You most probably have heard about the 3Rs and we are not talking about the 3Rs of school, reading writing and arithmetic but we refer to the 3Rs for saving the environment which are: Reduce Reuse Recycle. We can do many things to save energy, reduce the pollution in our environment and have a greener and better world for all of us.
Understanding the meaning of Reduce Reuse Recycle
Before we learn how to reduce reuse and recycle we must make sure that we understand the meaning of the words. It is a matter of educating ourselves, our family, our friends and kids about the importance of these three simple and yet very important words for our environment and our future.
Reduce means reduce the waste we produce during our everyday activities, work, studies and life in general.
Reuse means finding ways to reuse materials, toys, paper, electronics and any other instruments or tools we use for our everyday life. Reusing means that we will not need to buy a new one thus we will save energy producing a new one and therefore reduce the pollution.
Recycle means that what it cannot be reused in its current form should be recycled so that it can be used as raw material to produce something else that will be useful for us. This way we save raw material, waste less and help our environment.
The actions which come from these simple and yet important 3Rs form a virtuous cycle that we will call the 3R virtuous cycle or 3R virtuous circle. Each of the 3 actions, Reduce Reuse Recycle reinforces the other actions and has positive impact and contribution on the other two thus improving their state and condition. Not following the 3Rs philosophy will lead to a vicious circle with negative impact on the environment and our quality of life.
Teaching Kids to Reduce Reuse Recycle
As with all aspects in our life we need to start our reduce reuse and recycle campaign right. We must lay the foundations for a successful and sustainable effort and this can only be achieved with the right education. We need to teach our children, the kids in our neighbourhood and in our community how to reduce, how to reuse and recycle and above all know the importance and impact of their actions. As we always say, everything starts from the house and it is externalized to the community and then to our country and then to the whole world.
Teaching kids about the 3Rs should be done in a step by step approach and in the right way and with the right methodology, the methodology that is followed in every educational program.
Teaching kids to Reduce
Step 1: Teach kids to reduce their waste in their own home. Tell them why it is important not to waste, how waste and trash pollutes and affects our health and show them how to reduce to the waste.
Step 2: Support your teachings and preaching with written documentation from books and magazines and visual material from the internet or TV shows
Teaching kids to Reuse
Step 1: Make yourself and your kids think if the material he or she will throw away can be reused. So it is important to think before we act. This should become a habit in our daily activities and once it is a habit, we will be reusing without realizing it, it will become a mechanical and routine process
Step 2: Show examples of reusing clothes, toys and other unwanted tools or utensils. Teach your children to donate. Donating clothes or toys is not just an act of philanthropy but a conscious act of reusing unwanted material which can be very well reused by someone else.
Step 1: Set up one or more recycle bins in your house. You can use one bin for tin cans, one for plastic and one for paper. This way you will teach children in practical terms the way to recycle.
Step 2: Teach kids what can be recycled and what not. Educating them about recycling is a must. You can use games around recycling so that they will understand the recycling concept better
Step 3: Take kids to recycling areas, landfills and other sites related to recycling.
Once we brought the kids to a level of understanding and appreciation of the 3Rs and the virtuous cycle associated with the adoption of the 3Rs philosophy we need to get practical and the best way to achieve this is to be practical at home.
One common question which kids come up with is:
Which of the 3Rs, Reduce Reuse Recycle, is the most important?
This is question kids of all ages and even adults ask. The answer is simple. The 3Rs are of equal importance and value and one is related to the other in many ways. As we have stated earlier the 3Rs form a virtuous circle. Each action has positive impact and effect on the other thus leading to a healthier, greener and better environment with less pollution.
There are many practical examples of how to reduce reuse recycle for kids to learn and adopt and these examples will be analysed in articles to come.