April 22 is Earth Day. Lots of people and companies will take this day to plant a tree or clean up their roads and neighborhoods. Target gave away recycled bags this week and have added recycling bins in their stores for plastic, glass and some electronics. Wal-Mart will announced on their website that each Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart store will be announcing the recipients of $500 environmental grants that have been earmarked for local schools to help in their communities.
So, what can you and your family do to make a difference this Earth Day? Start recycling at your home. It is pretty easy to get going, and the whole family can participate, even the little ones. Here are some suggestions for bringing your family on board to the idea of recycling:
First, make sure the adults are aware of what can and can’t be included in your recycling efforts. The Lafayette city home page has a great illustration available at http://www.lafayette.in.gov/egov/docs/1216912629_82275.pdf to show how to get your trash ready for recycling.
Next, get the little ones on board by explaining why it is important to keep the earth clean. Tell them it is like keeping their rooms clean, in that no one should have to live in a dirty place, and that they can keep their areas clean. Next, show them what can and can’t be recycled. Then, show them where recyclables need to go. After awhile it will just seem like second nature to them.
Of course, making the earth a cleaner place can happen anywhere, not just at home. Make sure that children understand why it is important to put their trash in the proper place when they are away from home. For example, while on a family trip to Turkey Run State Park recently, my family took along plastic shopping bags to pick up any litter we found along the way. The kids understand that they can do their part to help clean up outside as well as inside.
We have been recycling for about a year now, and are amazed at the difference it has made. Not only do we have about half as much trash going to the dump as we used to, but our kids are much more aware of what they can do to be less wasteful.
Here are some links to pages with ideas for recycled crafts and projects:
http://www.kinderart.com/recycle/, www.epa.gov/kids/garbage.htm, www.more4kids.info/704/top-10-recycling-websites-for-kids/