Spring is a great time for your children to continue learning via exciting experiences. Their young brains are sponges, and one of the most important habits for this new generation to absorb is the importance of recycling. And the beach is the perfect classroom!

The best way to start is by having a conversation about recycling. Ask your children what they know about the process and how it can harm the environment, especially at the beach. Stimulate the conversation by reading a book with them, such as I Can Save The Ocean by Alison Inches.

Before heading to the beach, pack a separate bag for each type of recyclable product (paper, plastic, cardboard). When arriving for your day at the shore, point out the colorful recycling bins and discuss what items go in each. As your family finishes up an item, give your child the responsibility of placing it in the correct bag, which will be placed in the proper receptacle as you head back to your vehicle. Add another element of fun by creating a scavenger hunt and offering a prize for the child who can collect the most trash on the beach!

Looking for some support in the area of recycling education? Participate in nature classes offered by the staff at Gulf State Park or Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The Gulf State Park Nature Center and the Interpretive Center provide educational and interactive exhibits to support caring for our environment.

The best tip is to never let the conversation stop. Be consistent with recycling practices on the go and at home! Help your child create recycling habits that will last their whole life. It’s the only way to ensure the gorgeous Alabama beaches will be there for their children and grandchildren to enjoy, too!