Sometimes just talking about reducing rubbish removal does not make much of an impression. However, doing a hands on project, especially with kids, is a great way to learn by doing and truly comprehend a subject by presenting practical challenges. We present below three challenges for kids that will teach them how to reduce their rubbish removal through problem solving.
1. Pack a Lunch For School Requiring No Rubbish Removal
The challenge here is that nothing can be put in a rubbish bin or come out of any food packaging that will be binned once the food is all used up! So, if your child decides to make a sandwich, they can’t take the bread and filler out of a package! They can’t add chips, vegetables, fruits, or any other sides out a food package either.
Once they get to school and eat the lunch, they can’t throw anything out or wait until they get home to throw it out as this would be against the rules too. This means they can’t wrap the sandwich or sides in a disposable bag. They’ll have to put the sandwich in a container they can carry back home. Alternatively, they could wrap the sandwich in a cloth napkin or compostable paper. They can’t put their lunch in a paper bag that will be thrown out either. They may need to make a reusable lunchbox if they don’t already have one.
Any leftover food will need to be composted rather than thrown out. Some foods like meat and eggs cannot be composted since they don’t decompose well in a normal garden compost and these items may attract pests to your yard. You may want to write a note to your child’s teacher so he or she will not insist your child bin anything. You may even inspire the teacher to ask the whole class to do the same project, or at least talk about your child’s project to the whole class.
2. Cook a Dinner With No Rubbish Removal
This one will be even more challenging than packing a no rubbish removal lunch so you may want to give this challenge to older kids. Have them plan out the meal first, including all ingredients and how they plan to prepare the food. Take a look at their list. If you see any frozen foods, canned foods, jarred foods, bagged foods, or boxed foods, gently remind them that this is against the rules because they’d have to bin the food packaging. You can ask them to modify the ingredients and or get a whole new meal idea.
You may need to take your child on a special shopping trip to obtain foods in bulk (bring your own reusable containers). If you’re buying produce, you’ll have more success finding vegetables that are not pre-bagged if you go to a natural food store. You may also need to go to more than one store your child needs to buy meat or seafood. Again, encourage them to bring their own containers by pointing out it is against the rules to bin paper or plastic meat packaging.
When your child serves the meal, if they attempt to give you a paper napkin, gently remind them that this too is against the rules because you would have to bin the used napkin when you’re done with the meal. Ask them if they have an idea of what you could use that would not require binning.
3. Have a Sleepover With No Rubbish Removal
This is the most difficult of the three challenges. They’ll need to make snacks that require no rubbish removal of food packing. Popcorn bought from the bulk section and home popped in a big pot would be a good choice but you’ll need to help them through discussion figure this out. No paper or plastic plates, glasses, or utensils allowed!
Have them try to anticipate every possible occurrence that might normally involve rubbish removal by asking them questions. For example, you can ask them, “What if someone needs to sneeze or blow their nose?” Paper based facial tissues are against the rules. Ask them for a substitute. If they suggest making some out of reusable cloth, ask them how they plan to clean them after their guests leave. This will help them think through the whole process.
Let Your Child Problem Solve In These Challenges
Your child will get much more out of the challenges if you allow him or her to problem solve their way through it. So, for example, if you see your child about to put their sandwich into a disposable plastic bag, you can say something like, “What are you going to do with that plastic bag after you eat your sandwich? If they say “bin it,” you can gently remind them, But that’s against the rules… can you think of another way to carry your sandwich to school?” You can also ask them what they’ll do with the apple core or orange peel from the fruit they packed. If they struggle, you lead them through discussion to the idea of bringing it back home in one of the reusable containers and creating a compost pile.
Report Your Results To Clearabee
Clearabee is a rubbish removal company based in the UK. They are waiting to hear the results of these three challenges and applaud all the children who participate. The ea