How to engage your kids in recycling

For a lot of people the reason they recycle is to leave the earth in the best possible state for their kids. This World Children’s Day we want to share some useful tips on how you can involve your kids in recycling, teach them about the environment and help them form some great sustainability habits!

Set the scene

Naturally you’ll want to give your kids some background on why caring for the environment is important. But climate change and the environment can be hard for children to understand, and teaching them about it while keeping the subject matter light can be a challenge for parents. 

Below are some films and books to give some background on the environment in a fun and easy to understand way. These are just a few of our favourites, there are so many great options available for learning about this subject!

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Lester and Clyde by James Herbert Reece

Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel

Hairy Nose Itchy Butt by Elizabeth Frankel and Garry Duncan

Old Enough to Save the Planet by Anna Taylor and Loll Kirby

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Set them a challenge

We all know how motivated kids can get when working towards a goal. Why not set a goal for how many pieces of a certain type of waste you would like to collect? Bread bag closures are great for this, you can line them up and challenge your kids to collect enough to equal the length of a window sill or table. Then set a reward for when they reach their goal to make the collecting even more exciting. 

Make them the household recycling leader

Kids can really shine when they are put in charge of something so why not make them the household recycling monitor? Get them to help set up your home recycling station and then put them in charge of making sure the whole house divides their waste into the correct bins. 

Before you know it you will have a household recycling champion keeping you on your toes! Plus you will be helping them cement some great habits around waste and recycling. 

Share the rewards of recycling

As a result of the longstanding container deposit scheme in South Australia a lot of kids from the state will fondly remember helping their parents divide up their bottles and cans and take them into a recycling depot on the weekend. Then as a reward for their hard work recycling the refund from the recycling would go towards a treat like an ice cream. 

Why not apply this same thinking when it comes to your TerraCycle points. When the time comes to redeem your points for a charity or school, let your little ones decide where it should go. Let them enjoy the feel good moment of having their recycling benefit a worthy cause. 

Ready to start recycling with your kids? Check out these Free Recycling Programs we recommend for recycling with kids.


Bread Bag Closure Recycling Program

L.O.L. Surprise! Recycling Program

Oral Care Recycling Program

Schwarzkopf Cares Recycling Program

Writing Instruments Recycling Program

ZURU Bunch O Balloons™ Recycling Program

New Zealand

GLAD® Food Storage Recycling Programme

Oral Care Recycling Programme

The Collective Suckies Recycling Programme

Schwarzkopf Cares Recycling Programme

Writing Instruments Recycling Programme

ZURU Bunch O Balloons™ Recycling Programme

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