Parents have the opportunity to teach children to take care of their environment.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía
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Research has explored children’s agency in the context of recycling behavior by investigating how different contexts may teach them to take care of the environment.
Recycling is a process that begins in many different contexts. It can happen in public areas as well as in homes, schools, and even in outdoor experiences. Even if we put effort into adopting environmentally-friendly lifestyles, single-use plastics are widely used. This is why it is important to teach children to recycle in various contexts.
Several studies that exist in the field of children and recycling have focused on the family context. For instance, a study by Miller and colleagues claims that children act as catalysts for the attitude of other family members on recycling, being able to positively influence environmental behaviors in their family.
A study by Schill and colleagues in french children, aimed to answer three main questions: What do children know about recycling? How do children demonstrate agency in recycling in family and other settings? And, What factors serve to foster or constrain children's recycling agency in various contexts? Their study, suggests that children can effectively use the knowledge that their schools provide them in terms of agency and recycling. However, their results also showed that encouragement to recycle is not always displayed at their homes and that encouraging their participation in recycling helps to enhance their agency.
The mentioned study also suggests that children’s agency for recycling behavior increases when recycling is organized spatially and where there is a provision of recycling bins. Overall, their findings reveal that the level of agency on children varies according to each child’s specific microenvironment within the family, the location where the recycling takes place, and communication patterns within the family. In terms of communication, the study revealed that high-concept messages about recycling seemed to enhance children’s agency while low-concept-oriented messages constrain it.
Let's explore some interesting initiatives that aim to encourage recycling in children:
1. Hasbro Toy Recycling Program
Hasbro Toy Recycling Program invites children to return their used toys and games to be recycled into various materials.
2. Green Toys
Green Toys is a California- based company that makes toys from 100% recycled materials. They use milk jugs as their primary ingredient for making toys.
3. Tender Leaf Toys
Tender Leaf Toys sells wooden toys made to last a lifetime. They only work with reclaimed rubberwood, a by-product of the latex industry. For every used tree they plant a new one. They were awarded the ICTI Ethical Toy Program seal of approval for their sustainable and ethical supply chain.
ökoNORM is a German company that produces high-quality, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic products, made from sustainable resources. They are particularly recognized for their Nawaro finger Paint, wax crayons, and watercolors.
5. North Star Toys
North Star Toys is a family-owned business, created in New Mexico, USA, that sells non-toxic wooden toys at affordable prices.
What are you waiting for to instill sustainable consumption and behaviors in your children?