• Write letters to members of congress to support environmental legislation.
• Raise money through various contests to support conservation causes. Example, class competitions.
• Have high school and middle school students present environmental information to middle and elementary schools.
• Volunteer locally to do habitat preservation, adopt a roadway or beach to remove litter, or recycle wastes in the community.
• Volunteer at a recycling center.
• Get students involved on local media programs of radio and T.V. which focus on environmental concerns.
• Begin recycling programs in your school or analyze the ones already in place and suggest improvements.
• Encourage teachers to duplicate on both sides of papers.
• Plan a field trip to sewage treatment, sanitary landfill, zoo, arboretum, or nature center.
• Invite a director or president of local environmental organizations to your program. Learn what the organization does—as well as finding out why these people volunteer their time and how they became interested in the environment.
• Interview local businesses to find out about economic conflicts associated with environmental issues.
• Volunteer and spend time at a local elementary school-facilitating projects made from recycled materials. Volunteer time setting up a litter campain or collection for rain-forest, etc. with elementary school programs.
BE GREEN DURING SCHOOL YEAR!
•Ride your bike or walk to school.
•Use last year's school supplies.
•Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
•Buy recycled paper.
•Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic.
•Use a lunch box, not paper bags.
•Donate last year's clothes instead of throwing them away.
•Buy online to avoid driving.
•Buy organic food.
•Turn your computer off when you're not using it.
•Decorate your lunchbox.
•Make your own bookmarks.
•Organize a clothes swap with your friends.
•Carpool to sports.
•Use refillable pens and pencils.
•Reuse your backpack. Decorate it with cool patches.
Tips from NationalGeographic
GREEN MAPPING...GREAT IDEA for middle school to adult!
Pretend you are the first person to explore your home or school neighborhood. Draw a map of what you find. This idea with a Community Service/Green Bend is Green Mapping.
Green Mapping is catching on across the globe as kids and adults around the world participate in diverse and unusual mapping projects. Green Mapping looks at the community using the map as the medium.
The map could examine environmental issues or look at community resources and needs with a critical eye. Green Maps can be computer generated or hand drawn and can include poems, narrative text, photos, and background information.
Children and adults from around the world have mapped a wide variety of diverse projects.
Consider ideas such as:
- Where are bike trails, farmers’ markets, or wildlife habitats in your town?
- Are there good walking tours to recommend?
- What are the cultural resources for children in your area? Are there enough?
- Are there toxic waste sites or environmental hazards in your community?
- Are there rivers or streams that are at risk in your area?
- Where are the green spaces in your community? Should there be more?
- What is youth-friendly in your neighborhood?
What does your neighborhood need?
Click Here to Learn all about Green Mapping.
CANCEL SALES CATELOGS!
Read about a school that started "The Catalog Canceling Challenge" in 2007-- and since then other schools and scouts have joined the fun. So far 5,000 kids in fifteen states have canceled almost 40,000 unwanted sales catalogs! It saves trees, water, energy, and our climate. In fact, these kids have saved 1000's of trees so far!
It's a pretty straightforward idea that kids enjoy. Click here if your program would like more information.
This is good reminder to include in a newsletter or at an Earth Club meeting...
Sometimes plastic ring-type holders found on six-packs of aluminum cans can end up in the water... fish and other animals that live there can get caught in them. Help your child make these holders less hazardous by using scissors to cut through each ring in the holder before throwing it away.
I was in Traverse City one summer; at the Hotel's water edge was a duck with plastic ring wrapped around his beak. I was told that it was there for at least a day. The duck was frantic and trying to remove it. Several hours later...someone was finally able to get it off...(Photo is of duck with six-pack rings caught on head)
START COLLECTING OLD ATHLETIC SHOES
Put out notices and containers—and start collecting!!!
Ever thrown out a pair of worn-out athletic shoes? Did you know that IT TAKES ABOUT 1,000 YEARS for those sneakers to biodegrade? Wondering what to do with the ones you've already got? RECYCLE THEM.
Every year, millions of pairs of athletic shoes are thrown away, not only wasting landfill space, but wasting tons of reusable material. Since 1993 Nike has been running a program called Reuse-a-Shoe. Since 1990, they've used over 25 million pairs of athletic shoes to create sports surfaces. It’s part of the "Let Me Play" campaign, one of Nike’s longest-running environmental and community programs, where worn-out athletic shoes of any brand are collected, processed and recycled into material USED IN SPORT SURFACES like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.
For information visit their website.
To keep recycling equipment running smoothly, there are guidelines:
• Athletic shoes only (any brand)
• No shoes containing metal
• No cleats or dress shoes
• No wet or damp shoes
PLAN A RECYCLING EFFORT...
- Contact an agency to see if it would be willing to remove your items for recycling. Find out how they must be sorted and stored.
- Collect and recycle everything you can.
- Donate the proceeds if you turn recycled items in for cash.
- Contact for publicity; perhaps others will join the recycling effort!
Set a Collection Goal and Keep Track on a posted litter-meter.
Be sure all wear protective disposable gloves.
WASTE WATCHERS! Introduce recycling to your school by having youth set up a recycling bin for paper in your program area. Ask school officials to set up bins in the cafeteria for plastic, aluminum and glass. Students can help educate their schoolmates about recycling by designing posters that describe what can and cannot be place in each recycling bin.
ADOPT SOME RAINFOREST…
Collect money (Coins for the Rainforest) and “adopt” a bit of Rain Forest. 2500 square feet can be purchased from Arborday website for $10.00 in the program section of the aborday site. Just search Rainforest Rescue. ***Place containers about the building and office/lounge areas. Be sure to put an article in your newsletter and promote the project verbally and with posters.
SET THE MOOD for Earth& Green Activities with Music! Any of these ' songs, would be wonderful used during 'Earth Week' or for a Nature Theme! Learn the words to such songs as This Land is Your Land and use others as background and listening music!
• The Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) by Jack Johnson
• Green, Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones
• Earth Song by Michael Jackson
• What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
• This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
• And The Green Grass Grows All Around by Traditional
• Down to Earth from Wall-E by Peter Gabriel
• Moondance by Van Morrison
• Garden Song by John Denver
• Sunshine On My Shoulders by John Denver
• Mother Earth by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
• The Flower That Shattered The Stone by John Denver
• Emergency on Planet Earth by Jamiroquai
• Planet Earth by Duran Duran
• Edelweiss from The Sound of Music
• Moon River by Henry Mancini
• Wildwood Flower by The Carter Family
• Where Have All The Flowers Gone? by The Kingston Trio
• Cross The Green Mountain by Bob Dylan
• Planet Earth by Prince
• Red River Valley by Traditional
• River Flows In You by Yiruma
• Where The River Shannon Flows by James I. Russell
• Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller
• Mother Earth, Sister Moon by Carol Klose
• Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
Many ideas from other categories will also work with older youth. Check out: