Why is it important to teach kids about plastic?
Unavoidably, generations are now growing up with most items wrapped in plastic. It becomes part of their daily life, but it’s important that we educate them that plastic isn’t convenient.
We all should be looking for alternatives to using plastic, consciously making an effort to buy in more environmentally friendly ways. When our children witness our attempts to change we build their habits to be environmentally conscious and secure their futures.
We’ve put together 5 activities to play at home with your children. To have fun educating them, whilst promoting a healthy outlook on protecting their future environment.
- The Recycling Scavenger Hunt
The game to teach your children about what recyclable items go where and why.
Set up your recycling bags so everyone has easy access to them. Make a list of the items currently in the bags. Ask your children to close their eyes and count whilst you hide the items. Whoever collects the most wins!
Variations can include making a point system for ‘high-value’ items or having them race against a timer.
- The Plastic Diary
How to help children visualise how much plastic we use in our daily lives.
Online, research facts and images on the effects of plastic explaining the difference between single-use and reusable plastic. Create a week-long template with different plastic categories.
Throughout the week whenever your child uses plastic get them to write it down. At the end of the week you’ll be able to evaluate how much plastic has been used and how it could be reduced. This can be created as simply or as complicated as you like.
- Plastic Pollution and Marine Animals
A simple way to elicit an understanding of how much plastic is affecting our oceans is to head down to your local beach.
Grab a pair of gloves and a bag or bucket - Head out for a nice walk along the beach. Collect any rubbish you find. Head home or to a recycling station, go through the items as to whether they’re recyclable or single-use.
By collecting plastic rubbish your children will see how much there is and you’ll all be actively involved in aiding the war on plastic!
- Team Refill
A race to get the whole family involved. Split yourselves into two teams - Have one tub at the top of the garden containing water, set up two empty buckets at the end and give each team a jug, empty milk carton or water bottle. Find a start line and set off a relay.
The first team member has to fill their container and do a lap before handing over to the next. The final team member has to empty whatever is left into the bucket at the end.
Set a time limit and see which team can do the most relays to get their bucket the fullest!
- Package your own product
An afternoon project for older children.
Ask your child to select a product (food, clothing, electronics, etc.) Allow them to do some research on product packaging that isn’t plastic. With resources in your home, get them to repackage that product as if it were
new, but in an environmentally friendly way. Give them a time that you’ll all sit down and ask everyone at the table to pitch their new packaging, presenting why you should buy this item over the original.
This is a great creative activity to get children thinking outside of the box!
These are some great starting points to begin discussing the effects of plastic pollution and the steps we can take to reduce it with younger and older children. They can easily be expanded upon but don’t need extensive resources, only what you have in your home.
Topics of sustainability can be difficult for our children to understand. By introducing activities and involving them in everyday environmentally friendly practices, we’re encouraging habits to bring them a better future.
At Bower Collective we want to help educate everyone on how we can easily reduce plastic waste by making conscious decisions about the items we purchase. We take the care of our families very seriously, all of our products are non-toxic, plant based, chemical free, not tested on animals and full of all natural ingredients that are ethically sourced. We also ensure our suppliers are doing everything they can to reduce their carbon impact!If you’re struggling on where to start from the above activities, head over to our Waste Calculator. It’s a great place to start asking your kids what products the household uses that they might not have thought about in terms of plastic waste, and this will help you establish what they already know!