PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or How Green Is Your Child?

14/10/2009 12:30 | Updated 22 May 2015

Our neighbour is a dead ringer for Felicity Kendal. I have flashbacks to The Good Life every time we meet. How amazingly ahead of its time regarding "thinking green" this brilliant sit-com was. For those of you too young to remember - it was about a couple living in suburbia but determined to live a sustainable, simple and self sufficient lifestyle.

There seems to be a growing, if rather reluctant acceptance in the UK of the need to recycle but it's still a long way behind Germany. In a country where waste separation has more followers than the church, children are encouraged from a very early age to join in. Germans recycle with zest and the ankle biters are right there in the middle of it. When I first moved here I was flabbergasted by the profusion of bins in people's homes. It didn't take long to rub off though and now we too have five separate bins and a compost heap. I reckon Tom and Barbara would be impressed. We don't have our own chickens yet but I'm working on it!

Finje, at the tender age of three and a half, is still undergoing her education on the rather complex task of throwing something away here. She often stands before the array of bins, litter in hand, clearly perplexed and struggling to work out into which receptacle to put it. For her, the greatest thrill is being able to run outside and launch something onto the compost which she does with no small amount of gusto. It's important, and you can't start too early conditioning your offspring on how we can help look after the world in which we live.

My father, how shall I say it, has a somewhat laissez-faire attitude towards waste disposal. His system involves lobbing absolutely everything into one mammoth sized bin and I'm sure inwardly sticking two fingers up at the "Greenies" whilst he's at it! It confused Finje on our last visit.

"Where are all the other bins Mama?"

I explained that Opa England (as she calls him) is a dinosaur when it comes to recycling and the best thing she could do to help would be to tell him this on a regular basis. I then stood back to watch the show.

There was unfortunately no changes made on that particular visit (my stubbornness didn't come from nowhere) but I'll be interested to see if there has been any bin reproduction next time.

The question being, can a grand-daughter loving dinosaur change his spots?

Do your kids recycle?

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