Today, Lucy (3) and I were on our way home in the car whilst she was rummaging through her
lunchbox. She took the paper napkin I always pack and threw it out the window. Luckily she told me what she was doing as she was doing it so I checked in my side mirror. I stopped the car immediately, did a three point turn in mid-traffic and pulled over.(I think the other motorists knew what I was trying to do because no-one barped or complained).
I took Lucy out of her car seat, held her hand and asked her if she could see the paper napkin.
“There it is!” She exclaimed.
We went to the side of the road and she picked it up. We went back to the car and put the napkin in a plastic bag in the car.
I firmly explained to her that if you can eat it, you can throw it out the window, if you can’t eat it, it must go into a dustbin. She asked me if I was cross and I said I wasn’t but I asked her to make me that promise by repeating the words, “if you can eat it, you can throw it out the window.”
I remember so clearly the day this happened with jack and I find it amazing that I only needed to explain this rule once and he never did it again. Since the kids were tiny, our dustbins have been color coded for recycling. This is how most recycle bin sets come nowadays but they are quite pricey. I just got four regular bins and four different colours of insulation tape to decorate them. The children can now easily recognize what to throw away where.
These are simple ways of ensuring your kids are not going to be throwing anything that is not biodegradable out the window and setting important precedents for their future environmental awareness.