Thursday, February 14, 2013

Waste Not Want Not

The Green LIONS Garden Group studied the waste cycle at our last meeting learning that our actions have consequences in how we choose to throw items away. We discussed how landfills work and what we can and should not put in them. Learning of the chance of run-off into our drinking water allowed the students to determine what was safe to decompose in a landfill and what alternatives are available for re-purposing or recycling.

Did you know it can take up to 400 years for a plastic bottle to decompose in a landfill?! Students learned this surprisingly sad fact, opening up a discussion to how we could create waste-free lunches using re-usable or recyclable containers and accessories. Students learned they can use cloth napkins instead of paper, re-usable containers and pouches instead of disposable containers and plastic baggies, re-usable plastic or aluminum water bottles, and to close the cycle, composting leftover veggie or fruit scraps. They flexed their creative muscles creating posters to share with their schoolmates their new earth-friendly knowledge.

It is empowering to learn what we can do to help the planet in small and large ways. We can all start somewhere, maybe ceasing to buy plastic water bottles or switching to cloth napkins in our homes. Even just reducing certain practices if not eliminating them all together helps greatly.

The GLGG students also learned about the Great Backyard Bird Count taking place this weekend and how they can participate. This is an annual 4-day event that engages birdwatchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are. Go to to learn all about this fun and interactive bird identification and watching activity.

Backyard birds play an important role in our ecosystem and we can help them survive by keeping bird feeders filled or hanging edible treats for them on branches like the cereal hearts students made. We used organic cereal even for, and especially for the birds. Children and other small animals are the most susceptible to the damage chemical pesticides and herbicides can do to our bodies. Also, it is important to support earth-friendly practices by buying organic even when we aren’t the ones eating it.


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