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April 22 is Earth Day

March 31, 2008

by Jenni Sebora

Go green. We have all probably heard that statement lately.

It equates to being nice to our environment. Even more builders and contractors are “going green” and using products in building homes, etc. that are better for our environment, such as carpeting that is made out of recycled materials.

Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, is a reminder to us that we need to be environmentally-friendly and do things that can help our environment.

My husband is very big on turning off lights when not in use; turning down the furnace when no one is home; using fluorescent lighting, etc. – which saves energy as well as money.

He has started a contest with our children on energy-saving practices.

In fact, the other day, my daughter reminded me to turn off the lights in the kitchen and to turn off the fireplace and the computer when not in use.

Recycling is another big thing in our household. Since we live in the country, we bring our recycling to a great facility – including cardboard. We have bins in our garage for all of the recyclables, and each is labeled, so our children can help too.

Holidays.kaboose.com offers these tips to share with our children:

• Shut off lights when leaving the room.

• Turn off the television and computer when not in use.

• Shut off the water when brushing teeth.

• Take faster showers or baths with less water.

• Help hang clothes on the line instead of in the dryer (when we can in Minn.).

• Choose products that are not over-packaged.

• Recycle, recycle, and recycle.

As the web site noted, we can all make a difference – little things, even from our little ones, can make a difference.

Engaging in some fun activities that correspond with Earth Day is another way to share the “go green” attitude.

Fossils

Create “coffee ground fossils” with your children. This looks interesting, and I think I am going to try this with my Girl Scout troop.

Stir one – cup of used coffee grounds, one-half cup cold coffee, one cup flour and one-half cup salt until well mixed. Then knead the dough; flatten it out onto the waxed paper.

Using an empty can or a butter knife, cut out circles of the dough to cut slabs large enough to fit the “fossil” objects.

Press your objects (such as shells, a stick, etc.) to make impressions into the dough. When you remove the object, the “fossil” is created. It was also noted that you could bake the “fossils” for a short while to get the dough to harden more.

This idea was also from the kaboose web site.

Eating dirt

How about eating some dirt cups with your children? Our family has made this delicious dessert on a few different occasions. Of course, most children love dirt, worms, and bugs.

Make your chocolate pudding according to directions. Crush some Oreos or other chocolate sandwich cookies (put cookies in a plastic baggie and crush with a meat tenderizer or a spoon, etc.)

Put some crushed cookie (dirt) on the bottom of a cup, add some pudding (mud), then add some more layers of crushed cookie and mud. Top with whipped topping and, of course, top off with a gummy worm, and you have got your delicious dirt cup. Dig in and get dirty!

“Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day is a time to protect our planet.” – Source: www.earthday.gov