Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

24 02 2012

With the new movie The Lorax being released on March 2nd 2012, the date that would have been Dr Seuss’ 108th birthday, we thought we’d take a closer look at the issues that the movie is trying to tell us about.

The story, originally published in 1971, pays great attention to how the environment is being damaged in order to make other things. Trees, truffula trees in this case, are being chopped down  to make clothing and carpet. In real life, trees do get cut down every day, even if we don’t see it happening.

The Lorax shows us how every action causes a reaction. In this case, because the trees are being cut down, the other characters in the book are not able to eat because it is the trees that grow their food. With no trees, there will be no food.

It is also mentioned that because of the factory being built to create more items from the trees, the birds are being effected – they cannot sing and have to fly much further away to get out of the smog.

In the final section of the book, the lorax shows how the water around the factory is also being harmed by the chemicals that are thrown out of the factory. The images also show the amount of damage that factories can cause to the environment. In this particular case, fish are jumping and climbing out of the oil filled pond as quickly as they can.

So in the end, The Lorax is trying to get you to think about how your actions are affecting the environment, and what you could do to help the environment.

Do you recycle?

Recycling is a great way to start helping the environment! Start by cleaning up your room and recycling everything that you don’t need or use anymore.

Here is a short list of just some of the things that can be recycled:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Magazines
  • Metal
  • Newspapers
  • Paper
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic bottles
  • Steel cans

These are items that would will find everyday in your own house. Just find yourself a large box/bin to place all these items when you are finished with them. You could even decorate the large box and label it ‘Recycling‘ so that even visitors can see that you are trying to help the environment.

But other than recycling, how else can you help the environment?

  • Walk or cycle to school
  • Take shorter showers
  • Make sure all lights are switched off when they are not needed
  • Reuse water bottles etc, instead of throwing them away once you’re done.
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Dr. Seuss Book

2 03 2011

For Dr. Seuss’s 107th birthday, we wanted to feature one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books, The Lorax.

The Lorax

This is a great story about how we effect our environment. In this book, a character who calls himself the Once-ler moves to a town and cuts down all of the Truffula Trees to turn them into garments. The Lorax doesn’t agree with the Once-ler and what he is doing. He speaks for the trees and tells the Once-ler that he must stop. The Once-ler doesn’t listen however, and the town becomes completely treeless, and the Lorax leaves. In the end, the Once-ler gives a young, boy the last Truffula Tree seed, so he can plant it and create a whole new city full of trees.

This book reminds us about our impact on the environment and that we can each do our part to help.

Which Dr. Seuss books inspire you?





Save our Earth!

8 04 2009

With Earth Day right around the corner, we wanted to get started on finding some new ways to make the Earth a cleaner & greener place to live. It is important that we protect our enviroment so that we will have clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink. Want to know how you can get involved? Here are some helpful tips that you can do at home! Remember, one person can make a huge difference!recycle header

  • Recycle (anything from plastic bottles to newspapers)
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room
  • Reuse your plastic bags or take cloth bags to the grocery store
  • Make art projects out of used items like cereal boxes or yogurt cups
  • Use a lunch box instead of a paper bag
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood and at school
  • Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth

What items can you reuse instead of throwing them out?

Recycle Parade

Visit this website for more helpful tips or Download a fun activity book !





Turn out the lights!

26 03 2009

In Eco Explorers camp we learned there are plenty of ways for one person to make a difference for the planet. A very simple way to save energy and help decrease global climate change is to turn off the lights! During Earth Hour this year at 8:30pm on March 28th join millions of people who are turning off their lights.

See what kids in Australia have to say about Earth Hour:

This Saturday evening my lights are getting turned off!





Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

22 10 2008

Earlier this summer we talked a little about the carbon footprint and about how you can go to this website to measure your own carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is a measurement of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that you use each day. These greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon dioxide, are produced by doing things as simple as watching TV or riding in a car!

The smaller your carbon footprint the better because huge carbon emissions can be harmful to the environment. By using less energy, you can shrink your carbon footprint, save money, and best of all, make the environment a healthier place. To learn more about how you and your family can conserve energy each day go here and play California’s Flex Your Power Challenge!

 

Here are some ways that you and your family can shrink your carbon footprint:

1. Drink tap water instead of just buying bottled water.

2. Turn off the lights, the computer, or the television when you aren’t using them.

3. Take a bath instead of a shower.

4. Replace your ordinary light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

5. Take the bus or ride your bike instead of riding in a car.

6. Hang your clothes to dry instead of putting them in a dryer.

7. Make sure to recycle!

 

In the Austin Children’s Museum’s new exhibit, “All Systems Go,” you can learn more about energy by participating in the Energy Lab! You can also learn about different modes of transportation that produce different amounts of energy! Can you think of any other ways to conserve energy? Send us your ideas!





A Bright Idea!

7 10 2008

Kids can be inventors, too! 12-year-old William Yuan from Beaverton, Oregon has invented a way to create solar energy, or energy from the sun. His invention is so amazing that it may help to solve the energy crisis!

William realized that the sun’s solar energy was being underused. He figured out how to develop a 3D solar cell that can absorb both visible and UV light and generate electricity. William hopes that solar panels will be able to use his 3D cell. A 3D cell could allow a solar panel to produce 9 times more sunlight and 10% more energy from the sun than normal solar panels that use 2D solar cells.

William believes that using the 3D cells in solar panels will make a positive impact on the environment. Right now he is looking into getting the solar cells manufactured and marketed. Way to go, William!

Today, energy from the sun can be absorbed by solar panels for heating water and air in people’s homes. Right now more than 10,000 families in the US get their home’s electricity from solar power and that number is growing!

Even if your family doesn’t use solar panels, you can still use the sun as an energy source when you make your very own solar cooker!

Go to the Make website to learn how to make a pizza box solar cooker and tell us your findings!

 Also, if you want to learn about other forms of energy, make sure to visit the Austin Children’s Museum’s new exhibit, All Systems Go, and explore the Energy Lab!





Go Organic

14 08 2008

Austin is a unique and vibrant city. From the arts to its shops to its green spaces, Austin has it all, and we spent this entire week exploring some of the places that make Austin so great! Today, the nice people at Whole Foods took us on a tour of their giant store where we learned all about natural and organic foods, meaning foods grown without the use of conventional pesticides and artificial fertilizers.

Flavorful breads, juicy fruits and delicious, creamy peanut butter are just a few of the foods we sampled along the way. Between the bakery and fresh pasta station, we made a pit-stop at candy island to watch chefs handmaking lollipops, fudges, toffees, s’mores and much much more! Our mouths watered as we watched the cascading chocolate fountain enrobing sweets and strawberries. Then it was onto the fish market to learn about ocean-friendly fishing methods and seafood sustainability.

Whole Foods believes in maintaining a healthy planet and seeks to reduce environmental impacts. Farmers grow healthy plants and animals using earth-friendly methods known as sustainable farming. They do not use man-made substances that can sometimes stay around and harm the environment. Instead, they use natural substances and methods. We all need to do our part in contributing to a healthier future, and we can all make a difference by taking some simple steps. Check out The Greens for ideas on how you can help look after our planet, these printable tip sheets are a great place to start!