Think recycling is hard? Think again. Here are 10 things you already know, that you probably learned as a kindergartener, to prove just how simple and impactful recycling can be.
1. Sorting can be fun.
If you're in a jurisdiction where you need to sort recyclables into different bins, the sorting skills you learned in kindergarten are all you need to make sure things end up in the right place.
2. Crafts can be sustainable.
How many times did you take something — like popsicle sticks — and reuse them as a kid? Rekindling your creativity can reveal a lot of opportunities for reuse in your day-to-day life.
3. Old toys aren't boring.
When it comes to keeping things out of landfills, remember that something that's old to you might be exactly what someone else needs. Getting in the habit of donating old clothing, appliances, and furniture can really make a difference in someone's life while keeping the planet clean.
4. It's cool to play in the dirt.
Do you remember going outside as a kid during recess and exploring in the dirt and grass? You already know that all sorts of insects live outside, and they're the ones who make composting possible. Looking into composting can help you cut down on waste, keep things out of landfills, and promote a cleaner world.
5. A favorite bag can brighten your day.
Remember the fun of picking out a backpack? While you might not need to carry one around anymore, choosing your reusable shopping bags can be just as fun. Look for some that help you express your personality, so you always look forward to carrying them around the store instead of forgetting them at home.
6. Anything can become a game.
If you don't think your recycling makes that big of an impact, why not come up with a way to measure it? Evaluating what you've collected at the end of each month can help you quantify just how big of a difference you're making. Alternatively, you can count how many sodas you consume in a given period and consider how many cans you save from a landfill over a year's time. This can really put your potential impact into perspective.
7. Having a routine simplifies the process.
Chances are, your kindergarten class had some sort of routine at the end of the day when toys, books, and supplies were put back in their place. If you think recycling will take too much time, come up with your own routine to make sure things always end up in the right place. Consider scheduling a specific day to sort and another to measure your progress.
8. Creating your own solutions can solve problems.
Remember when you'd make a nametag for your cubby or even your own organizer? Getting back to the fun and simplicity of creating your own solution, rather than being in the mindset that you have to buy something to solve life's little conundrums, can really aid your recycling journey. For instance, if you find sorting through your recyclables to be a hassle, consider making some small in-house bins. This way, you can sort as you go rather than allowing things to build up or regularly having to venture outside to the bins.
9. Knowing "why" can really motivate you.
Every kid starts asking "why" about everything at some point. If you haven't yet, do your research to get inspired and figure out exactly "why" recycling matters, and should matter, to you and your community.
10. Crayons bring kids a lot of joy.
Here at The Crayon Initiative, we take crayon donations and turn them into smile-bringing gifts for children's hospitals. Not only do these crayons help reduce children anxiety while hospitalized, but they also keep half a million pounds of waste out of landfills. Click here to learn more.