Help your neighbours recycle

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teaching about recyclingFor this week’s “Change the World Wednesday” challenge, Reduce Footprints is asking us to help others recycle.

She says “This week, find someone that doesn’t recycle and help them get started. Perhaps a friend or neighbor doesn’t know how … so teach them. ”

What a fantastic idea. Although I run a couple of large websites and reach a big global audience, I rarely talk about recycle to friends, family or neighbourhood.

Fortunately this opportunity presented itself at the beginning of the year when I was asked to talk to a group of children about recycling!

Kids make the best audiences; they are not afraid to speak up, their enthusiasm is infectious, it doesn’t matter if they or you make a mistake (because they just brush it off, unlike adults) and by the end of the night you’re all exhausted!

From being a Mum myself I knew I had to make the presentation interactive. No whiteboards or boring speeches from me. No, this was all about kids pretending to be recycling boxes, compost heaps and charity shops whilst doing a lot of running around! I split them into groups and bought in my trusty black bag full of a week’s worth of ‘rubbish’.

We picked items at random and talked about them – what were they? Did the children use them at home? What did they do with them? What were they made of? How could we dispose of them responsibly?

At the end of the night, each child was holding their group of items and I was left with a virtually empty landfill bag – proving, that with a little thought, knowledge and care we could ALL dramatically reduce our landfill waste.

To prevent hyperactive children we had a competition to see who could find the most inventive way to flatten their tetra pak cartons – they were soon jumping, rolling over and stamping on them until they were as flat as could be. This tied in beautifully  with the idea that it was a waste of energy to transport air. They had a go with a can crusher and we ate home made cakes whilst talking about excess food packaging.

It was a fantastic night. We left feeling tired but buzzing and who knows – maybe one of those children will have gone home and told their parents all about it 😉


  1. Small Footprints on November 2, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    What a brilliant and creative idea! I love that you had them acting as various recycle bins, etc. And asking them to discuss each piece of trash was great. They have such creative, fresh minds. I was wondering … did they give you any new ideas or surprise you with anything? Wonderful idea, Mrs. Green!

  2. Mrs Green on December 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    @Small Footprints: Hiya, the most surprising thing was that they seemed to enjoy themselves! I was worried they’d be bored with the subject matter but of course they knew SO much, more than the adults and were very creative and fun to be with 🙂

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