Happy Earth Day, everyone! In celebration of the day, I thought I’d ask around the office to see what Lee & Low staff members are doing to keep things green, and got some great answers:
“Tonight, I’m going to be unplugging my TV, laptop and phone and curling up with glass of certified organic wine and a good environmentally focused book, either Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick (which I need to finish!) or Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change (an old favorite).”—Jaclyn DeForge, Educational Sales Associate
“I started using reusable bags a few years ago at the suggestion of my cousin. I found out that the U.S. wastes approximately 100 billion plastic bags every year, so I’ve been using a reusable bag ever since to cut down on waste. The one I have is really convenient too- it folds up to the size of the palm of my hand, so I can just keep it in my purse. It’s prettier than a plastic bag, too!” —Lucy Amon, Marketing & Publicity Assistant
Turkey Day. Autumn Pie Day. American Gluttony Day.
It’s coming. Are you ready?
Have you picked out a book to get your kids in a spirit of thanks and appreciation for the natural world?
Jen Cullerton Johnson is an educator and the author of Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace, a biography of biologist, environmentalist, and activist Wangari Maathai. We asked her to blog about ways teachers can bring awareness of nature and environmentalism into the classroom; here are her five key suggestions. We hope you find them useful, and of course, feel free to add your own suggestions and methods in comments!
Green teachers everywhere know that students can’t become stewards of the environment without hands-on interactions with nature. Describing the root system of plants puts third graders to sleep, but if you bring in several plants and allow the students to feel, see, and discuss, the room becomes atwitter with curiosity. Active learning impresses the mind. Passive learning depresses it. Green teachers facilitate a nature-based experience for their students. In each lesson they teach, in each interaction with their students, they look for ways to connect the environment with other subjects.
The oil spill in the Gulf has been all over the news lately, and, frustrating though the lack of progress has been, there have been many efforts to stem the oil geyser. What about oil spills that don’t have a large impact on Americans? The Times looks at the Niger River Delta, which has seen the equivalent of the Exxon-Valdez spill a year every year for fifty years, with little attempt at cleanup or attention to the disastrous effect on the area’s ecosystem or economic future.