Teach Your Kids about Recycling While You Shop!
Once kids are past the tantrum stage, the grocery store is a great place to teach about recycling, because there are so many opportunities to show kids the differences in how products are packaged and consumed.
Here are some ways to turn a trip to the market into a recycling learning experience:
- When you're shopping with kids, explain the concept in easy terms they can understand. "Some things break down or can be used to make new products; some just sit in the trash and take up space."
- As you go down the aisles, show kids that some items come with extensive packaging and some don't, some come in recyclable containers and some don't, and some items get thrown away immediately, and some can be used over and over again.
- Explain why you're buying the things that are recyclable, reusable, or come with less packaging. Make sure they know why you choose to buy one product and not another.
- Once kids are old enough to have a good understanding of recycling and eco-friendly practices, turn grocery shopping into quiz time to test their knowledge. Ask kids to choose between two products and identify which is the more environmentally friendly. Give them a pop quiz on which containers—potato chip bags, soup cans, cardboard boxes—are recyclable and which aren't. Show them a container like an orange juice jar or a butter tub, and have them brainstorm ways that your family might re-use it.
Getting kids engaged in your purchasing decisions keeps them occupied while you're shopping as well as expands their knowledge. We might not have been raised "green," but it doesn't mean our kids can't be!