Category archives for Tips
Professional cartoonist and environmental activist Drew Aquilina is bringing fun and laughter to the 2011 Earth Day project “A Billion Acts of Green” with his new collection of nature cartoons in his book “Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up.”
Aquilina uses his cartoons to teach respect for nature by reconnecting with it. Aquilina’s message focuses on the idea that the more people go outside to learn about the world from nature’s perspective, the more they’ll understand and want to protect it.
Click to enlarge cartoons:
NGKids: What are your plans this Earth Day?
Aquilina: I am planning on going to a local childrens hospital to donate some Green Pieces: Green From the Pond Up cartoon books and light tables for use at the hospital’s classroom. Many of our local hospitals have classrooms for kids to help them stay academically current with their studies during their hospital stay. During my visits, I will be teaching kids how to draw cartoons by using the light tables and to talk about the environment.
NGKids: What are five fun Earth Day activities that kids of all ages can enjoy?
1. Plan a camping trip in your own backyard, this can be a test run for future camping trips at local camp sites.
Identify what plants and animals live in your yard. Try to discover
what is living right outside your house and get to know your local
plants and animals. Make a list. If you cannot identify each species,
take a photograph or notes and check your encyclopedia, local library,
or online research source to try and identify them.
3. Sign up for
a local Earth Day event. Check local listings for habit revitalizations
or clean ups and help your local environment.
4. Build a friend a
home. Put up or build a bird house to attract nature to your yard. Try
to attract hummingbirds: With the help of an adult, boil one part sugar
to three parts water. Place in a cup.
5. Plant a plant! What
better way to celebrate Nature than to add to it. Plant native trees,
shrubs, or wildflowers. Have fun researching with other people to
discover which native plants exist in your area and enjoy your efforts
long after Earth Day.
NGKids: What’s one thing every person can do every day of the year to help the planet, not just on Earth Day?
Aquilina: There are so many activities that are not only fun but helpful. The main ideas that can be applied every day include recycling, reducing trash, and disposing of it properly. If you see trash anywhere outside, take the time to put it in its right place. We wouldn’t want people to leave trash around our own homes, do think of the outdoors as Nature’s house and keep it clean.
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Phenomenal Friday fact!
If we turned off home computers when not in use, we would cut their CO2 impact by 8.3 millions tons a year or 50 percent.
The United Nations established March 22nd as World Water Day. You can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the planet by doing small things. On this World Water Day, drink from a reusable bottle. All those single-serving bottles take water to produce.
Get more conservation tips when you read 25 Ways You Can Be a Water Hero.
Photograph by pabloholyturtle, NG Kids My Shot
Six creative classrooms across the United States are vying to win the “Find Your
Footprint” contest. Vote for your favorite finalist of the
in-school conservation program which inspires students to make their schools and
homes more environmentally friendly.
Winners will receive five Promethean ActivBoard interactive whiteboards, five sets of 32 ActivExpressions learner response systems, up to $1,000 worth of award-winning atlases, books, and more. Plus, every student in the winning class receives a one-year subscription of National Geographic Kids Magazine.
The voting period has now ended, but check back soon for the Grand-Prize Winning School!
Nearly 160 million greeting cards will be purchased for Valentine’s Day this year, according to the Greeting Card Association, and that doesn’t even include the packaged Valentine’s Day cards kids exchange at school. This year, why not send an e-card instead and encourage your friends and family to do the same? This will save a lot of trees and reduce trash in the landfill.
Create your own Valentine’s Day e-card featuring Zipper and his friend, Snaps!
Don’t forget to recycle any paper cards and envelopes you receive or use them in other projects, like this Tissue Paper Flower craft.
You can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the planet.
These 25 tips help conserve water; keep pollution out of oceans, rivers,
streams; and protect the animals that live there. You’re being blue to
1. Get Moving
Bike or walk as much as possible to keep car pollution from being absorbed into waterways.
2. Don’t Release Pets Into the Wild
Some pets and snakes are not native to the area where they are kept as pets. When nonnative animals are released into rivers, lakes, or streams, they can mess up the ecosystem.
