As the old saying goes – we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children. And that’s exactly why as a society we need to begin educating our children at home about the importance of living sustainably so we can continue to pass on this beautiful world for generations to come.
Research has found that the UK only recycles 45% of its waste. This is far lower than other countries such as Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands who recycle up to 60% of their household waste.
There is some education on recycling in schools, but the best habits start at home.
So in order to help you make an impact on the environment and keep it in good health for generations to come, we’ve revealed the simple ways in which you can educate your children at home.
- Inspire action
Sometimes our children simply think we’re nagging at them for another reason, so rather than try to push your views onto your kids, use videos that will speak to them on their level.
There are a number of incredible videos on National Geographic and TED-ED that show children the wonders of the natural world, and how poor recycling habits can damage the environment.
David Attenborough’s Blue Planet is also a great series that the entire family can watch and learn about the world without feeling scared or frightened about the impact of pollution.
- Support recycling habits
Give them chores around the house to make them distinguish between recycling products, or invent ways to upcycle items. Can they think of a use for that item? Can they wash the glass milk bottles from Plumbs ready for them to be returned?
Get them to make a list of things the family could do together or changes you could make that would change how much plastic everyone in the household consumes.
If you haven’t done already, swap your plastic milk bottles for glass as this can make a big difference to the amount of plastic you throw away every week.
- Get involved locally
There are a number of schemes across the UK which allows everyone to support the environment in their local area. Just simply take a look on your local council’s website to find out how you and your family can get involved with volunteering.
Litter picking and tree planting can be done locally, and it’s a fantastic way to get the entire family out of the house and doing something together.
Making a conscious effort to help out in the local area will make your children them more aware of their surroundings and the impact of litter on the environment.
- Make do and mend
As people, we’ve become accustomed to ‘consuming’ products without thinking about where they may end up. This is especially true for children, as they have been brought up in a society that constantly buys brand new items rather than repairing or fixing the broken.
Therefore getting into a habit of ‘make do and mend’ by upcycling or repairing clothes, is a great way to make your children more aware of not putting everything straight in the bin.
If they’ve ripped something, can you teach them how to patch it up in a colourful way? Or can they think of a way to turn it into something else? For example, old socks make great hand puppets!
With the help of Pinterest and other craft websites, there is so much inspiration out there to help you create a project from any items and help your children stop throwing things away or spending more money on items they don’t need.
- Make compost at home
Making compost at home with the children is easy, and an incredible way to reduce the amount of waste and rubbish that goes into your black bin.
All you need to begin with is a compost bin, a little soil and your food waste – it’s not complicated and it’s certainly not expensive!
Gardening is also the perfect place to teach your children about the environment, and why we should be protecting the plants and animals that call it home.
Get your children involved in understanding where soil comes from and how vegetables grow by getting them to help out in the garden. You could even give them their very own mini-plot.
From picking worms to add into the compost, planting the seasonal vegetables, to adding all the food waste to the compost after dinner – there are many ways to get your little ones involved in the garden.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to educate your children about recycling and plastic pollution at home, and don’t forget to make the switch from plastic bottles to glass with our Plumbs Delivery.