Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kids Going Green!

© photo courtesy of Scholastic Inc.

Moving toward living more green in my daily life at first seemed like a daunting task. The most helpful thing I have done to create the right mind set is to read, read and read some more. The more I read the more I learn of ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint, that fits easily into my lifestyle. I suppose like my blog's name, this is a journey. Each step lays the ground work for the next.

Kids' actions are less habitual and more pliable than we adults. I'd like to share with you a book that shows how even young children really can take the lead, if we just let them. OUR CLASS IS GOING GREEN, written and illustrated by kindergarten students of the Oak Park Elementary School in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and published by Scholastic, is a great example of how children are able to take an idea and run with it. The effort and attitudes of these young kids plays out in the pages, adorably illustrated using things from their recycling bins. This book is a charming introduction to living green, suitable for even the youngest children. It is the 2008 winner of Scholastic's Kids Are Authors Competition.

Like all good authors, these kids have stayed focused on their audience, while dropping in some information for the parents as well. Here are a few facts I learned about paper from the inside covers of their book:
  • More than 900 million trees are cut down each year to provide material for paper mills.
  • Paper products make up almost half of all our trash.
  • People in the United States use more than 65 million tons of paper every year.
  • One tree can filter about 60 pounds of pollutants from the air in a year.
  • Every day, businesses in the United States use enough paper to go around the Earth 20 times.

I recently began adding a note to the end of my e-mails that reads, "Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail." You may have seen this on other e-mails. By reading Our Class is Going Green, I was reminded of just how important it is to think about each piece of paper I thoughtlessly use, throw away or don't recycle.

If you have a young child on your gift list, I hope you will consider this fun and educational book. It is a wonderful thing to support the work of such conscientious youngsters. Thanks much to the children and staff at Oak Park Elementary School for their efforts. I hope to hear from them, and if I do, I will share some of their questions and comments with you in January.

Some of my other posts about saving paper and recycling include:

Treehuggers Unite: Let's Save Paper!

Woofing Wednesday Goes to Earth 911

Let's Plant Trees

Woofing Wednesday Brings You Another Great Website

Thank You Notes in the Electronic Age

You can also check out some great Green Reads from Green Living Online. I'm looking forward to hearing your comments and suggestions on other good green books for both the young and the young-at-heart. Please COMMENT below by clicking the purple COMMENT link. If you have any trouble with that, you can write to me at CarrieLeaJohnson@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you soon.

28 comments:

Heather said...

This book was inspired in the school cafeteria!! Kids were taking dozens of napkins - and, as you can imagine, they were using none of them because they have sleeves, of course! :) So, in an effort to teach them conservation with napkins, their teachers began discussing with them the things they could do to help the earth, instead of hurting it. They jumped right into writing this book and entered it in the contest and are thrilled to be published!!!

Hopefully, we'll have school tomorrow and the kids will get to participate in this post!

Keagan said...

I like to remember to turn off the lights at night. We need to save electricity, too. And it's important to clean up after you eat so that you recycle things that need to be recycled.

About the book: Which picture did you like the most?

Chaz said...

Don't waste electricity. Even when I watch TV, I get more ideas from Nickelodeon.

How do you not drive so much so you save gas?

Jaden said...

Whenever we are outside - even on recess - I pick up trash.

Reed said...

If you keep things clean, it will help take care of the earth. Never keep your room messy. It will remind you to keep things clean.

AJ said...

Why did you start this blog?

Where do you buy things that are earth-friendly?

Heather said...

I like to keep my house clean and take care of it.

It's also important to take care of other people and be nice to them so they will be nice to you and to the earth.

How do you clean your house and stay earth friendly?

Johanna said...

That last comment was from JoHanna (whoops!)

Baylee said...

If someone doesn't clean up after themselves, you should clean up after them. Just because it's your mess doesn't mean it doesn't need to be cleaned up.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brody said...

Turn off things when you are not using them or playing with them so you don't waste batteries or electricity. Also, you should mind your parents!

Trey G said...

Instead of throwing things away, use them. We had some old used wood and then we used it tot make a dog house!

ShaiRon said...

Do not waste water. You should never just let it run.

Timothy said...

When you are getting a job, you should get one that lets you help keep the earth clean or keep anything clean.

Robby said...

Just picking things up keeps the earth clean.

How do you use your car so that it's earth friendly?

Trey W said...

An easy rule is to not mess with things that aren't yours. You don't know how someone else is using it.

Dominic said...

Don't leave the fridge open. It will let the cold air out and waste electricity and your food will spoil and that's wasteful.

Ethan said...

Don't forget to recycle bottle!! Also help your mom and she can help you.

Ariel said...

don't play on the phone. Visit people instead.

Myla said...

Help cut the yard and do chores so they go quicker and you don't use as much energy.

Desaray said...

Help washing the dishes because it will go quicker and you'll use less water.

Trey G said...

What all do you recycle and how do you recycle or reuse your stuff?

Myla said...

What did you think was the best idea in the book?

Ariel said...

What do you do everyday that is important to the earth and how did you learn to do it?

Trey G & Ethan said...

How do you clean your dishes so that it's earth friendly?

Ariel said...

What's the funnest green thing you do?

Mrs. Wailes' First Grade / Mrs. Nickels' Kindergarten said...

WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE OUR QUESTIONS AND SENTENCES ON THE WEB!!!

Carrie J. Boyko said...

To the authors of OUR CLASS IS GOING GREEN: Thank you very much for writing comments on my blog. You made my day! NEVER ever have I gotten 27 comments on one article before. You guys are the best!

I want to answer all of your questions and comment on all of your thoughts. You raised some very good topics for me to talk about. I will work on an article for the blog that features all of your comments and thoughts, and I will let your teacher know when it will be posted online.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Remember to use reusable wrapping such as reusable bags for all of your gifts, and turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Happy holidays from Carrie Boyko at Organic Journey Online.

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