Don’t Forget This Important Spot to Recycle!

Recycling is important to me and it’s something that I want our entire family to see the importance of as well. We talk a lot about recycling in general and they’re great at looking to see if items are recyclable and they’re getting pretty good at making sure only the right kinds of materials make it into our big curbside recycling bin.

I have recently become aware of an area in our house where we don’t always do as great a job of making sure that everything that can be recycled is…the bathroom! Today I’ve teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to spread the word about the importance of expanding our recycling efforts into the bathroom with their Care To Recycle program.

It turns out I am not alone in this recycling blind spot, four out of five Americans say they don’t recycle items they use in their bathrooms (according to the following research: 2013 American Recycling Behaviors survey conducted by Shelton Group on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.).

I know in our household part of the reason is that we are often unsure of what is and isn’t recyclable in our bathroom. If like me you sometimes face doubt as to whether or not the products in your bathroom are recyclable you will be grateful for  Care To Recycle®, a program of Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc, that among other things helps consumers figure out what is and isn’t recyclable in the bathroom.

Great idea! Set up a recycle bin in the bathroom!

Another reason recycling wasn’t happening in the bathroom was… well, there wasn’t a recycling bin 🙂 but that was easy to solve!

I knew that the next step would be getting the kids help since they are often the ones to clean up the bathrooms as part of their weekly chores. One of my favorite ways to get my kids involved in something is to add in a little imaginative play.

In this case since our new recycling bin is out of sight out of mind I knew that it might be difficult to remember to put things in there instead of the trash and so our Mad Scientist Laboratory was born.

We started setting aside our shampoo and soap containers, bottles, and boxes with the promise that once we had a few we could spend some time pretending to be Mad Scientists. Needless to say the kids were eager to build up enough supplies…and it didn’t take long.

Water play with recycled bathroom materials.

Simple Mad Scientist Laboratory

We went through our bin and separated the cardboard and paper items from the bottles and tubes. Then I went through the remaining containers and checked to make sure there was nothing that could be dangerous or irritating to their skin and we set up shop.

The kids had a blast filling, pouring, squeezing and pumping. We kept it simple and just used water and whatever soap was left but you could easily add food coloring for another element.

After a great time creating crazy concoctions (er, rinsing the bottles for recycling) we removed any pumps or pieces that are not recyclable and put those in our craft bin (because I am sure the kids will find a way to make use of them) and the rest into our big curbside recycling bin.

When I found out that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.’s Care To Recycle® program is partnering with Scholastic to create an educational program that helps raise awareness and teach students and their families the importance of recycling products used in the bathroom, I knew I wanted to help.

Not only do they have the amazingly helpful site I linked to above where you can learn more about recycling in the bathroom, Scholastic is launching a Care to Recycle® microsite for parents with great ideas for getting kids excited about recycling.

What’s more they’re holding contest for kids in 1st -3rd grade, an exciting opportunity to promote recycling in the bathroom and win great prizes!

Johnson & Johnson #CareToRecycle Bin Challenge

PETE’s Bathroom Bin Challenge

To enter kids must write a 150-word essay about why it is important to recycle bathroom products and how they are going to get their family to recycle these items. They are also asked to make a decorative poster showing the ideas in their essay.

The contest, entry form and official rules for parents can be found here and official rules for teachers here.

Contest opens October 1, 2015. Entries must be postmarked by October 27, 2015.

Prizes go to winning student or child and his or her teacher or parent.

There is so much information about recycling packed in this post! What did you learn? 

Lorien Van Ness is the mother of four children ranging in age from toddler to tween, as well as, a freelance writer and regular contributor at Creative with Kids and Hands On As We Grow. Having worked with children from birth through adolescence in a professional capacity for more than 10 years, she enjoys helping families create meaningful experiences that foster strong relationships. She grabs any free moment she can to write about life, parenting, and everything in between.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnson & Johnson. The opinions and text are all mine.