A report by Verisk Maplecroft shows that the average American tosses out about 1,704 pounds of waste every year, which is approximately three times the global average, according to Global Citizen. Besides releasing greenhouse gases, discarded waste destroys the environment because it demands the use of millions of acres of land and gallons of water. While recycling is the best way households can reduce their carbon footprint, involving the entire family in recycling isn’t always easy.
However, taking simple steps like teaching about the different household items you can reuse before tossing can be beneficial. By encouraging your family to embrace sustainable living, you ensure future generations enjoy greener living.
Set Ground Rules
It is essential to educate your family about the importance of recycling items like plastic, metal, paper, and even food. When everyone knows what they should recycle and the benefits involved, it becomes easy to delegate roles. For instance, you can have younger children and teens monitor adults to ensure they are salvaging items correctly. You may also engage young children to sort out recyclable materials in the house and then put them in separate containers. These tactics make the process of reusing fun and straightforward.
Teach the Basics of Scrap Metal Recycling
Too often, people dispose of things like aluminum cans, door handles, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and metal pipes in landfills, because they lack the knowledge on how to recycle metals. They are unaware that throwing away metal in garbage contributes to carbon emission and the need to mine raw materials, which results in pollution and destruction of landscapes. Therefore, commit time to learn and educate your loved ones about the basics of recycling metals. Aside from reducing carbon emissions, metal recycling has many benefits. For example, you can earn money by selling scrap metals like aluminum cans, window frames, copper wire and pipes, and electronics.
Make Room for Recycling
When you have a dedicated space and containers for disposing of reusable items, you are likely to make an effort to recycle. Consider placing different boxes for various types of things you can reuse, such as plastics, clothes, glass, metals, cardboard, and paper. This way, both adults and children in your house will know where to put different items they can repurpose later instead of tossing them in the trash can.
Build a Compost Bin
Composting is an excellent way for your family to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by discarded foodstuffs in landfills. If you have a kitchen garden or one made from plastic bottles and wooden pallets, consider building a compost pile. That way, you can involve family members, especially children, in composting. Teach them the types of food scrap that go into the compost bin. Also, show them weeds and plants they should collect and add to the compost heap.
Getting your family involved in recycling household items shouldn’t be difficult. You only need to teach the basics, dedicate space, and lay down some rules. After all, recycling activities, especially during spring cleaning, are fun to enjoy as a family when done in a positive way.