Fun Ideas That Will Have The Whole Family Recycling

By: Kelli Spotti
Published on August 12, 2011
Last Updated on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 11:02 AM
Total Updates: 6

Implementing a new recycling system into your household can often be a daunting task. From a spouse who may be stuck in his or her ways to children who are hard to convince to participate, making the switch to becoming a greener household isn't always easy. However, with a little bit of creativity and education - introducing a recycling initiative to your family may be easier than you think.

The key is to start simple. If you've never had a recycling system before, begin with the basics. While it's easy to stick a separate trash can in the kitchen and label it "recyclables" - throwing a little bit of education, as well as fun, behind the project could put a whole new spin on things. If you have kids, try a recycling station project where a series of smaller bins are used. Let kids decorate each bin, labeling them with "paper", "plastic" and "aluminum". Explain what falls into each category and give kids a mission to find things throughout the house that would belong in each bin to set them off on the right foot. At the end of each week, parents and children can evaluate which bin filled up the quickest and set a goal for the next week. If the plastics bin was full but the paper bin was nearly empty, encourage kids to recycle more paper to meet next week's goal. By turning recycling into an educational game, rather than making it feel like a mandatory task, even older kids can get excited about the project.

For adults that may be stuck in their ways of tossing everything in the trash can, it may just be a matter of getting into a routine. Find out when your area picks up recycling and circle the date on your calendar. If you're forgetful, make a note of it in your cell phone or day planner. While you may live a very busy lifestyle, taking that few extra minutes every few weeks to put together a bag of recyclables will make a difference to your environment. Making small changes to your lifestyle can help, as well. Instead of buying a case of plastic water bottles every week, spend a few bucks on a refillable container. You won't be tempted to throw that bottle in a trash can and even more, you'll save some extra cash on your grocery bill. Small habit changes like this will certainly pay off over time.

And while you may think that tossing the aluminum foil cover off of your leftovers and into the recycling bin is making a difference, it's important for adults to be educated in recycling do's and don'ts, as well. While aluminum is generally recyclable - used aluminum foil may not be. If you've never been involved in recycling before, it's a great idea to take a trip to your local recycling center to find out exactly what is accepted to ensure that your efforts will be to their fullest potential.

So whether you've been trying for ages to implement change or you're looking to turn over a whole new leaf - it's never too late to get you and your family involved in a household recycling initiative. Even if you're starting out small, set goals for the future that will not only change the way you live, but the environment you live in, as well. Happy recycling!

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