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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recycling Responsibilities for Children

By Scarlet


Recycling glassRecycling is a great chore for children depending on their age. Chores are an important way for children to learn about responsibility, working together as a family, and earning and managing money. Recycling chores offer the added benefit of teaching your child about going green and conserving resources.

My children have always been involved in recycling in our house. Since my kids were old enough to toddle over to the trash can, I have been instructing them, “That is plastic. It can be recycled and they can make new plastic out of it.” They quickly learned what could be put in the recycling bin and what could be put in the trash, as well as what things are made out of.

When the whole family is involved in daily recycling, it keeps us all on our toes. My daughter will sometimes catch my husband in the act of throwing away a recyclable and she lets him know. My kids also come with me to drop off our recycling so they know exactly what goes where and how the collection process works.

Now that my kids are 5 and 7, I have put them in charge of recycling duties in our house. They are going beyond daily participation and helping me do the weekly sorting of the recycling into plastic, paper, cardboard, glass and cans. I still supervise the process because my youngest needs a little guidance. You may choose to give your child a small allowance based on the amount of help he or she is giving, or let the children collect the deposit money if your state is one that participates in that program.

Recycling chores are great for giving children a real understanding of responsibility. The importance of going green is also made clear to a child when they begin to see how all of our waste adds up in our recycling bin and in the community drop off area. Recycling is a chore that provides satisfaction by contributing in a valuable way to the house and to the community.

Older kids may also enjoy signing on to, the recycling rewards program. By creating an account and reporting your recycling, you can earn points for groceries and other household goods.  SC Johnson has actually partnered with Recyclebank for the SC Johnson Green Choices Recycling Challenge, where 50 communities, one in each state, are competing to increase their recycling participation rate.

Having your child pitch in with the recycling chores is a great way to pass on your passion for being green. Do your kids help you go green?

Photo courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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