What are some practical ways to teach my children about the importance of recycling?
How to Make Recycling Fun For Children
From everything I've read, researched and experienced, children are more likely to find something important and carry it out regularly if they enjoy doing it. In the same way that children, in general, won't tidy their rooms but they'll play a game that gives the same net result at the end of it without batting an eye.
So, for some practical ways to teach children about the importance of recycling, I'd suggest (where possible) turning it into a game for them. When I was younger my grandmother and I used to make things a lot; from cardboard boxes, bottles, egg boxes, toilet rolls etc. It was fun, so those items never got chucked out along with the rest of the trash. It wasn't until later I realised that there were important reasons for not putting it out with the rest of the garbage, such as environmental issues, economic issues and consideration but it ended up getting done all the same.
Another way is to take them to the local landfill site and show them what happens with the stuff that gets thrown away, this is a little harsher but the message will stay with the, especially if reinforced with some discussion on why it's bad for the environment.
There are even some great, fun sites around for children that are definitely worth a look such as;
Recyclezone - http://www.recyclezone.org.uk/
Ecofriendly Kids - http://www.ecofriendlykids.co.uk/
Activity Village - http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/recycling_for_kids.htm