Have fun – recycling doesn’t have to be rubbish!

Pupils from Lydgate Primary School showing which materials to recycle in blue boxes and blue bins.
Pupils from Lydgate Primary School showing which materials to recycle in blue boxes and blue bins.
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The summer holidays are on their way and even the most organised mums tend to run out of ideas before the six weeks are over.

Rubbish. That’s all it is – and when it comes to what to do with our trash adults can often learn a few things from the younger generation.

Pupils from Yewlands School show off their outfits made out of recyclable materials.

Pupils from Yewlands School show off their outfits made out of recyclable materials.

Children see things with a simplicity that most of us lose when we get distracted with the ever spinning circle of daily life.

Kids learn about it in class, see how important it is to their future and usually can’t hide their young enthusiasm to do the right thing.

It really doesn’t have to be complicated if you try looking at it through their eyes: If we want to save the planet we all have to do our bit and why not start at the bottom of the rubbish heap?

As well as making sure everyone in the family knows what rubbish goes in which bin, no matter what you think of the existing arrangements, there are plenty of ways you can make a game of learning about recycling.

Pupils from Woodthorpe Primary show us just how recycling is done!

Pupils from Woodthorpe Primary show us just how recycling is done!

Children are the recyclers of the future and they want to make the most of planet Earth.

And we all know how good youngsters are at getting their own way – whether they want you to buy them sweets or get you more involved with green activities.

Veolia Environmental Services has several initiatives to spread the recycling mantra to Sheffield’s children making it as simple as the three Rs ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’.

Kerri Hasler, waste awareness assistant at Veolia, believes children can enjoy recycling activities at the same time as learning.

“It is important to make sure people are aware of how they can help the environment,” she said. “The children of today have an important role to play in the future of our planet and this is why we encourage them to follow the three Rs.”

Characters specially aimed at youngsters including Boris the Blue Box, Bertha the Blue Bin and Simon the Scarecrow.

Boris and Bertha are on a mission to visit every school in the city after already popping into more than 50 and encourage children to spread the recycling word by telling their families and friends.

As well as looking at what families should be doing at home, there are other things put under the spotlight, such as how to make less waste with wrappings in lunch boxes.

And it doesn’t need to stop in the classroom.

Simon the Scarecrow’s task is to demonstrate how garden waste, raw fruit and vegetables, as well as cardboard and paper, can be used to create a nutritious compost that’s great for gardens.

He also breaks down complicated figures to make them easy to understand.

Last year Sheffielders recycled more green sack waste than ever before. The total tonnage since the scheme began is currently about the weight of 3,000 family cars.

Around a fifth of all our rubbish could be turned into compost and even if you don’t have a garden, families can still look at how plants, food, fruit and vegetables all make their way round in one big circle. At this time of year schools are doing lots to teach about growing

Why not seize the initiative and bring some environmentally friendly play into your home?

Visit www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk/Sheffield/Waste-and-Recycling/Education/ for word searches and colouring games.

Get Thinking About Recycling By Having Some Fun At Home:

Glitzy fashion show: Find clothes that the kids have grown out of, cut shapes out of them, stick bits on and strut down your living room catwalk.

Grow something: It only has to be as simple as a plate of cress on your windowsill but learning how seeds develop is a great way to understand how the world works.

Make a recycled robot: Kids can create a work of art from a few empty boxes, glue and some paints so let their imagination run wild.

Perform a green play: There are lots of drama elements which can be ‘recycled’ from favourite shows, tunes and lyrics.

Bin puppets: Whether it is a sock with button eyes or a plastic bottle with arms and legs stuck on there are lots of ways to make a puppet.

Trash band: Create musical instruments from unwanted packaging and perform with other family members.

Stick With Us For The Summer:

The summer holidays are on their way and even the most organised mums tend to run out of ideas before the six weeks are over.

So Family Matters is dedicating itself to letting you know about all the best things going on in Sheffield.

Right through the long holidays we’ll be digging out information on places you can visit, from old favourites to new additions.

We will be publishing a what’s on guide to South Yorkshire specifically designed to help families beat the boredom.

Whether your kids are looking for sporty ways to burn off some energy or you just need a quiet art session where they can calm down, we’ll have the information you need.

There will also be guides to some of South Yorkshire’s top attractions and tips on how to have fun without breaking the bank.

If you have a favourite place which we should be featuring during the holidays get in touch and let us know.

We want to spread the word about family favourites to kids of all ages and beat those complaints about boredom before the kids even get a chance to start.

And if you know of an event which is open to children or families email the details to nancy.fielder@thestar.co.uk - marking the email ‘Family Matters holidays’.