In the UK, we are producing approximately 22.8 million tonnes of waste going to landfill – that’s a lot! Though our recycling rates are gradually increasing, currently at 45.2%, there’s still another 55% to go. The global leaders of recycling Germany, Austria and South Korea, with rates between 50-60%, show us that improvements can be made. So, why not start off young?
Engaging our children to recycle, reduce and reuse, not only benefits the environment but encourages the next generation to be more responsible, more resourceful, less wasteful and wider-thinking. From educating which materials can be recycled, to reducing the more environmentally harmful items we buy and consume, and to making use of the things that we do have by giving things a second life through reuse, we can empower our children in decision-making, problem-solving and even handling money!
Children can learn that their actions can go on to do good things; avoiding landfills has knock-on effects of deforestation, land devastation and socio-related issues; reducing air and water pollution; and minimising the extraction and production of raw materials, to name a few. This in turn will allow a sense of responsibility and control in their own environments, meaning that they are more likely to look after such things better, including themselves.
And this can be done by educating any age through interactive, fun games and activities, and encouraging small actions to make big impacts, ensuring recycling isn’t such a bore nor a chore!
Here are a few suggestions listed below. Give them a go and put your children in the know.