Teaching people to be environmentally conscious from a young age will foster a life-long respect for the earth in them.
A strong sense of environmental ethics will equip our youngsters with the knowledge they need not only to reduce their carbon footprint now, but to grow up into environmentally responsible citizens.
Teaching your children from a young age to recycle and reduce pollution is an important part of their eco-friendly journey.
When it comes to recycling every bit helps. A good testament to this is the results obtained by schools taking part in The Glass Recycling Company’s annual schools competition.
A whopping 859 tons of glass bottles and jars were recovered for recycling by pupils in SA’s big cities in the 2019 competition alone.
Public buy-in vital
Shabeer Jhetam, CEO of The Glass Recycling Company, says despite heightened awareness about climate change globally, many South African youngsters are still unaware of the benefits and impact of glass recycling.
“Our glass recycling rate in South Africa has gradually increased over the years and is now at an impressive 42%. However, we still have a great deal of room for growth.
“We want teachers, pupils and schools to be as invested in our planet as we are and help us make a difference.”Shabeer Jhetam
“Sowing the seeds as early as possible leads to reaping a positive payoff for both us and the planet, that being a cleaner, greener environment.”
Getting the kids involved also helps to foster active citizenship, entrepreneurship and other future-fit learning skills.
Competitions to promote recycling
Greening competitions and clean-ups, for instance, often encourage pupils to collaborate with their classmates and engage in teamwork towards a common goal.
In The Glass Recycling Company’s annual competition, the goal is simple but it requires a huge team effort – to collect more glass bottles and jars than other schools in their province every month.
Monthly and annual prizes are awarded, but the real reward is the children’s sense of purpose and pride in the recycling journey.
ALSO READ: Meet South Africa’s 2019 recycling champions
Five ways to teach your kids about recycling
- Have a dedicated place for recycling bins at home where the kids can help separate the rubbish instead of everything ending up in landfill.
- Teach them what packaging is and isn’t recyclable.
- Start a small compost heap where the family can dispose of compostable waste, helping to create a source of nutrient-rich compost for the garden.
- Take the kids along to the nearest recycling bank, for example in your local park, library, school, church or shopping centre, and get them involved in depositing the recyclables.
- Teach them the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and make it a part of their and your daily life.