Teaching Children about Recycling and Waste


Waste is a global issue. Australia has one of the highest per capita rates of creating landfill of any developed nation. The attitudes we pass onto our children regarding these important topics will play a big part in determining the future they live in.

In this article, we will discuss some simple ways to talk about waste and recycling with our children to help develop a conscience tied to sustainability.


Keep It Simple

Complex diagrams, abstract figures and consumer pathways are going to go in one ear and out the other. Children are capable of understanding all of these things but only in their own way. It is not a great idea to create anxieties and fears related to uncertainties regarding the drawdown of natural resources either. Keep it simple. Everything comes from somewhere.

It might sound counterintuitive, but the seemingly complex ideas of thermodynamics can be a great place to start. The first law of thermodynamics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another. This is not a bad thing to teach children, as there is literally no known instance in the entire history of the Universe that contradicts this statement.

It is then an easy matter to delineate recycling and general waste. Recycling will re-enter the human cycle of consumption and general waste will be buried in a hole never to be seen again or incinerated.


Ask for Their Help

From simply taking out the trash to sorting recycling, involve your children. They need to learn what can and cannot be recycled to help develop their consciousness towards what kinds of goods and services they should buy in the future.

They need to understand what happens if waste is not collected, how bad putrefying food can smell, and the potential it carries to bring disease. Hiding the reality of particular situations from children can serve a purpose, but in the long run it will be to their detriment as they will be forced to learn things at a later, often less forgiving time of life.


Be Prepared to Learn Something

Young minds are uniquely placed to adapt dynamically to situations. They have not been desensitised by years of doing the same thing. Consider how a single stick can occupy a child for an entire summer’s worth of games. That creativity and potential, when afforded the respect it deserves, can be one of the driving forces for change in our society.

It should come as no surprise then that creative upcyclers are burgeoning among younger generations. Young leaders are also coming forward with plans for cleaning up the oceans and reprocessing landfill for precious metals.

Our children can teach us better ways to live in this world if we explain the problems to them simply, and listen carefully to their solutions.


Let Children Help You Load Your Skip


Among all of these hopes for the future, there is a present reality that there is still a lot of trash that needs to be disposed of. Letting younger generations help with that disposal project will help them think creatively about other ways the things they are throwing out could be used.


When Ready, Call Smart Skip for Your Waste Disposal

Smart Skip services the entire greater Brisbane Area, from Moreton Bay to the Gold Coast and Toowoomba. You can use our online form to hire a skip for residential or commercial jobs. You can also call us on 13 75 47.