Tag Archives | storm drain marking

Earth Day Projects For Schools

Do you have a really cool idea that promotes environmental stewardship within a school but haven’t been able to get approval to implement it? This is usually a good time to pop your head into the principle’s office and ask “what’s happening at our school for Earth Day?” If they look at you momentarily stunned – you are in luck! Your awesome idea stands a good chance at getting passed because school administrators often needs help coming up with Earth Day projects. Here are 3 ideas that can be organized quickly and with little cost.

DIY Bike Racks & Bike Challenge

I will be trying this idea with my own family for Earth Day week. I was hoping to have the school’s support but I might be biking solo with my clan on April 22nd. I can only hope that my children understand the importance of celebrating Earth Day by challenging ourselves to try new things that reduce waste, fuel, or consumerism. Here is where the inspiration for this idea came from – picture credit Punyx Tumblr:

If your school already has bike racks this Earth Day project is already easy. If not, I love the idea of using up-cycled tires to make them and how much easier can it be to build a bike rack? Our school doesn’t have bike racks so I thought this project of building them teaches the importance of up-cycling materials already available. The other half of this project is to post a challenge sheet in each classroom and kids can record the number of miles or Kms that they walk or bike ride to school during Earth week (April 22-26). At the end of the week, classes or Grades can tally their totals for the number of carbon emissions or greenhouse gas emissions saved by the act of walking or biking instead of kids being driven to school. There are conversion calculators on the web that can transcribe these numbers. The school could post the total number and I think kids that don’t normally bike or walk to school would feel very proud!

Neighborhood Beautification

Working with your city’s environmental department is a great way to get ideas for helping the community on Earth Day. Does the school’s neighborhood have any invasive species or plants that kids can help the city identify and control? Is there a section of forest or river/stream close-by that can be swept for litter? And if it’s okay with the city – have kids make seed bombs in school and then throw into an approved area of the woods. David Suzuki’s Queen Of Green has a link on how to make DIY seed bombs. What could be better than unleashing children into nature with something to throw? They would love it!

Another way to beautiful your school’s neighborhood is to mark storm drains with fish decals to show they lead to waterways and should be protected from chemicals, paint, etc. We marked the storm drains along our street a few years ago – it was a great activity that my kids are still proud of! Again – getting the kids outside with an activity seems like a win/win. Many storm drain marking kits come with literature to hand out so they children become the educators with this project.

Earth Day Festival

This last project will take more time and energy to plan – but the results would be awesome. The key to keeping children engaged about learning how to help the environment is to let them speak to the issue. Kids know better than anyone little ways to help the environment. Not just for one day – little things that can be incorporated into our daily routine that just might inspire permanent change in our households.  One station of the Earth Day festival could have kids talking about how to pack a litterless lunch and why that is important. Maybe this idea could catch on and become a routine day of the week where students bring littler-ess lunch every Monday. Another station could be a game with a sorting station. There would be one large bin with 10 items that need to be sorted into compost, recycle or garbage. Fun! Another station could have a planting station where each child plants a seed into an empty egg carton cup or empty paper milk carton they’ve brought from home.  Having the children in charge of stations where learning is ‘hands-on’ has a larger impact than adults simply talking about it.

Good luck and be sure to post your experiences with Earth day projects within your school on our Fan Page – keep the inspiration flowing!

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Earth Day 2010 ~ How Will You Celebrate

Earth Day is coming and I’ve been comparing this year’s Earth Day buzz to Christmas. It might even be busier in our household than any December I can remember – the emphasis on April 22nd is apparent in every corner of the community this year.

Also helping keep me on my toes, I was approached to guest write for an amazing online newsletter called Savvymom with a series of 2 articles on greener options for families. The article titles are Eco Fun: Storm Drain Marking and Tips to Improve Your Home’s Health. Both of these articles have some great ideas for both parents and children wanting to make a difference in their community and home. One thing I’ve learned with writing at Mommy Footprint is any steps you make to help the environment will reward you with improving your family’s health. If you are wanting to talk to your children about Earth Day and why it’s important, but don’t have time for any big projects, simply make a change in your home and explain that you are helping the Earth and helping improve the quality of your family’s environment. Big or small changes – they all matter and are important.

I have a small role in helping plan a Earth Day Fair this year and am feeling very inspired about community and family involvement. To find an Earth Day event in your neighbourhood, click on the link at Earth Day 2010 (US zip codes only). For people in Canada click on the Earth Day Canada site for events.

My advice for parents wanting to participate or encourage their children this April 22nd is pick something you all find inspiring. If you have wrapped your mind around trying to reduce the amount of toxic materials in your life, discussing with family this month is a great start. I found this puzzle today from the artists at Just Hatched in the US that really celebrate Earth Day everyday with their commitment to using more sustainable materials to create toys. I wanted to share an example of something so simple. and earthy. and inspiring. Surrounding our lives with better choices for the environment the other 374 days of the year is also a great pledge to make. Keeping your family footprint lighter with supporting local, sustainable choices, made with natural materials just feels so good!

Have fun planning your special mark with your family this Earth Day.

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Ultimate Eco Activity For Your Family

Back in April, I wrote an article highlighting an eco-friendly project for kids – Kid Friendly Eco Project.  The activity involved storm drain marking with fish decals to remind the public that water ways lead to fish.  I was very excited to reserve my marking kit with the city, but because of a fish decal shortage, I only received it this week.  I’m wanted to report back on the success of the activity.

Well, my sons and I loved marking the drains.  Actually, there is nothing my boys didn’t enjoy with this project.  I think I feel a paper route coming in their near future because they loved delivering the educational literature to the houses the most.  Of course at the beginning of this adventure, hitting the fish decals with the mallet was pretty fun too.  <smile>

The entire process of storm drain marking is wonderful for a family project. You put on a reflective vest, brush away debris from the road where you plan on putting the decal, then you pour the glue onto the road, peel and stick the fish decal, then pound it with a mallet approx. 100 times.  When you see the roadway bumps coming through the decal, you’ve done a good job.  These decals need 48 hours to completely stick to the road, so I’m really hoping people don’t lift them up before this time.  I guess this is another wonderful thing about having children.  Continue Reading →

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