Getting an entire household hooked on the habit of recycling isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile because you get to reduce your impact on the environment…

We’ve got some great tips on how to make recycling work for your family.  

1. Create a recycling space

Make space in or outside your home where you can keep all your recyclables. Get separate containers for the different types of materials, such as glass, paper and cardboard, metals and plastics. If you have dedicated space and containers, chances are that you will actually put more effort into recycling.

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2. Wise up

Learn about what you can recycle, what you can compost and what you will have to throw away. Get the kids involved in the research so that they take owenership of the project.

3. Compost what you can’t recycle

If you have a garden, contribute to its upkeep by creating a compost heap with your food waste. In this way you will produce even less waste! Gardening is also a fun way to spend time together, and if you have a food garden, to save money on food.

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4. Wash it up before it go-goes

Washing recyclable containers that kept food or other perishables helps you in two ways. Firstly, it ensures that your recycling bins won’t smell funny, and it also keeps away possible pests like cockroaches and mice. Additionally you will make the life of the person dealing with your recycled items easier, as they won’t be dealing with mouldy food or possible infection risks.

5. Lay down the law

Set down house rules and teach your entire household about recycling and why you are doing it. It can be a fun activity for smaller children to help you sort out different types of recyclable materials, and you can make older children the “recycle police” keeping an eye on the grown-ups to see if they are recycling, and if they are recycling correctly.

6. Know thy neighboorhood

Find out where the recycling depots in your neighbourhood are – schools and churches often host collection points. If you’re in Johannesburg, your neighbourhood might even have regular recycling services that come to fetch your recycling when your rubbish gets picked up.

Catherine Schenck – All4Women

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