Getting your kids into composting

January 23, 2015

Composting is a great way to teach kids about where our waste goes. Here are a few tips to help you get the whole family in on the fun.

Getting your kids into composting

It can be hard to approach this topic, but composting will let your children know that while non-recyclable, non-biodegradable items get thrown away in the landfill, biodegradable food scraps can be turned back into food. This will also aid them in differentiating between non-biodegradable, non-recyclables and recyclable materials, making recycling an easier task, too.

Getting started

So, where to begin? Well, their banana peels, the veggies they leave on their plate at dinner and the egg shells from breakfast are a perfect place to start. Have them help you pull the peels into strips and crush the egg shells. Everyone's old enough to help in some way or another, and kids will feel proud of themselves knowing they're an integral part of the soil building process.

Explain the process

It's most effective to directly involve them in the process by showing them where the compost bin is located and asking them to put the scraps in the pile or bin themselves. Explain to them the process that's at work in terms they can understand, depending on their age. For a toddler, it might be sufficient to say that when we put veggie peels in the compost bin, worms turn it into dirt for the garden. However, adolescents are perfectly primed to look up exactly how and why worms do so, and delve more deeply into the biological process at hand when waste materials are decomposed into soil.

Giving kids the gift of composting with you empowers them to grow up knowing how to produce food for themselves and have a science-based understanding of how food production works. Because they'll understand how food is produced early on, they're poised to grow more abundant gardens as adults.

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