Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Recycling Guide for Families: Home

Collection of resources for school-aged children and their guardians


Scope Note

This LibGuide is intended to provide a fun and easy introductory guide for family and community members of all ages. Children young and old will find appropriate resources, especially pre-schoolers and K-8 students. 

The goal of this guide is primarily to be a starting point for families interested in gaining more knowledge about recycling and gaining practical recycling skills for application. The aim is to help children gain knowledge and learn skills that will be a basis for a life-long practice of recycling while also reminding caregivers of the science behind it and encouraging long-lasting environmental awareness. Parents, caretakers, and educators will be empowered with trusted sources to provide guidance and instruction to children as to the benefits of recycling as well implementing and providing an example in daily life. 


We have included books recommendations, activities, video clips, relevant websites, and more for your viewing pleasure. Additional resources related to sustainability and green living have also included. 

This has been compiled by three library science students and is by no means an exhaustive list. 

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.


Jessica Salinas's picture
Jessica Salinas
New York, NY


Recycling 101: What is Recycling?

Practicing The Three R's 
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


family recycling plastic into bin

Image Source: Stock Photography



Conserves natural resources

Prevents pollution

Saves energy


Practicing recycling and sustainable lifestyle choices are part of a larger ecosystem of childhood education and community life. Beginning a green journey involves many steps, and there are numerous resources for introducing green living concepts to all age groups. 

According to the EPA"recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products." 

See the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Recycling Basics page to learn more, and continue onward in the guide to discover more ways to introduce recycling to children.


recycling symbol three continuous arrows

Web Resources for Children

Web Resources for Parents & Educators



The following is a list of books that are useful for educating K-5th grade children about green living, recycling, and more. 

Also included are some options for adults: parents, educators, school librarians, or anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of the environmental implications of recycling. 

Books for Children

Books for Adults




Here you will find multimedia content for recycling instructional entertainment. Video can be a powerful tool and resource for teaching. 

This may be a jumping off point for further exploration of educational content for families to join together to enjoy.



Additional Resources



We have compiled a few examples of varying types of activities based on recycling and sustainability for children and families to enjoy.

Instructors, caretakers, and family members can partake in these games and crafts in order to build a playful connection and engage a child in learning about the benefits and practical aspects of reducing, reusing, and recycling through hands-on connection and play


Dig in and have FUN! 

Recycling A-Z

Recycling Terms A-Z

Glossary (noun)
       a collection of specialized terms with their meanings.


These environmental glossaries, dictionaries, and indexes will assist family members with any new or unclear terms related to sustainable living and recycling. 

Recycling symbols are often regionally-specific, and for the purposes of this guide we have included primarily North American resources. Also note that these references may be suitable for people at different developmental stages.