Of Dryer Lint, Plastics and Petroleum Products:
2011 Earth Day Stories
This was Montecito Union School's (MUS) second annual Earth Day Celebration, and they pulled out all the stops. The Green Team at this Santa Barbara K-6 may have just gotten its start in 2010, but they're off and running: they held not one, but three Earth Day events, kicking it all off with a rousing rendition of Jack Johnson's "The 3R's," sung by the school's own rock band, "White Moon."
The PTA and Green Team organized an Earth Day Movie Night featuring two films dealing with the impacts of plastic production, use, and waste: Bag It! and The Plastic Experiment.
Bag It! asks the question, "Is Your Life Too Plastic?" as it explores the impacts of plastics on our waterways, oceans, and bodies. The Plastic Experiment, narrated by a 14-year-old MUS graduate, looks at plastic pollution in our oceans, offers simple solutions, and follows several local families as they accept a 30-day challenge to reduce their plastic footprints.
To cap it off, MUS held a rousing environmental science fair and Earth Day festival featuring a Cool the Earth eco-quiz show, wind and solar energy demonstrations, science experiments, and a solar apple baker built by a 3rd grade class. What will they do next year?
Cleveland Elementary in San Francisco held an Earth Day Science Fair with a dozen different activities organized by the G.A.T.E. (Gifted and Talented Education) and special education classes as a community service project. The G.A.T.E. Coordinator secured materials from UCSF's Daly Ralston Resource Center, a lending library of free materials to support hands-on health and science teaching in San Francisco schools.
Cleveland students explored activities including a "Starch-Based vs. Petroleum-Base Products experiment," "Solar Energy Kits," "Tornado Tubes," "Planting Seeds/Making Pots," "Simulated Oil Clean-Up," and "Writing Letters to Officials to create awareness around land issues."
SF Environment was on hand with a composting banner, materials and prizes, as teacher and G.A.T.E. student volunteers guided kids through experiments and activities intended to engage, educate, and inspire.
At Wade Thomas School, a K-5 in San Anselmo, students have discovered that even dryer lint can have a second life. The school's mission states that students will "find creative solutions," and that's just what they did for Earth Day 2011:
For their Earth Day project, students entered the Whole Foods Market Creative Reuse Contest with the challenge of taking materials that would otherwise be thrown away and using them to make something useful and beneficial to the environment. Kids gathered discarded materials including lint, scrap ribbon and fabric. They stuffed these materials into discarded mesh produce bags, attached an instruction card, and tied the bags with ribbon. The card instructed users to hang the bags in trees for birds to pull out bits and pieces for nest building.
Their entry, Birdsnest Goodie Bags, won them a place in the San Rafael Whole Foods Market's Nickels for Nonprofits program, which seeks to help nonprofit organizations in local communities that have "limited budgets and big hearts." Participation in Nickels for Nonprofits is expected to earn a minimum of $1,000 for the school: When customers bring in their own grocery bags when they shop at Whole Foods between July 4 and September 25, 2011, they will have the option to donate the money to Wade Thomas.
Learn about another Wade Thomas reuse project in the San Anselmo/Fairfax Patch:
Wade Thomas Students Make Art from Garbage