag and dispose at home in your One Big Bin.