5 Reasons to Teach Children the Importance of Recycling

When you give children everything they want and need, it doesn’t take long for them to think resources are limitless. That the fuel for your car will always be available to take them to sports practice, and that even all those plastic containers they use don’t end up in the rubbish collection then the environment. Without education on finite resources and a suffering planet, children won’t make an effort to be more conscientious with how they live their life on this earth. As early as possible, it’s critical to start teaching children about the importance of recycling and living an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Here’s why there’s no better time to start than now.

1. They Can Make It Something Fun

Recycling doesn’t have to be a drag. Children shouldn’t feel the need to complain and whine about having to separate paper from plastic or trash from tins for rubbish collection. Recycling can be an opportunity to be something fun. Show them the endless possibilities for recycling of household waste like papers.

Let them turn soda bottles into sprinklers, or milk cartons into planters for their new seedlings to thrive. There are many ways in which to make something necessary for the kids to do into something they enjoy. Check out your local recycling business to see if they have any programs for kids.

2. Learn More About the Environment

If you’ve explored all the options for making recycling fun, then why not move onto why it’s so crucial for the environment? According to spark tutoring, buy books for children to understand the environment in a language they can relate to. Create quiz cards to make it a fun game, and show them footage of what happens when you don’t care for the environment.

Depending on the age of your children, you may also like to chat about the health consequences when we don’t make conscientious decisions with our garbage collection. For example, in 2012, 3.7 million people died of air pollution-related health problems. The environment can be our best friend or our worst enemy.

3. Find Out Where Their Rubbish Goes

A way in which to educate children about waste management and recycling is for them to understand where it goes. If you want to be proactive with raising someone who cares for the environment, then make it a valuable experience.

Let them talk to a rubbish collection worker where they can ask questions. Take them to a recycling plant and a rubbish dump. Show them the piles and piles of rubbish that people dump without a second thought.


Every year, over 2.12 billion tons of waste goes into dumping facilities. In truck terms, that’s enough trucks of rubbish to go around the world 24 times. Visual depictions of trash can make your children more thoughtful about what they throw away instead of recycling.

4. Make More Conscious Purchasing Decisions

Ninety-nine percent of what the average person buys ends up ready for rubbish collection in six months. Once your children understand how poorly the environment feels with all that rubbish, they may be more inclined to change their purchasing habits.

Do they need that plastic soda bottle or glass jar, or would water from the tap be better for their bodies and the environment? That plastic gimmick toy looks fun, but will they even be interested in it by the end of the day? Recycling isn’t taking all the fun out of life, but it’s helping children to understand the implications of buying items that end up in bags ready for rubbish collection.

5. Spread the Word

By teaching kids about recycling, you are sharing knowledge that could end up making a difference. If your children think twice about throwing something away or buying something that won’t be useful, then you may be raising children who care for the environment. They go on to raise children who feel the same way as well.


Using environmental issues in student learning shows children the bigger picture

If it’s not your children you’re telling about the importance of recycling, it could be someone else. The more people who know and understand the importance of being selective with rubbish collection, the higher the chance that more people will take their recycling duty seriously.


Schools and educational facilities are providing a foundation for environment-conscious children. They instill the values of recycling all the time. Your kids decorate pine cones, make macaroni frames, and build robots out of cardboard boxes. What you are achieving with them is an extension of that initial groundwork laid out by teachers.

You’re helping them to understand what the environment needs from us. You are enlightening them on the state of the dumping sites, and how much of our rubbish goes to rubbish collection agencies unnecessarily. You are letting them know that recycling can be fun, rather than a chore.

Most importantly, you are letting them know that resources are finite, and we need to do all we can to protect the earth we value so much.

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About Alison Hefer

My name is Alison Hefer, I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa but I have spent the last few years in beautiful New Zealand. I write articles for various websites including Junkrun.co.nz and regularly contribute articles about the always changing world of SEO to Clickthrough.co.nz. I am a busy blogger/mom by day and avid writer by night. My career goal is to one day write a novel of my own.

5 Responses to 5 Reasons to Teach Children the Importance of Recycling

  1. Pingback: Eco-friendly Things To Know Before Buying Your First Home | EcoMENA

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  4. Me Con says:

    This four R concept Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, needs to be understood by everyone to save our future. Each and every product we use can be recycled. But by refusing or reducing the use of such a product, we can protect our environment. If it is very necessary then only use the products & try to reuse if not recycling of each product can be done very easily.

  5. Waste Disposer says:

    Every child should be taught about this as it will carry on from generation to generation!

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