Saturday, April 10, 2010


April is a great month to go green. Kids all over the USA are going green in their classrooms and at home! Take a look at what others are doing and learn what you can start doing today to help.

Clare and Lisa of Minnesota cleaned up a creek in their neighborhood and went for a swim. The Redwoods Class at the Prairie Creek Community School in Minnesota collected almost 60 pounds of trash near their school. A kindergarten class at the Village Nursery School in Massachusetts held a bake sale to raise money for the rainforest. A fourth grade class in New Hampshire raised salmon from eggs until they were big enough to be released into a stream.

10 Steps to start your own clean-up project:

1. Think of a place that is important to you. It might be your school playground, your favorite park, a nearby beach, or any other place where you like to spend time.

2. What can you do to help your favorite place look its best? You could pick up trash, remove weeds, add a coat of paint, or donate plants.

3. Get permission. Before you make big changes, like planting, weeding, or painting, ask an adult to help you call a city official or the site owner to get permission.

4. Tell your friends and family. Ask others if they would like to help.

5. Collect supplies. Gloves, trash bags, paper towels, and glass cleaner
will be necessary.

6. Let the clean-up begin! Make sure to bring an adult with you. Take "before" and "after" photos for your scrapbook.

7. Safety first. Don't pick up any sharp objects, such as broken glass.

8. Wait before you throw! If you find any recyclable items like cans or paper bags, don't throw them out! Bring them to your local recycling center or use them yourself in recycling crafts!

9. Celebrate! Thank everyone who helped you. If you took pictures, you can send some to the friends and family members who volunteered with you. And remember to share your story with others.

10. Keep helping. Go back to your area once a month to keep it clean.

I’m in the process of publishing a book titled, Trouble on Earth Day. The main message of the book is to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Here are some practical ways that you can get started.

1. Reduce: Use Only What You Need! Here are some easy ways for you to help
reduce the trash you create and save natural resources. Use fewer grocery bags! Bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store, or bring back the plastic bags you got the last time. Use less packaging. Look for and buy products that have less packaging.

Water matters. Make an effort to use less water. You could ask your parents to install low-flow showerheads or turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
Save electricity. Use the stairs instead of using the elevator. Turn off the lights, TV, and computer when you're not using them.

2. Reuse! Find a second use for trash. Use old newspapers to make paper. Use this paper to make cards. Make a junk picture frame of cardboard, buttons, and other small pieces of trash. Be creative!

3. Recycle! Whenever possible, give an item a second life! Here are some great ways to recycle:
Buy recycled products. Ask your family or school to use recycled paper and other products.

Be helpful. Encourage your family and neighbors to recycle. Paper, plastics, aluminum cans, and glass can all be recycled.

Recommended books:

My First Garden by Wendy Lewison (infant preschool)

Don't Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing by Laura Bergen (ages 4-8)

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches (ages 4-8)

Easy to Be Green: Simple Activities You Can Do to Save the Earth by Ellie O'Ryan (ages 9-12)

Planet Earth Gets Well by Madeline Kaplan (ages 4-8)

Earth Book for Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment by Linda Schwartz (ages 9-12)

Trouble on Earth Day by Kathy Stemke (ages 3-8)

Moving Through all Seven Days link:
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Amit said...

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Anonymous said...

Great post Kathy! Lots of great clean-up tips for kids and grown-ups. It's great to see and hear about so many kids getting involved in making their world a cleaner, greener one.

I look forward to reading your book Trouble On Earth Day when it is published. Let me know if you need any reviews for it. I'd be glad to do one.