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In the quest for a kinder world that thinks recycling/upcycling first, one way we can do this is to start it right at home with kids. Yes, all those things about ‘starting early’ and ‘doing it from young’ do count! It’s a good thing that schools are already talking to kids about not giving in to wastage and teaching them the idea of recycling through craft work and what-not. But on the home front, what are some things we, as parents, can do to support/reinforce this worthy cause?
Start with storytelling
And so I spent a lovely hour with the kids before bedtime last night, reading them a story from ‘The Magic School Bus Gets Recycled‘. Storytelling is always a good way (and one of my favourite too) to articulate ideas to young kids or even reinforce new concepts. The Magic School Bus series writes in a short and simple manner, peppered with illustrations, chat dialogues and thought bubbles from the story characters, making it an easy but captivating read. There are side notes too that explain important ideas by breaking down into simple words that describe. For something that is able to draw my kids’ attention, get them asking questions at every page interval and then talking non-stop after the story ends, this is definitely a winner. 😊
Bring home the idea of recycling
With kids, the next best thing would be T-O-Y-S. It’s definitely encouraging to get them working on crafts made from recyclable materials, and this is something I’m about to start with the kids soon after my eldest, who turned 7 recently, noticed me collating lots of toilet paper rolls, asked what I planned to do with them, and if we could create crafts with them. “Of course!” I told her.
But in this time-pressed world that we live in today, many of us don’t usually find the time to work something out with our hands. How can we get this recycling/upcycling movement going then? And let’s say the kids were invited to a birthday party (an ‘upcycled’ one perhaps? 😁), and we want to bring something nice for the birthday boy/girl. Crafting a birthday card is an awesome idea and quick to do, but crafting something nice to present may not exactly be quick to say the least. Honestly, we’d usually resort to purchasing but that’s okay because I recently came across a brand of toys made from recycled materials that’s really awesome!
Toys from the Green Toys is sturdy to touch and feels like it’s made from really good quality material. I really love this so much and parted good money for a submarine bath toy (that works just as well as a pool watering toy 😊) for my son. Seriously, I’m so glad to come across toys like this and it reminds me that I’m doing good for Mother Earth by supporting brands that care, even when splurging on the kids like what most parents do all the time! Exposing kids early to the idea of recycling from crafts to toys is exactly the intention, so that they grow up accustomed to saying no to waste and yes to reinvention.
Go on a vacation
I read it somewhere that one of the best things a parent can give a child is the gift of wonderful childhood memories. And if you happen to be bitten by wanderlust, then I’d suggest a different kind of travel destination for the family. ‘Tiny houses‘ has become all the rage in recent years, allowing city-dwellers to spend vacation in nature. This could mean waking up to the serenity of forested views, creeks and lakes or the aroma of freshly grown and cultured wine in a vineyard.
Bigtiny is the first Singapore company that takes eco-tourism to another level by introducing the concept of ‘tiny houses’. We see firsthand how it is even possible to downsize our living spaces, hence reduce resource consumption, without compromising the quality of life or our vacation stay. What I really love about these houses is that they are made from mostly recycled materials, but contain a full suite of modern spaces from the bedroom to the kitchenette. There are heater and air-conditioning facilities (can’t do without these, huh? 😁), a rainwater collection system, solar panels to power the house and waste from the toilet that gets converted into compost energy. Oh my goodness, isn’t this upcycling at its best?!
‘Tiny houses’ is definitely a trend that is taking form internationally and there are many options out there for holiday-makers like you and I to seek out, spanning from the United States to Australia. To find out more, check out a ‘tiny house’ at your desired vacation spot. My eldest child of 7 years old has already given me suggestions for our next holiday, which is to live out in a campervan (thanks to the Lego Friends series that featured a campervan model), and so I’d think that staying in a ‘tiny house’ would be more than welcome!
Let’s he-ack it!