As a parent, you’re charged with teaching your children well to prepare them for a productive and happy life as an adult. You wouldn’t dream of neglecting that duty by keeping them home from school or failing to teach them to be kind and responsible. Don’t overlook the value of teaching your children about responsible waste removal. Kids who learn to recycle now will carry those lessons with them for a lifetime as they become good stewards of the earth. Here’s how you can set the stage and teach your children the value of caring for the earth from an early age.
Set a Good Example
“Do as I say and not as I do,” rarely brings positive change in children. To instill the love of the earth and responsible habits, set an example for them. If you’ve been lax with your recycling and other waste removal habits, it’s not too late. Start now to model the behaviors you want your children to develop and you may be surprised how quickly they follow suit. Michigan State University advises that children learn best from both positive modeling and positive reinforcement. That means you should incorporate rewards (even if it’s merely verbal praise) for learning good waste removal behaviors to reinforce them in your child. Letting your kids see you recycling and practicing good waste removal behaviors teaches them that the behavior is expected in your household.
Ways to Model Good Waste Removal Behaviors
How you model good waste removal habits depends, in part, on your location and your personal lifestyle. If you live on a farm or homestead, your composting and waste removal experiences will differ from those living in urban areas with roadside trash and recycling pickup. Likewise, rural areas may not have the recycling opportunities available in urban areas. The key is to make a sincere effort within the confines of your situation. Here are some ways you can model responsible behavior regardless of your location.
- Set up a recycling area in your home. Think paper products, glass, plastics and metals. Providing bins for each makes sorting easy and teaches kids organizational skills too. In urban areas, you could have the opportunity to put everything curbside at the appropriate time, whereas you may need to haul your own recyclables to a recycling center in rural areas.
- Compost kitchen and yard wastes. Nearly everyone has room for a compost bin, even if it’s a small one in a bucket or other container. Those in rural areas can often tuck a full-size compost pile near the garden or in the backyard. Teaching kids what can and cannot be composted and involving them in the process helps them learn about returning wastes to the soil. Use the compost for container gardens or in your flowerbed and vegetable garden so children can observe the fruits of their labor.
- Be a responsible consumer. Avoid the temptation to purchase and use disposable items, like paper cups, napkins and plates, and opt for reusable items instead. Model re-using containers and items that most people throw in the trash for other purposes, such as making plant pots from old plastic containers or using glass jars to store food products.
Participate in Community Events
Make it a habit to participate in bottle drives, clean up days and any other environmental preservation activities in your community. If your area doesn’t have a recycling program, get involved with like-minded community members to set one up.
Other ways to responsibly dispose of waste includes contracting services for household construction or renovation projects, major yard cleanups or cleaning out your home before moving. Debris Box provides recycling and roll off services suitable for any size job. Not sure exactly what you need? No problem. Contact us today and talk to a professional to assess your waste management needs and set up a program that is right for you.