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It is reported that the average Australian produces 1.5 tonnes of waste per year, with much of this household waste being avoidable – such as plastic packaging and food waste.
Despite companies making changes to their packaging, there is still a lot we can do at home that can make a huge difference to the future of the planet.
Someone who believes in the importance of waste management is David Butcher – aka Recycleman.
Butcher is passionate about educating the next generation about recycling and has developed the Recycleman Show to teach children the importance of environmental awareness and sustainability through use of song, costumes, games and visual aids.
We share his best tips for encourages kids to get on board the recycling train below …
Here’s how to get kids to get on board the recycling train.
1. Show that recycling is important for you
“Children tend to replicate what their parents do, so when your child watches you look for the recycling symbols on bins at home, they are most likely to absorb that interest in behaviour,” says Butcher.
“You are the biggest influence on your child after all, so show them that you are adequately using your recycling system at home.”
2. Encourage with every action
“Even if your child mixes it up or gets it wrong, still remember to encourage and congratulate them for using the recycling station in the first place. It may take some time, so be patient, as it will be worth it.”
The Recycleman Show educates children on the importance of recycling and ongoing sustainability.
3. Remember the basics when it comes to recycling around the home
“The basics are incredibly simple – paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and tin cans,” says Butcher.
“There are numerous little tricks that make the final process so much more simple, such as cleaning out the jars, or understanding the difference between soft and hard plastic and what to do with each. I recommend jumping on your local council’s website and find out what can and cannot be recycled.
“There is usually a different process for each council, so it’s always best to check before starting your recycling journey at home.”
WATCH: How to upcycle old furniture. Continues after video …
4. Create a simple recycling system/area in your house that is always accessible
“Keeping a box under the sink, or outside the house can make it hard for children to access your home recycling system,” explains Butcher.
“By keeping your recycling system in an a safe and easy place for them to access, this will allow them to remain focused on recycling and be reminded to do so.”
5. Make your recycling station more visually appealing
“Get some old magazines that you may having lying around and cut out some items (paper, cardboard, plastics, tin cans and glass) that go into the recycling bin and glue them on to your recycling system.
“Having your child help with this process will give them a greater sense of responsibility as it’s something that they have created with you.”
The Recycleman Show travels to early childhood centres to educate kids.
6. Take simple steps to reduce your household waste
“Reducing your household waste is extremely important and there a few simple and easy things you can do to achieve this,” says butcher.
“The first being creating your very own compost pile or worm farm to eat through all your kitchen scraps. This is such an easy thing to do and such a fun process for children who are typically fascinated by worms!
“Kitchen scraps are also perfect for fertilising that soil in your compost system, or for feeding your worms, so remember not to dispose of them. Both of these avenues will help in and around the garden at home, and assist in bringing your child closer to the environment, which is really going to have a huge effect on the planet in year’s to come, if we all take these simple and easy steps to help reduce our global footprint.”