Homeschoolers who Recycle

This week we celebrated Global Recycling Day, and we thought it would be interesting to share what our homeschooling community does to help the planet!

Sonja is a homeschooling mum of two rhythmic gymnasts in Namibia! (Mea-Nine and D’Laine age 14 and 11). As a family they perform an impressive array of recycling practices:

“We have three recycling habits: A recycling bin in our kitchen for plastic, paper & tin. When the bin is full, we move it to the large Orange Bin outside. The local recycling agency collects the content from the Orange bin once a week for sorting and recycling.

We recycle all our printing paper and use both sides for printing – even scrap paper is for illustrating exercises.

We have a composting system called Bokashi, where we compost all organic matter. Almost all our organic kitchen waste goes into the Bokashi bin – everything except bones. We also have a worm farm that gets some of the organic matter, except onions and citrus fruit.”

“Nina (who calls me Creepy Compost Lady) just reminded me that we have a 4th recycling habit which I completely forgot about. We recently adapted our laundry room, so the grey water from our washing machines runs directly onto our garden. (Namibia is a desert country and we have had quite a few years of drought, so the entire country is very water conscious).

In Swakop we live in the middle of the Skeleton Coast and every drop of water is more precious than diamonds – another natural resource we are famous for.

Our family has a lot of laundry, because the girls and I wear training clothes every day, other than our morning clothes. So we do produce a lot of grey water. Revamping our laundry room was a natural way to teach the girls about recycling water. An added benefit is that the soap in the grey water actually helps to combat unwanted insects, such as cutworm in our lawn and larvae in our vegetable pots. When these are watered with grey water, the cutworm and larvae crawl to the surface and the birds can feed on them without getting poisoned.

It is wonderful to be able to share our Namibia with you!”

Sharon (homeschooling another elite gymnast, Poppy, in Northern Ireland and with Alexander now an alumnus) says: “Easy ways to make a difference: no soap liquid dispensers just use soap… tinfoil instead of sandwich bags and cling film, and always use recyclable doggy poo bags. They are just easy ways which make a big difference.”

Veronica, homeschooling two boys in Malaysia: “We have a composting bin in our garden. We use bamboo straws, switched to using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags when feasible and currently finding ways to reuse packs our purchases come in. I am currently looking into supporting a local enterprise which makes reusable menstrual hygiene products. As we live in a country with hot weather, we make sure we always have a reusable water bottle with us wherever we go.”

Sehar, homeschooling three children in the UK: “This is such a good way to contribute ideas! Some things we do… take the used ground coffee powder and use it to wash off smelly eggy plates or glasses, use in compost, face scrub and just scrub between palms for a nice smell. Used tea bags – outer cover in recycle, whilst the tea powder in plant pots as compost. Always use both sides of A4 sheet paper, and then use it for paper cutting skills with younger ones. Try using jam bottle jars for storage instead of purchasing new storage bottles or jars. Juice bottles used for juggling or playing bowling outdoor. Used plastic bottles as bird feeders. All small crayon pieces melted and placed in a cookie cutter and made into one big colourful crayon. Always keep the previous notebooks which have a few pages to use for rough work. Re-use the old textbooks with younger ones. Use odd pair of socks either placing some oats and hang on tap and run water for a soothing bath. Also encourage my children to to use odd pairs inside as a double layer just to keep their feet a little more warm and toasty… lol. Also its such a big blessing that here in UK we have the facility to recycle whilst other countries don’t. So making most of it is key and brings a lot of joy.”

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