Fun with the family
If you live with your family, it is highly likely that just one person puts out the recycling. All family members help consume and create waste so it makes sense to get everyone involved with reducing, reusing and recycling!
Here are some simple ideas to involve all the family and make everyone a part of a mini green revolution in your home!
Involve the kids…and make it fun!
Decorate your food waste caddy with the help of your little ones. Draw pics of the food waste items that go in the caddy on scrap paper and stick them on the side. Or use paint to spruce up your bin with groovy artwork.
Involve the kids when separating out recycling to make them feel part of it. You could encourage your child to clean and sort items before recycling, ensuring they are supervised at all times.
Make a ‘Recycleometre’
For younger children, try setting up a reward system that encourages them to recycle. Create a Blue Peter style ‘Recycleometre’ chart will help set a goal for how many items they should recycle each week, track their progress and offer them a reward if they meet the goal. Once you’ve set up your chart use stickers or get creative and make something out of recyclable materials.
For older kids, consider projects that show them the tangible results of not recycling. For example, you could weigh the amount of rubbish, recycling and compostable materials you generate each week and track your family's progress for a month. Set a goal for reducing your rubbish and pick an eco-friendly reward if they meet their goal.
Set them a Love Food Hate Waste cooking challenge – aprons on and get cooking!
Encourage your children to understand about using up food leftovers by getting them involved in cooking up something tasty from the Love Food Hate Waste website. Banana milkshake is always a favourite with the kids.
There are loads of recipes, so log on and start searching for your favourites.
Show your kids what can be recycled (including their bedroom bins)
It’s really important that EVERY family member knows what can be recycled from EVERY bin around your home. Check out our interactive house for help.
When you're at home, point out what items can go into your recycling bin, and, just as important, what can't be recycled. Ask them to think of the items can be saved for recycling at a later date like batteries (most supermarkets have recycling bins) and electronics. Get your kids to look for the ‘on pack recycling labels’ on products in your home and while you're out shopping with them.
Draw up a recycling roster and share the household jobs
Draw up weekly recycling roster and share the duties with everyone in the house. This way everyone gets involved and can see that recycling takes place in every room in the house.
Do you hoard stuff you don't need?
If you have the tendency to stow away things, why not have a sort through and sell them! After all, one person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure. Think about your items stored in the loft, garage and shed and sell them online. Remember, items that can’t be sold can be recycled at home or at one of the many recycling centres dotted around the country.
Having guests to stay?
If you’ve got people coming to stay over the holiday period, it’s likely they’ve travelled from somewhere with a different recycling scheme in place. Be sure to tell them about how you separate your waste for recycling. That way they will know what goes where and when and you’ll avoid putting recyclable items in the landfill bin.
Top tips for reuse around the home and involving the family
Transform your old containers into a useful storage devices
- Transform jam jars into storage containers for DIY gear such as nails, screws and nuts ‘n’ bolts
- Ask the kids to come up with their own designs and paint your jam jars (using acrylic paint) and they become funky tea lights. Always supervise your children when using naked flames from candles.
- Use old take-away containers to store your leftover food in to take to work the next day to save you cash. Take-away containers are excellent for freezing food to use for another day.
- Get the kids to make Christmas and birthday paper chain decorations using off-cuts of coloured paper
- Invest in a pair of crimping scissors and ask the kids to make gift cards out of last years Christmas (or birthday) cards to be used on presents sent this years
- Invest in gift boxes and bags and reuse time, and time again. Open any wrapping paper carefully and save for another present.
Give your old furniture a new lease of life – get your brush out!
- Think about painting old furniture with an egg shell paint instead throwing them out to buy new. If you're transforming the furniture in the kid’s bedroom, let them paint the town red with their favourite colours
- If your kitchen units are starting to look a bit drab, why not paint them a new colour and replace the handles with new ones (if metal, recycle the old ones)