Garden recycling is a great way to inspire interest in the environment especially with kids. Finding creative ways to help our earth is not only fun but also easy to do. When you combine "fun" and "easy" you're sure to grab the attention of kids.
Garden Recycling with Compost and Mulch
1. Most people begin with compost. Reusing grass clippings, leaves, garden waste, newspapers, and kitchen scraps in the compost pile is a good way to encourage garden recycling. Compost helps create healthy soil and vigorous garden plants.
2. Kids also enjoy the chance to help by collecting some of these key ingredients and adding them to the compost pile. In fact, explain the most important role that earthworms play in maintaining healthy soil, and instruct kids to spot them digging in the garden to throw in the compost heap..
3. You can also encourage garden recycling by reusing leaves, pine needles, shredded bark, and similar organic materials. For instance, rather than burning piles of leaves each fall, put them in the garden and reuse them as environment friendly mulch.
4. Encourage the help of kids by giving them a rake of their own and allowing them to rake leaves with you. Let them play in the pile before you put them in the garden. Alternatively, items such as shredded tires, and even newspapers can be recycled and used as mulch
Garden Recycling with Everyday Items
1. A fun way to encourage kids to recycle is by reusing ordinary, everyday items in the garden. Kids can recycle objects for use as containers, garden art, and other interesting accessories. This only takes imagination, which kid's naturally have plenty of. Old flowerpots and other everyday items can easily be transformed into containers for plants.
2. Another great way to recycle in the garden is by using rain barrels. Simply use any container you already have on hand and place it somewhere, such as beneath a rain gutter spout, to collect rain water, which is filled with nutrients. Use this water on garden plants. This conserves water and eliminates runoff. Not only will the plants thank you, but so will the environment.
3. Growing seeds can be made easier and more fun by reusing egg cartons (styrofoam works best). Have the kids cut off the top and set it aside for later use. Then have them poke small drainage holes in each of the egg holders along the bottom piece. Next, fill them up with a mix of compost and potting soil and plant a few seeds in each one. Place the top piece beneath the bottom and water thoroughly. Your kids now have their own "mini seed pots" and a built-in tray for catching excess water. These can be re-used again and again.
4. Encourage wildlife in the garden by adding recycled habitat homes. Old pots and containers can make nifty frog houses in the garden. Use shallow dishes for bird feeders and baths. Pollinating insects will also benefit from having shallow water spots in the garden.
5. Don't throw out those ice-pop sticks in the summer. Reuse them as labels to help teach kids plant names.