St. Patrick’s Day has got me thinking about going green. Not in the leprechaun way, in the recycling way. How do we teach our children to go green and recycle? What I have learned is the earlier we start teaching, the easier it is to become a part of everyday life.
Just taking a walk in nature can provide ample teaching opportunities. Point out the trash on the ground and explain how this can affect wildlife. For example, birds can eat the garbage from the ground and get sick. Go one step further and bring some bags and gloves to help clean it up. Ever since I was little, walks on the beach with my dad always ended in the picking up a few pieces of trash that were left behind by other beach goers. To this day, I can’t walk on the beach without picking up a few things to toss away.
Create fun recycling bins with your kids at home. Label each one for the different materials (based on how recyclables are sorted in your area). Kids really get into sorting things by material and color. Make it a game that your kids will play for life.
What if your kids are older? It is never too late to share some fun facts about recycling that will get them thinking about what they use and how to use less…
- Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours
- Once an aluminum can is recycled, it can bepart of a new can within six weeks.
- An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now!
- The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail – looks like an art project in the making to me!
- Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
- The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.
- Making a glass bottle from recycled glass causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made.
- Hershey Kiss foil wrappers are recyclable!
If we all do our part we will leave a healthy planet for future generations. No luck of the Irish needed.