Teaching Kids the Importance of Recycling

As more and more households and businesses go green, it’s helpful for parents to take the time to teach the next generation how to recycle and why it is important. From recycling old homework assignments and broken toys, to taking a reusable water bottle to school, kids can make an impact that will only increase as they get older.

Household recycling of paper, bottles, and cans is a small effort that makes a huge difference. But it doesn’t stop there. Recycling occurs on an industrial level as well and serves as a vital link in the manufacturing chain. According to ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries), steel is the most recycled material both in the United States and worldwide. Scrap metal, such as steel, is recovered from cars, buildings, appliances, railroad tracks, ships, farm equipment and other sources. The scrap recycling industry recycles the steel which is then used domestically as well as exported to approximately 80 countries worldwide. Industrial consumers rely on recycled metals, as they are environmentally friendly and cost-efficient.

What this means to you:

Recycling is good for the environment. It takes less energy, and it’s cheaper and more economically sound to recycle than to mine new raw materials. Recycling also contributes significantly to a healthy economy as it creates jobs as well as products to be sold. Sharing this information with kids and inviting them to go green teaches valuable skills such as responsibility. Recycling also teaches children (and adults) to care about the environment and understand that resources are not limitless.

Make recycling fun:

Learn more about what materials can be recycled and the impact that recycling has by watching this video from ISRI:

Kids can practice identifying what materials should be recycled in the activity below. Your kids can take what they learn and make their own separate bins for recycling paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass and then help you sort recyclables at home.

Some states give money back for bottles and cans. Let your kids experience the economical benefits of recycling first hand.
Get crafty with recycled materials like by creating some projects from No Time For Flashcards.

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