Teaching Kids the 3R's

For recycling to make a real impact, these kids would need to engage a lifelong comprehensive program. (Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.