Heal The Earth Classroom Contest.

After the long winter, kids in your classroom may long to get outside and play or explore.  Why not make it part of the curriculum?  Perfect for Earth Day or Arbor Day, here’s a contest your classroom can participate in to show ways we can help heal the earth. 

http://healtheearthclassroomcontest.pagedemo.co/

The contest is open to classroom teachers and librarians.  Winners will receive a signed copy of Author Julian Lennon’s new book HEAL THE EARTH.

What creative activities and projects can your class come up with that promote a positive message about taking care of Planet Earth?  Check the website for rules and entry forms

All submissions must be received by midnight EST on Monday, April 30.

Go Green…er With These Tips and Ideas.

In honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 24) I’ve brought together several great sites that help you and your child do something to help and honor our Mother Earth. There are numerous organizations and manufacturers who dedicate themselves to reducing waste, recycling, and leaving a smaller footprint.  Some cost a donation; other only require time. Here are a few of them:              monarch

1. GO WILD:  Protect the World’s Ocean’s through Oceana’s ADOPT AN ANIMAL Program.   If you spend $50.00 on a stuffed sea creature, the money will be used to protect endangered ocean creatures and the habitats they live in.  http://www.oceana.org.    The WORLD WILDLIFE FUND http://www.worldwildlife.org  offers species adoptions for $55.00, which entitles you to a phot, stuffed animal, adoption certificate and gift bag.

2. PLANT A TREE: The Nature Conservancy’s program of Plant a Billion Trees, aims to restore forests around the world from Brazil to China.  You can see a map of progress so far and how to donate.    http://www.plantabillion.org    You can also protect forests in the American West at  http://www.americanforests.org

3. RECYCLE FOR A CAUSE: Fight poverty by donating new and gently used shoes to:  http://www.soles4souls.org.    

Assist victims of domestic violence by passing on old cellphones: http://www.shelteralliance.net

At  http://www.greenergadgets.org  you can find out what to do with your old cell phones, and electronics so they don’t end up in a landfill.   The site also teaches you how to buy green, live green and recycle responsibly.

You can also spare the landfill by donating electronics to local charities at:  http://www.donationtown.org

Send used baby clothes to outfit needy infants at: http://www.newbornsinneed.org

4. RAISE A PUPPY: If your child is begging for a puppy but you’re not sure, you can get a feel for what is involved by volunteering to be a puppy raiser for the blind.  http://www.guidedogs.com

5. HELP ELEPHANTS: A gift of $30.00 provides the 150-200 pounds of food an elephant requires each day at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary, the largest natural habitat for old, sick or needy elephants in the US  http://www.elephants.com                  

6. At  http://www.eartheasy.com  your child will find dozens of eco-friendly websites with activities, ideas and information on how to help protect the earth, and how to live sustainably.

You can also do things in your own backyard and neighborhood.  Plant a tree, start an herb or vegetable garden, go organic when you can to reduce dependence on pesticides.  Use less water.  Have a day without electricity, where you play games and tell stories by candlelight.

Check out the other Earth Day posts on this blog for more ideas.

Be kinder and gentler to Mother Earth…she’s the only planet we’ve got!

Eight Ways to a Happy Earth Day – Part 1

Earth Day helps us focus on being kind to our planet.  We often take for granted all the wonders this beautiful place we call home provides.  To honor the earth, on Earth Day, and every day, here are some things you can do:

1.  Recycle EVERYTHING you can.  Find a list at http://www.recyclingcenters.org

2.  Repurpose and find other uses for objects you  used to throw away. One example is to use empty tin cans and jars for pencils or flower vases.  Visit  http://www.creatingreallyawesomefreethings.com   to find some great “tin can crafts”.

3.  Instead of the cardboard coffee cup sleeve, check ebay.com for unique and clever cotton and knitted reusable coffee cup sleeves.

4.  Learn how to make yarn from plastic bags (plarn)  at: http://www.wikihow.com

5.  Donate your old electronics by visiting: http://www.pickupplease.org  for details.

6.  When shipping items, use old newspapers for packing instead of Styrofoam peanuts.

7.  Catch rain in buckets to water the garden.

8.  Use bar soap instead of liquid in plastic bottles.

If you’re wondering where you can go to take part in Earth Day events, visit http://www.earthday.org  to find local events in your area as well as volunteer opportunities.  Being a good steward of the earth is important, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t also be fun.  I’ll post more ways to be a friend to the earth on Monday as well as tell you how to get free seeds for plants that attract butterflies to your garden.  Stay tuned.