Check out our latest magazine... Read Online

Get your children involved in litter picking this Summer holidays

Be like the Wombles and become the worlds best litter pickers and recyclers, making good use of bad rubbish, says Sara Whatley

What is a great way to help your children feel good about the environment? Get them involved in recycling and litter picking! Children are being taught about our climate crises in schools and questioning it themselves, but this can have the unwanted effect that they can develop climate anxiety, a well-recognised condition by mental health professionals. 

The good news is, there is a simple fix to climate anxiety: take action. Feel like you are doing something positive in response to the situation. Feel empowered. Feel like you are making a difference, and with litter picking, seeing you are making a real difference.   

With the summer holidays starting this month it is the perfect time to get some litter picking gear and start making a palpable difference to the spaces around us. You don’t need much – some gloves, a litter picker grabber and a bag – before you can go out and find a place to tidy up. The results are immediate and the sense of satisfaction that brings is huge. For all ages. 

Do a little research and you will soon find a whole host of litter picking groups in your local area (some are called Wombling groups after the great recyclers themselves). Join a group as a family for a perfect way to introduce children to litter picking, and a great way to spend some time outdoors and meet new people too. 

Now lets look at recycling. The Wombles motto is ‘Make good use of bad rubbish’, still a sentiment that runs very true 50 years later. It is vital for children to understand the significance of recycling as they get older, and when they are younger recycling can be a fun game for them too.
Young ones love to be given a task so why not make them the recycling monitors in your house? Arrange your recycling bins so children know what goes into each one (if your recycling has to be separated); you could use colours, signs and pictures to help. Then encourage children to fill them up! You could even give them incentives – see who can fill their bin first. 

Children might find it fun to make good use of bad rubbish by transforming it into other things. Toilet roll crafts are endless! Make a shaker, a rocket, or some friendly-faced scarecrows. How about squashed water bottle fish, or tin can plant pots? Cardboard box monsters are always a scary must too! 

Remember the phrase Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and we will all be on our way to living on a happier, healthier planet.  


More from Downtime

  • Kids Zone: Ice Block Treasure Hunt!

    Keep the kids cool in the heat and unleash their inner explorer with an ice block treasure hunt! Sara Whatley shows you how

  • What to Watch in June 2024

    Your guide to all the best new films coming this month, as well as all of the new and returning TV shows to look out for in June...

  • A Gourmet Escape on the Eurostar: London to Amsterdam with Culinary Delights in Almere

    Bill Murray samples the culinary delights of Amsterdam and the nearby resort town of Almere

  • If You Ask Me: Train Announcements Have Gone Off the Rails

    Rail companies are guilty of many things – including crimes against the English Language, says Flo Whitaker

  • If You Ask Me... Never Argue with an Idiot

    This month, Flo Whitaker recalls some words of advice from her father: “Don’t pick an argument with an idiot – you’ll never win. They’re a highly-experienced expert because they’ve been an idiot their entire life”

  • Kids Zone: Mosaic Art

    Get creative with this month’s fun and sustainable activity – mosaic art. Sara Whatley explains what to do

  • What to Watch in April 2024

    Our monthly guide to all the best film and television coming your way in April...

  • If You Ask Me: The Jobsworth and the Frog

    There is a malaise creeping through society whereby authorities and businesses use absurd interpretations of regulations as excuses not to provide services or assistance, writes Flo Whitaker

  • What to Watch in March 2024

    From science-fiction epics to supernatural horrors and family adventures, here's our guide to the best new films and TV shows arriving in March...

  • If You Ask Me... Politicians need a Translator

    With elections, resignations and government enquiries aplenty, 2024 is already proving to be a busy year. In these confusing times, Flo Whitaker offers her interpretation of the most frequently-occurring narratives and themes…

  • Dark Skies Festival 2024: Where & When to Gaze at the Stars

    Embrace the darkness with our guide to all the stargazing opportunities coming to Sussex over the next week…

  • Be Well, Move Happy: Walking & Silence

    In our new series on wellness and movement, Sara Whatley will be diving into two complementary health topics each month. She kicks off with silence and walking

  • Special Interest Holidays: Try Something Different

    A chance to take a break, relax and recharge is one of life’s great pleasures, this month Lisa de Silva looks at combining interests with time out

  • If You Ask Me... Who needs Television anyway?

    The first thing people say when they visit Flo Whitaker’s home is “Where’s the TV?” Unimpressed by television from an early age, Flo still reckons the radio has the best pictures

  • 5 Ways to Cultivate Mindfulness

    In the bustling world of 24/7 technology and constant demands on our time, mindfulness is more relevant and necessary than ever. For many, the daily hustle and bustle can become overwhelming. Mindfulness, the art of being present and fully engaged in the moment, offers a respite, enabling us to find calm amidst the chaos.

  • Love Local Community Campaign

    Sussex Living is proud to be launching a campaign to support our High Streets, bring prosperity to businesses and help grow a thriving community.Because if we don’t use them, we will lose them.

  • Summer Activity Ideas To Entertain You and the Kids

    Summer in Sussex offers long, sunny days perfect for making memories with the kids.

  • Summer School - Part 2

    In the second part of our series on summer holiday learning opportunities, Hanna Prince looks at how to keep kids engaged with practical, creative and hands-on activities. Learning needn’t end when the holidays begin. The focus on maths and literacy in schools means that children don’t always get the opportunity to explore other topics – and summer is the perfect time to give their natural interests free reign. Whether you’re nurturing a budding artist, a sports fanatic or the next Bear Grylls, here’s how to broaden their horizons and weave extra-curricular education into your summer routine.

  • The Ultimate Act of Love: Providing for Your Family's Future with a Will

    Making a will is one of the most important things you can do, regardless of your age or financial situation. Unfortunately, many of us put it off, whether it’s because of the morbid topic of our own mortality or because we just don’t know where to start.

  • Five of the best anti aging facial exercises

    Facial exercises are often utilized as an alternative to more invasive treatments for combating the appearance of aging. By strengthening and toning the muscles under the skin, facial exercises can promote a more youthful appearance. Here are five of the best anti-aging facial exercises: