Replas’s Weblog

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Green Journal: Recycling with Kids

It seems like most preschool kids, including my own, are fascinated with trash. The awe on their faces (when the garbage or recycling trucks come by) is really quite humorous. On more than one occasion, I’ve heard kids boast about their future sanitation worker ambitions and a GARBAGE MAN (with super hero punctuation) costume is actually in the plans for the neighborhood Halloween parade.

My daughter and I have running conversations about reusing and recycling, after I realized that she loves to indiscriminately “throw things in the trash”. Every time I work in the kitchen, she tries to identify whether an item should go into the recycling box, green/compostable can or the trash. And then she gets to put these items in the appropriate pile/container until we can take them outside. Along with her standard shapes, she proudly told her teachers during “Shapes Week” about the recycling triangle that she learned at home.

Now that school is back in session, the steady wave of art projects and work samples has returned as well. I used to secretly sort through her projects and put all but a few in the recycling bin. However, given her currently interest, I gave my daughter her own recycling bin, for which she is solely responsible. She can decide which projects to keep or hang on her wall and which goes into recycling; I put great emphasis that the recycled artwork is not less important but will make materials for new artwork. She is really excited about her new box – which gave me great relief from worries about potentially marginalizing her creations. In fact, when she put a pair of outgrown pants in her box, we started a bag for old clothes and toys as well.

This action cost me no money and only a few minutes to find a cardboard box to hold papers in. Plus, I now know that even at age 4, she has begun to internalize the values we are teaching her. That is something you can’t put a price on.

CindyC at Organicpicks


October 9, 2007 Posted by | Recycling with Kids | Leave a comment