April 18, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
My two-year old says her ABC’s, mostly in order, and even counts to 20, more often than not. What makes me most proud, though, is she knows to ask what canister to put trash in. While she’s still too young to understand the concept of recycling, she does knows that paper, plastic, tin and glass do not go in the same bin as a banana peel or the scraps from our dinner plates.
Taking things a step further, her older sister often uses the recycling bin as her go-to art supply center. Romeo, a robot with an old shoebox for a body, egg cartons for feet and cupcake liners for eyes, was a rainy day project with dad. He’s become such a fixture in our living room that I imagine he may stay with us long after the girls go off to college.
Next week as you get ready for Earth Day festivities, think about how we can continue the celebration all year long. Here are some tips to make recycling fun and easy for the whole family.
- Speak their language. Little ones may not be able to read, but they can understand pictures. Tape photos onto each pail so they know how to “file” their trash. Make it a weekend project, and flip through old magazines and have them help pick out the photos too.
- Best craft bin ever. Save money on supplies and let the kids spur creativity like my girls did with Romeo.
- Every little bit counts. Everyday items like the paper tag and wrappers from tea bags go into our recycling bin. So do empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, price tags from new clothing, and even paper sleeves from bread we buy at the bakery.