Home & Garden Home Teaching Kids the 3R's By Jenn Savedge Writer University of Strathclyde Ithaca College Jenn Savedge is an environmental author and lecturer. She’s a former national park ranger who has written three books on eco-friendly living our editorial process Jenn Savedge Updated July 30, 2019 For recycling to make a real impact, these kids would need to engage a lifelong comprehensive program. (Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock) Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home Family Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Green Living Thrift & Minimalism Sustainable Eating It's never too early to teach your kids about the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. And the best ways to teach them are those that help them get involved in the process. Here's how: Reduce Start a toy exchange with friends. Instead of buying books, movies, and magazines, borrow copies from your local library or movie rental store. When you are shopping, point out reusable items to your kids like refillable pens, a reusable lunch bag or rechargeable batteries. Reuse Use both sides of the paper whenever you can. Fill your child's art box with scrap paper, paper grocery bags, leftover wrapping paper, or the insides of leftover cereal boxes. Donate! Don’t throw away those old clothes and toys. Instead, put them in a box for your local thrift store. Wrap up presents with comics from the newspaper, or a decorated paper grocery bag. Make a waste-free lunch. Use reusable products for your lunch bag, drink bottle, napkin, and sandwich containers in place of disposables. Save that lint! You know all of that lint that comes out of your dryer? Place it in a container outside and the birds will use it to line their nests! Recycle Before you throw something away, check to see if it can be recycled. Check out Earth 911 to find out what and where to recycle in your area.