Monday, March 31, 2014

Countdown to Earth Day -- is your child's classroom prepared?

As we approach Earth Day this year, I was wondering if your children's schools are participating. I think it's worth looking into. Perhaps you could even present some facts to your children's teachers or principals. Conserving Now is an organization which has a mission to reach today's children with the message that going green doesn't have to be about major life changes. It's the simple changes that everyone can make, regardless of time or money, that make a huge difference. Things like using reusable bags and reducing the world's dependence on plastic. It's the same message I've been sharing for nearly five years here on the blog. 

Image by WJ Nichols

Here are some statistics about plastic bags that were shared with me by the kind folks at Conserve Now:
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers: $4 billion)
  • Only 1-3% of plastic bags are recycled worldwide.
  • Industry figures show 90% of all grocery bags are plastic.
  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene which is a petroleum product. Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption.
  • It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down.
  • Plastic bags don't biodegrade, they photodegrade -- breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways. They they enter the food web when animals accidentally ingest them. 
  • 86% of all known species of sea turtles have had reported problems of entanglement or ingestion of marine debris.
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags.
 These are startling statistics, don't you think? But, aside from carrying your own bags (which I HOPE you are all doing by now), what else can you do? How about sharing this information and then offering a classroom education kit that provides teachers with a dynamic, grade-specific curriculum as well as a reusable bag for every student in the class. In addition to fun and interesting lessons about the dangers of plastic bags, the students are able to decorate their own reusable bag -- giving them a wonderful sense of ownership when out shopping or running errands. Additionally, the kit is designed to be interactive between the students and their families. Through this program, the students are empowered to become environmental stewards in their homes and communities.

Check out the website for more ideas on how to make the most of your smart environmental choices, as well as taking them to the next level. You can find the latest information on living green at

This is the year for you to make a difference. Here's a good start.

Keeping it green,


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