Instilling an affinity towards recycling in today’s youth

photo of glass bottles

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  – Abraham Lincoln

When it comes to recycling, every bit helps. Few things act as a testament to this well-known saying more than the results obtained by participating schools in The Glass Recycling Company’s (TGRC) Annual Schools Competition. During the 2019 competition alone, a whopping 859 tons of glass bottles and jars were recovered for recycling by learners from schools across the major metropoles.

By teaching your children to recycle and respect Mother Nature, you instil a sense of responsibility and environmentalism in your own children from a young age. Instilling green behaviours in the youth plays a pivotal role in reducing pollution as it ensures that these habits are carried by children into adulthood. It also assists in fostering active citizenship, entrepreneurship and other future-fit learning skills required for ‘adulting’ and future success. Greening competitions and clean ups often encourage learners to collaborate with their classmates and engage in teamwork for a common goal. For example, in TGRC’s Annual School’s Competition the goal is simple but requires a mammoth team and class effort to collect more glass bottles and jars than the other schools in their province, each and every month. This results in monthly and annual prizes along with a sense of purpose and pride in the recycling journey.

Shabeer Jhetam, CEO of The Glass Recycling Company, says “Despite heightened awareness regarding climate change many South African youth are still unaware of the many benefits of glass recycling and the impact thereof. We want learners, educators and schools to be as invested in our planet as we are and help us make a difference. Our glass recycling rate in South Africa has gradually increased over the years and is now at an impressive 42%. However, we still have a great deal of room for growth.”

“Sowing the seeds as early as possible leads to reaping a positive payoff for both us and the planet, that being a cleaner, greener environment,” concludes Jhetam.

Tips for Teaching Your Children about Recycling:

  • – Have recycling bins at home where children can be taught to separate the rubbish instead of throwing everything in the main municipal waste bin.
  • – Show your kids what packaging is and isn’t recyclable.
    • For example, your children may not know all food jars and bottles are recyclable, but glass bottles such as mayonnaise bottles, tomato sauce bottles, peanut butter and jam jars are all recyclable.
  • – Consider starting a small compost heap where you and your kids can dispose of compostable waste, helping to create a source of nutrient rich compost for your garden.
  • – Educators, guardians and parents with little ones have to consider making a trip to the glass bank and teaching your little ones about looking after the environment and make it a fun learning experience. A glass bank is where glass bottles and jars are recycled by the community. You can find these green receptacles located at your local park, library, school, church or shopping centre.

 

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