On first thought, waste and recycling don’t make for a particularly exciting field to get involved in. This is especially true for children, who have plenty already competing for their attention. But while there is an important side to promoting recycling and proper waste management to kids, it is also a field with potential to be a lot of fun. The community projects below are all about teaching kids through participation and involvement, and many of them require an active, hands-on approach.
These volunteer activities are also a great way to make friends outside of school, as well as promoting a strong work ethic and passion for community that will benefit kids forever.
Under adult supervision, tree planting in a neighbourhood is a great project for kids to undertake. With proper care and protection, kids can watch their own trees grow over time, showing a significant personal impact on their home community. To work in recycling, use cartons from milk or juice that have been cleaned out and opened as protectors for the fragile seedlings.
A junk exhibition
Stimulate budding artists with recycled art. Kids can collect materials from their own homes and around the community and use them to create artworks or practical items of their own. This is a great alternative to simply recycling cans or other items – it captures the collection element but also introduces a creative aspect. Once they’re done, why not show the artworks at a local event, like a country fair or fete?
In communities lucky enough to have a community garden, kids can work on building a compost pit to give back to the garden. Neighbours can be solicited to separate their own compostable materials too, meaning there will be plenty to work with.
All these plans are about extending the life of what gets thrown out. Rather than simply throwing out waste and recycling cans and bottles, they can become a source of education and in many cases, entertainment for neighbourhood kids.