EcoMall



With Carol Baxter

Tips for teachers, parents and kids on how to live "greener" everyday lives.

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. Every month, I will answer your questions on how to bring environmental studies into the classroom, how to deepen our environmental awareness and how to live more "green". I'll suggest seasonal activities that can help our children get closer to nature and give suggestions on how to encourage them to be loving caretakers of our great planet earth. I want to encourage our children (and ourselves) to fall in love with nature. When you love something, you will take care of it.

I look forward to hearing from teachers and parents about environmental projects that you've done that have been successful.


Questions and Answers

Q: Dear Carol, I am a coordinator for our church's summer bible camp. Thisyear our focus is on loving our self , community, environment and animal kingdom. I would be eternally grateful for any craft or large and small activity ideas. Hopefully we will plant a seed of being earth friendly that will spread like the ripple effect. Thank you for your time!!! PauliFrancis

A: Immerse your campers in nature. Go on nature walks daily. Have some wildlife, insect and plant books on hand so that you can look up all your wonderful discoveries. Get them up and out early to watch the sun come up andwatch the sun go down. Have them make nature journals, where they can recordtheir observations, poetry, and pictures.

Pressing leaves or flowers is a wonderful activity, just be careful not topick too many wild flowers. Make a "Nature place mat" that they can bring home with them. Using clear contact paper, cut two pieces the size of a placemat. Peel off paper backing of the first piece. Lay your natural treasures on the sticky side. Peel the paper off the second piece of contact paper.Lay it on top of the first one, sticky sides together. Trim edges if necessary.


APRIL

Welcome April! There are a lot of wonderful ecologically minded events occurring in April. Although we celebrated the first day of Spring on March 21st, April really epitomizes spring. Keep a watchful eye on the trees forthe blossoming buds and on the ground for all those blooming flowers.

Here's what's going on in April:


EARTH DAY ACTION ALERT

Spread the word! Sign this petition that will designate Earth Day as anational holiday. The petition will be delivered to members of Congress and the White House on World Environment Day, J.

"We the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, hereby request that Earth Day, April 22 be designated a national holiday for the purposes of promoting the well-being and protection of the Earth and its ecosystems, uponwhich all life depends."


EARTH DAY EVENTS

< Mothers & Others'new environmental baby care book Guide to Natural Baby Care this event is designed to educate and celebrate the many choices available to consumers today, particularly new and expectant parents, that are safe and environmentally sound. Through displays, demonstrations, and a one-hour panel discussion, this event is geared toward providing parents and consumers with information they can use to create the healthiest possible home for theirchildren and environment.


National Volunteers Needed to Organize Earth Day Events in Parks and Public Lands!

Created in 1990, March for Parks is the nation's largest walking event for parks and open spaces. March for Parks allows local volunteers to "adopt" a national, stateor city park or public open space. All proceeds raised at individual marchesstay at the local level to fund park projects identified by local volunteers,called "March Partners." In past years, citizens have repaired historic buildings, planted trees, repaired existing trails and built new trails for disabled park visitors, and even bought land for new community parks. You can choose to raise money for your adopted park or open space by holding a walk,march or run. Or you may decide to hold a clean-up or festival to celebrate your park. For further information, visit the National Parks and Conservation Association at www.NPCA.org or e-mail lbailey@npca.org


EARTH DAY PROJECT

If you are looking for a class or school project perhaps this EarthDay grocery bag project will be of interest.

Thousands of school children from 490 schools decoratedover 165,193 paper grocery bags to celebrate Earth Day and increase environmental awareness. These artful bags were returned to a local supermarket, where they were then used to bag shoppers groceries on Earth Day.

Here's what you do:

1. Contact a local grocery store that uses large paper grocery bags. See ifthe manager will let you "borrow" enough bags so that each student in your school can decorate one. Let the manager know about the project and its environmental education message, of course! You could mention that last EarthDay 489 schools from all over the world participated! Grocers usually get these bags in "bundles" of 500.

2. Have students at school decorate the bags with pictures of the earth,environmental messages, the name of your school, etc. Be creative! DO NOT allow students to write their last names on any bags.

3. A couple of days before Earth Day, April 22nd you and/or your studentsreturn the decorated bags to the grocery store - with many thanks to the manager! The store then distributes these bags (full of groceries) to happyand amazed shoppers on Earth Day.

4. Fill out the guest book on the project web site, or send in a brief emailreport to mahlness@halcyon.com with a count of how many bags your school made. Be sure to include the name of your school and where you are. For moreinformation, visit their website at www.earthdaybags.org.

Here are some suggestions for your school or your family to host your ownEarth Day Celebrations.

1. Wake early, take a morning walk and watch the sunrise. Breathing in the morning air focus on the natural world around you. Think about how you can preserve and keep the earth in good health.

2. Make a cake and sing happy birthday to the earth. Have friends over.

3. Make up your own Earth Day pledge, and encourage your classmates and friendsto, too.

4. Arrange an Earth Day clean up.

5. Do an Earth Day planting.

6. Bike to school, work or the store. Avoid the car as much as possible.

7. Ban electricity day. See how many ways you can do without electricity.

8. Plan an Earth Day walk-a-thon. Or clean-up-a-thon. Take financial pledges from people to sponsor you for each mile you walk or each garbage bag you fill. Donate the money to a reputable environmental agency or use the money for local beautification.

9. Write and perform an Earth Day play.

10. Organize an Earth Day Music Concert.

11. Organize a compost workshop.

12. Take a field trip to your local recycling plant, landfill, or water resevoir.

13. Your school can make a sculpture of recycled materials, or individual classes or individual children can create their own recycled art projects.

14. Organize a hazardous waste drop off day. Contact your local Department ofSanitation for rules and regulations.

15. Study Native Americans and their philosophy on Mother Earth.

16. Create a Earth Day Hero Award for teachers, children or adults that are committed to doing great things for the planet.
17. Start an EcoClub.

18. Make a presentation of disposable items that you and the world can dowithout.

19. Organize a clothing, book, toy, household article swap.

20. Write a letter to the President or your Federal government representatives asking them to focus on a particular environmental issue.

HAPPY EARTH DAY!


EARTH PATROL KIDS


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