Recycling for Kids: Facts, Activities, and Projects
Many people these days take the path of sustainability, trying to live eco-friendlier lives. We reduce the waste we produce; we reuse items, and, most importantly, we recycle or use recycled products. In the families where parents are giving up plastic water bottles and plastic bags, kids learn from the youngest age that some activities can counter the effects of climate change and pollution in its many forms. If you want to encourage your little ones to become environmentally responsible teens and adults, here are some ideas, activities, and projects to involve them in to teach recycling for kids and sustainability through fun and engaging activities.
Recycling for Kids: Plastic Bottles and Bags
More and more people are giving up completely the use of plastic grocery bags. With all the plastic bag bans going around the country and the world, reusable shopping bags, tote bags, and reusable produce bags have become the norm in our homes and businesses. Many of us own veritable collections of shopping cotton tote bags of various sizes and purposes at home. When you take the kids grocery shopping, the very use of such products is a lesson in sustainability in and out of itself. You could teach them even more useful skills and environmental practices by engaging them into the reuse and repurpose of plastic bags!
However, merely using canvas tote bags for your shopping sessions may not be enough for kids to understand the enormous problem plastic is for our planet. For this reason, try having educational, engaging, and fun talks about eliminating plastic bags and recycling plastic bags.
We have talked about teaching sustainability at home many times, but kids learn better when they do some activities by themselves. If there is a dose of fun and entertainment in action, you will witness surprising results.
Therefore, here are some ideas on promoting recycling and reusing plastic bags and bottles in the family!
1. Collect Plastic Bags and Bottles
The collection and separation of plastic bags and bottles should become a teaching fun moment in the house every day. Once you separate your plastic items, take them to a processing plant. If you cannot, make sure that you dispose of them correctly into dedicated bins in your neighborhood.
2. Recycle Old Plastic Bags into New Items
One of our favorite projects is the transformation of old colored plastic grocery bags into rugs and covers. You do not even have to crochet! A carpet made of plastic bags is an arts & crafts recycling for kids project that the entire family will enjoy finishing. You can use such rugs in the kitchen in front of the sink or the bathroom, in front of your bathtub or shower cabin.
These rugs are waterproof, easy to clean, and resilient to wear and tear. Moreover, they provide cushioning to your feet. In case you have a large stock of plastic bags, you can turn them into covers for your outdoor furniture, car windshield protectors, or water and grime resistant rugs for your outdoor spaces.
3. Buy Items Made of Recycled Plastic
When families want to become greener at home, they need to teach their children to give up plastic altogether but use recycled plastic items. For instance, if you buy dairy products, milk, and yogurt for the kids, get them from the brands packaging their foods into recycled plastic containers.
The same goes for purchasing soda in recycled bottles, hand disinfectant coming in recycled hand cream containers, and so on. If you pay attention, you will find that more and more brands recycle and repurpose plastic packaging and cases to sell their products. It is a sustainable practice as it takes a smaller toll on the environment.
4. Turn Recycling and Reusing into Kids' Craft Projects
While the world dedicates robust efforts to eliminate plastic shopping bags and replace them with cotton and canvas shopping bags, plastic water, and soda bottles are still littering the world severely. Many people use water filters for drinking clean, healthy water at home. Even more families are investing in reusable water bottles to stay hydrated on the go.
Unfortunately, we still have plenty of plastic bottles from water, soda, and other beverages piling up in our homes. If you cannot recycle them, we can keep a few to turn them into arts and crafts recycling for kids' projects. Let's see some ideas in the video below!
Recycling for Kids: Repurposing Shopping Tote Bags and Old Clothes
In today's world, plants and factories can recycle various materials and products: plastic, glass, paper and cardboard, textiles, metals, electronics and computer parts, and more. However, since we are talking about recycling for kids and engaging them in fun eco-friendly projects at home, we want to remind you that you could buy recycled canvas tote bags for your daily shopping to replace all the plastic bags in your home.
Nevertheless, one of the easiest ways to teach kids about reusing is one of our favorite projects to date –the repurposing of old tote bags into new items and accessories.
Here are more ideas on arts and crafts projects for kids using old clothes! If you pay attention to the tutorials, you will learn new things about wasting less and using more girls' old dresses, used t-shirts, and turning fabric scraps into beautiful and useful homeware and accessories!
Recycling for Kids: Other Recycling and Reusing Projects
While the third R of sustainability stands for "reduce," besides "recycle" and "reuse," we still do have plenty of waste around the house, from used crayons to paper bags. Please do not allow them to end up in landfills! Engage the kids in repurposing projects that involve everyday items. Teach them to be creative with their leftovers and set the tone yourself! Here are even more projects you could do at home with the little ones to save money and the planet!
It takes just a few little steps to become eco-friendlier and teach sustainability at home. You could replace plastic bags with reusable grocery bags, buy recycled bags and accessories, separate plastic, so it goes to a recycling plant, carry your water and beverages in filtered water bottles, or repurpose old items to breathe new life and utility into them.
Anything you do to achieve a zero-waste home or a greener way of life will engage your children in all these ventures. After all, we want to leave them a cleaner and healthier world to live in and enjoy adulthood. Recycling for kids' projects will help them become responsible parents for their kids too.