Our kids are our future community leaders and changemakers so why not enlist them in your family’s crusade to reduce waste?
Here are some easy and fun ideas to help inspire everyone in your household to join in:
Create photographic evidence
Get the kids photographing and monitoring the amount and type of waste in your household bins. Encourage them to look for trends and see if you can make noticeable decreases week-on-week.
Visualise the impacts
Talk about why waste is bad and look at some images and stories online about marine pollution together. Remember, by the time a 12-year-old turns 40 there's likely to be more pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish unless something is done about it now.
Embrace a MYO policy
Most kids love craft activities so why not try to make your own greeting cards, gift wrap, presents, invitations and party decorations from recycled materials? As you're doing it, talk about why reusing things is better than buying brand new.
Let them choose their own reusable kit
They’ll probably already have their own drink bottle and lunchbox but why not also treat them to a stainless-steel straw, beeswax wrap or reusable sandwich pouch in a pattern of their choice, a set of reusable cutlery and even shopping bag? Chat about why these items are important and help them understand that the plastic we throw away each day doesn’t disappear as our bins get collected, it can still around for hundreds of years to come.
Embrace the ‘emu-bob’
Grab some gloves and a bag before heading to your favourite park or beach to collect litter. Set a time limit and see how many pieces each person can find. There’s a good chance they’ll see both the space and litter in a whole new light, developing an appreciation for why it’s so important to dispose of items correctly. If you’re not game to do it alone, why not join in during community events like Clean Up Australia Day or a host of Keep Australia Beautiful initiatives?
Visit your local 'TIP'
Your waste has a life beyond the garbage and recycling trucks that drive through your neighbourhood and it's important kids realise this. If you live in the Perth metropolitan area it’s generally easy enough to see what happens next. A number of the tips - now often called waste transfer and recovery facilities - run by regional councils offer regular tours so take an educational outing and come back full (recycled) bottle on all things waste!
Get a worm farm
Worm farms are fascinating for kids and adults alike, and they’ll help to make a significant dent in your leftover food scraps, turning them into fertiliser that your garden will love. Your kids will learn a valuable lesson in sustainability too!
Help your school become a Waste Wise one
The Waste Authority operates a special grants scheme to encourage Western Australian schools to up their waste credentials. Find out if your school is involved, and if not become parent and student champions. Small changes multiplied by a school’s population can become significant improvements very quickly.