Sustainable Future with Three ‘R’s
Just as we teach children to respect and take care of themselves, their belongings and their homes, taking care of the environment should be rated as highly important too. After all, we need to keep the planet in top shape for their future!
Last week we mentioned that putting together a wrapping-free lunch is a brilliant way of looking out for the environment, so this week we thought we’d go a little further and talk about the three ‘R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Here’s a little about each of these sustainability approaches with some ideas about how you can get children involved in centres and at home.
Look at all the packaging on everything from food to toys and it’s not hard to imagine that a huge amount of waste is created in every household year in, year out. Christmas and birthdays are always an insight into this as the bins are overflowing as packaging fills them to the brim in one day. When just one kilogram of aluminium generates more than 15kgs of greenhouse gas, the impact of packaging on the environment is notable.
Between us all we can make a huge difference by aiming to minimise the amount of packaging-heavy products we buy. The less we purchase things that are excessively wrapped, the better example we are setting for children and for these companies that reducing waste is important to us and the planet. Avoiding individually wrapped items is an easy one to stick to. Skip the plastic at the supermarket and put the fruit and veg straight in the trolley or basket. Always make sure you take a plastic bag alternative when you go shopping.
Reusing things is an exceptional way of helping to reduce waste and there are so many ways we can do this.
Using refillable containers for drinking as well as for handwash, toiletries and more minimises waste. Washed plastic containers from takeaway, egg cartons and milk bottles can all be used in centres and homes to store things and as the basis for art and craft projects.
When it comes to electronics, homewares and clothes, there’s no doubt another family who needs these things so rather than throw them away in your next clean out, consider donating or offering to people you know.
Food scraps are often suitable for pets or for compost. Maybe a neighbour has a garden that could utilise your organic waste.
Recycling goes a long way to reduce the impact of pollution and helps to keep the planet in good shape.
At Bonkers Beat Music Kinder we have rubbish and recycle bins arranged in each room and discuss with children the importance of using the correct bin. Needless to say, children are fascinated to learn that their off-cuts of used scrap paper can be turned into tissues, newspapers, kitty litter and moulded cartons for eggs and fruit.
A good key to recycling effectively is to always aim to buy recyclable items. This means avoiding things that are packaged in materials that need to be separated and make recycling challenging.
Children might enjoy watching this video, How Recycling Works: http://www.getitrightbinnight.vic.gov.au/how-recycling-works/
Work with children to feel the different textures of plastic and paper and how to separate them for optimal recycling – as always the key is to make it fun. Creating a sustainable future is something that should be engrained in children in a positive way and now is the time to begin!
If you’d like to learn more, these links may be of interest to you:
P.S. As a loyal Bonkers Beat supporter, please enjoy this gift from Bonkers the Monkey – click here for your exclusive access to our song ‘Bonkers Rap’. A fun resource for talking about looking after the planet!