America Recycles Day began in 1997 and every year since then, November 15 has been the nationally recognized day to encourage recycling. Of course we need more than one day out of the year to take care of our planet, but American Recycles Day is a great time to get kids involved in recycling, and keep them involved on a daily basis.
With kids, a great way to introduce a new idea or activity is to start with books, and America Recycles Day is no exception. Children can learn about the importance of recycling by reading about humans’ impact on Earth, and how we can reduce waste and pollution through the simple steps of recycling.
Here are a few great titles to get kids excited about recycling for America Recycles Day:
Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons Gibbons introduces a wonderful array of vocabulary for the reader, along with useful facts about various recyclable materials including paper, which kids use every day. This book is a great help in preparing children to recycle and places emphasis on reusing materials instead of throwing them away.
Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural Recycled, and Found Materials by Emma Hardy This book helps children see how the materials we use in our everyday lives can be used for crafts and awesome projects. The directions are simple and the materials are low cost; most are items you can find right in your home. The activities encourage children to search around the house and think about which items can really be put to use.
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Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert This title explains how the leaves grown on trees and the paper we use both come from the same place. So instead of raking those leaves up and wasting paper bags to throw them out, children can see what fun great objects can be created with leaves. This is an excellent book to read in autumn and a perfect way to introduce the concept of recycling.
I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle by Alison Inches This book is great for making children more aware of their daily actions, like how something as simple as turning off a light when leaving the room can conserve a load of energy. Children can read how important it is to respect the planet we live on and be inspired to collect—as well as recycle—items in their daily lives. The book itself is made from recycled material, so be sure to discuss that with your kids as well.
Getting children involved in recycling at home is the first step towards making them accountable for the materials they consume. By sorting and recycling items, kids get hands-on experience with just how much we waste and how much can be recycled. When children feel responsible for their surroundings and feel they can make a difference, this leads to them wanting to live in a cleaner, healthier environment. So on America Recycles Day, start a tradition in your home that your children can continue for years to come, and pass on to future generations.
For more resources and ideas for America Recycles Day and every day, check out PlanetPals.com.