Inculcating The Reusing And Recycling Habit In Your Kids

Inculcating The Reusing And Recycling Habit In Your Kids

You cannot take a walk down the block anymore without seeing some signboard or placard that says “Save Our Planet”.  It’s true; our planet’s resources are drying up and the sheer misuse of resources over centuries, not to speak of chemical pollution, has lead to a progressively unclean planet. Is this what we’re going to leave behind for our kids? You can do your bit to help matters; teach your kids right now to start respecting natural resources. Kids learn by rote and practice. Therefore, as a parent, you need to inculcate the principles of thrifty recycling early on and keep at it till they learn their lessons well. Recycling and conservation are more important than ever. Read on for ideas on how to inculcate the reusing and recycling habits in your kids.

Recycling Glass Items

Don’t throw away glass jam jars, old vases, glass sauce bottles and so on. You can pile up your discarded glass items and hand them over to the recycling unit, or try something more innovative. Here’s an idea – buy some seeds, and help your kid plant a flower, tomato or even parsley plant in an old glass jar. When your child sees that things can grow and produce beauty inside of even apparently useless items like jam jars, they will learn to better appreciate the value of things.

Recycling Used Paper

Don’t throw away used paper and old letters. If the flip side is black, make a homemade notepad for your kids’ math practice. If both sides are printed, make sure you pile up the papers and take your kid along when you hand the paper over to the recycling unit. If you are creative, you can learn how to make Paper Mache dolls and other items. It’ll be a fun project in which to involve your kids.

Recycling Plastic Containers

Cut plastic containers in half and use the bottom halves to plant flowers and herbs. Another idea is to cut them in half, paint the bottom halves in bright colors and use them as water dishes for your pets.

Recycling Newspapers and Magazines

Glossy magazines contain colorful pictures that can be cut and pasted into a fun album. Make your kids collect pictures of animals, buildings and other interesting things and label them.  Use the comic section of your daily newspaper for wrapping gifts. What a fun way to wrap gifts without spending on wrapping paper!

Recycling Old Egg Cartons

Dip the egg cartons in some colorful solid paints, and get your kids to paint each egg scoop in a different shiny color. These make convenient containers to store your daughter’s earrings or your son’s game pieces or marble collection. Once your kids have changed the look of the egg carton, it becomes an object of art. Of course, if you tend to buy several dozens of eggs a month, it’s best to just recycle used cartons the regular way.

Recycling Plastic Bags

There are many ways to recycle and reuse the plastic bags that you get when you shop at grocery stores. Teach your children about plastic recycling by using your store plastic bags as shopping bags, trash bags, soiled-diaper bags, storage bags for old clothes and things, emergency carry bags and so on. Your children will learn not to throw away plastic bags but to reuse them until they are not fit for reuse. One great use for plastic bags is to store away items in your attic or basement.

Recycling Old Clothing

Children these days are seduced by the rows of new designs in malls. Teach them the value of money by recycling your older kids’ clothing for your younger kids. You can also make your children pick out clothing every year from their closets to give away to GoodWill or to the people living in homeless shelters. Teach your children the value of thrift by cutting up torn T-shirts and using them as dust cloths to clean your kitchen and vehicles. You can also rip up old, battered clothing into strips and make efficient floor mops out of them. Make sure you involve your children in all these activities so that they learn never to throw away clothing that doesn’t fit anymore.

Recycling Water

Water is a precious natural resource that people tend to use without concern for the future. Teach your kids the value of water by showing them videos of how people survive without water in many regions. Always teach your kids to use only as much water as they need for their personal hygiene. Use hand held sprinklers to water your garden, rather than mechanical sprinklers. Collect rainwater in large bowls and use this water to clean your vehicles and other equipments. Whenever possible, talk to your kids about conserving water.

Guest post written by: John Smith of

Hi, I’m Sommer (@greenmom) and I’ve been calling this my blogging home for 9 years. I’m a juggler of life, a protective mama bear and I enjoy travel, wine, sunshine and good books. I’m passionate about inspiring others to live a little healthier and greener each day. I’m many things but above all I’m a believer in karma and the good in people. I’m a children’s book author, public speaker and consultant. My full-time gig is working as a Marketing Manager for and helping to encourage everyone to eat healthier. Check out my about me page for more details.


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  • Jen

    It is fun to make recycling a game with the kids. Especially when you take it yourself to the recycling center. The kids just love it!

  • Recycling rainwater is one way of conserving water. Instead of using tap water from sink for cleaning bathrooms, kitchen, garage, or backyard, take advantage of the rainy weather by collecting rainwater from roof troughs. If you want to make the water cleaner, a filter is of great help.

  • docshred

    You can also teach them the benefits of paper recycling such as how many trees will be saved with a simple paper recycling calculator at