Coming up with recycling ideas for kids can be tough, which is why we’ve done it for you. By teaching kids to take an active role in reducing household waste, you’re contributing to a greener future. That’s because kids who recycle turn into adults who recycle. The more engaged they are at a young age, the better. By encouraging your family to live sustainably, you’re ensuring that future generations can enjoy our planet, too.
And who wouldn’t want that?
If you’re looking for ways to get your family involved, we’ve put together three fun recycling ideas for kids. They’ll help you recycle, reduce, reuse, and reconnect.
Fun-cycling for the future
Fun-cycling is all about making recycling exciting.
It can be as simple as decorating your bins with your kids, to creating a recycling game that teaches them which materials go where. Whatever the case, to effectively recycle, it’s important that you know your program inside out. One way you can do this with your entire family is by taking a tour of your local recycling facility.
There are also plenty of entertaining and educational books covering a wide range of green themes. Some that we enjoy are:
- A Plastic Bottle’s Journey by Suzanne Slade
- Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Instead of tossing an item in the garbage, try to think of creative ways to make it useful again. That’s what upcycling is all about—turning trash into treasure. It’s also a great opportunity to start a craft project with the whole family.
Lately, e-jewelry, or so-called “computer couture” has been all the craze. People are turning computer chips and keyboard keys into earrings and necklace pendants. Items like old pillow bags can be repurposed into tote bags. Many will remember creating puppets and other crafts out of cardboard tubes. When it comes to upcycling, the only limit to what you can do is your imagination.
Hand-me-downs, the bane of younger siblings, are another great way for old materials to find new life. If your child is unenthusiastic about them, consider applauding them for playing a critical role in curbing waste.
Finally, start composting at home. It’s a great way to reduce your organic waste. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity to get into gardening, something the entire family can enjoy. There are few things more rewarding than eating food you’ve grown yourself!
The fourth R: Reconnecting
Today, many of us are disconnected from nature. We’re either too busy, or we live in areas where green space is limited. Finding ways to enjoy the outdoors is important. By instilling a deep appreciation for our planet into your children, you’re showing them exactly what it is we’re trying to protect. Maybe that means a camping trip to a national park. It could be as small as gifting your child a money plant and teaching them about the circle of life.
Remember: recycling is a big deal. Unfortunately, too many of us have lost sight of that. By recycling, you’re committing to cutting back waste and doing better for our planet. For kids, this can be inspiring—the idea that through small, consistent acts of waste mindfulness, they can make a big difference. If your city is part of the Recycle Coach Network, feel free to download our app. We can show you what’s recyclable in your community. You can even use it to find more recycling ideas for kids.