Teaching Kids About Recycling in a Fun Way

It’s important to teach kids about the values around sustainability and recycling. Kids learn a lot about the basics in school nowadays, but the best practices are learned and reinforced at home as well. In addition to recycling, conservation is probably the best lesson kids can learn at home.

Here’s a reader submission from one woman who lets her kids learn through video games.

My 9-year old son is a huge fan of Poptropica and last year on Earth Day, they had a special mini-quest all about conservation in the home called, Don’t Be an Energy Hog [editor: video included below--check it out!] I sat with him while he played the game and learned about how much a difference simple conversation at home can make. Afterwards, we took the time to walk through our own house and identify better ways to conserve energy. He even made a list so that we’d remember to do things like turn off the lights, lower the thermostat and more. He even made a shopping list of items for us to get to better manage our energy consumption at home. I’m so proud of him!

Recycle That Old Mattress

Here at ItsEcoTime, we’re all about getting the most out of the things we buy and then recycling them as much as possible. This holds true for just about anything in your home. One particularly difficult item for most people is the mattress. Over time (about 10 years), most mattresses tend to start falling apart, and this is true whether you have a high-end or a cheap mattress. And when it comes time to buy a new one, most of us are left figuring out what to do with the old one.

A mattress is highly recyclable, and depending on where it goes for processing, up to 90% of it can be recovered and re-used. Cotton and cloth are used in textiles. The wood from the frame can be chipped, and even the springs and foam in the mattress are easily recycled. The trick is knowing where to send it. If you’re lucky, there may be a recycling center near you. If not, you can ask around at most mattress retailers on ways that your old mattress can be refurbished and donated or recycled.

Nowadays, when you buy a mattress, the store that sells it to you offers to pick your old one up for free. It’s hard to say no to this kind of convenience, but it’s worth asking about what happens to the mattress after they cart it away. Do they send it to a recycling plant, or does it just get tossed into a landfill?