America Recycles is a day in November that helps educate families about the importance of taking care of our Earth and teaches the importance and impact of recycling. Did you know that each year recycling supports over 750,000 jobs? As awareness of recycling has increased, the amount of recycling has increased from around 7% in 1960 to over 30% today! On November 15, share the reasons WHY we recycle, HOW it works, and WHAT your kids can do to make a difference in the world.
Here are 5 ways to celebrate America Recycles with your family:
- Learn about Recycling. Grab some books from the library or watch a documentary on recycling. By showing kids the process, they can understand what happens when they drop paper in the blue bin instead of the garbage bin, and WHY it matters! Check out some of these fun video options or this list of books.
- Make it fun! Kids learn through play, so give them a scavenger hunt where they have to search the house for items they can recycle or quiz them on items that go in the trash or recycling bin. The more kids hear about what can be recycled, the more likely they will be to remember to do it when they have the option.
- Go on a trash hunt. Grab a garbage bag and gloves and walk around your neighborhood or a local park to find garbage. See how many caps/lids they can find, or have a contest to see who can find the most garbage by weighing the bags at the end of the hunt. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fill up a bag of trash but there’s not often a lot of motivation to do it. America Recycles is the perfect day to help clean up your neighborhood!
- Teach your kids advocacy. Maybe they can write a letter to their school principal requesting recycling bins in each classroom, or a letter to a local restaurant that isn’t currently recycling. Show them the power of advocacy and perseverance – maybe they can make a difference in their own city!
- Use your imagination. Art can be a great way to teach – whether through writing, painting, coloring or music. One way to show the impact of recycling is to let you kids draw their feelings (maybe they color a picture of their local landfill towering over the houses, or garbage strewn around the park) or write about what they know. They could create a story in which recycling doesn’t exist, or brainstorm ways to limit the amount of garbage they make each way. By thinking creatively, they form a connection to the topic that will likely help them form their own reasons “why” they should recycle!
There you have it, 5 ways to spend America Recycles Day with your family! I hope these ideas help spur conversations with your kids about the importance of recycling. If you have any ideas to share, please feel free to comment below!