Help clean up a river, lake, or beach.
4. Be a Water Monitor
Report leaks and drips at home and school.
5. Turn Off the Water
When you are brushing your teeth, turn off the tap.
6. Take Short Showers
Set a timer and see if you can get clean in five minutes.
7. Never Release Helium Balloons Into the Air
Balloons often fall into the water and animals mistake them for food.
8. Do Less Work
Wash only full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine.
9. Make Your Own Soap
Create new bars of soap by squishing together slivers of leftover bars of soap to keep small pieces of soap from slipping down the drain and entering waterways.
10. Don’t Use the Toilet as a Trash Can
Flushing things such as medicine may contaminate water sources. It also simply wastes water.
We all make an impact on the Earth with all the the stuff we buy, use, and throw away. This is called our human footprint. How your footprint changes the Earth is up to you.
Want to make a difference?
Work with your teacher to enter the Find Your Footprint Contest. You can learn about your footprint so you can help make the world greener and your school too! Your school could win five Promethean interactive whiteboards, which could help cut down on the amount of paper you use. So go green and have your teacher enter your classroom’s best idea now!
Get more information about the Find Your Footprint Contest.
Photographs by Pavel Losevsky, Shutterstock and altafulla/Shutterstock
This weekend April 23-25 is Global Youth Service Day. Kids and youth ages 5 to 25 years old get involved in community projects all over the globe. In the Washington, D.C. area alone, there are 40 projects that will involve about 3,500 youth. Around the U.S., there are events in communities focusing not only on Earth Day clean ups and the environment, but also childhood obesity, helping the hungry, and many other service projects.
Find out if there are any projects in your neighborhood by visiting the Global Youth Service Day website.
How will you help your community this weekend?
Holiday decorating is a fun activity for the whole family. This year, bring nature inside and create some table centerpieces, wreaths, and swags from the forest or your neighborhood.
Take a winter walk with your family and gather nature’s bounty to create your own decorations. Fill a backpack or canvas bag with pine cones in all different shapes and sizes. They can be added to mantels, wreaths, or to dress up a table.
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Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, so why not show the Earth some gratitude this year? Prepare an eco-friendly feast that even Mother Nature would be proud of. Here are some small things you can do to make a difference.
Bring Your Own Bag
Shop for the holidays with a reusable fabric bag. You’ll help reduce millions of plastic bags that make their way to landfills, waterways, and oceans each year.
Turn Down The Heat
With all the heat produced from cooking a giant feast, your house will be warmer than usual. Turn down the thermostat at least two degrees.
Let’s Talk Turkey
The big meal is over, so what will you do with all the leftover turkey? Don’t let it go to waste. Using the extra meat, make a delicious soup you can gobble down for several days.
Read the whole post »
Every fall, beautiful red, yellow, and orange leaves become a big outdoor clean up project for many families. Rakes, leaf blowers, tarps, plastic bags, and brown paper kraft bags are the tools of the trade for leaf warriors. Depending on how many deciduous trees you have in your neighborhood, raking, piling, bagging, and dragging leaves can take hours!
Composting yard waste saves space in landfills and can help reduce overall methane gas produced in landfills. Many local governments require that leaves be picked up as yard waste by trash disposal companies. The leaves are taken to a facility and are turned into mulch along with other yard debris, like grass clippings, small sticks and branches.
If you have room in a corner of your yard, pile the leaves and leave them there for
a couple of years! Over time, the pile will become compact and you’ll
have leaf mold, which can provide nutrients to the soil in your garden.
Do you help your family or neighbors with yard clean up? Do you stuff your leaves into plastic bags or do you use brown paper kraft bags as they do in Canada? Or do you haul your leaves to the curb to wait for the big vacuum truck to suck them up on recycle day?
Get some tips from the EPA’s Create Your Own Compost Pile.
Photograph by Photo Library
Participate in a costume swap with friends or other families in your neighborhood. See if your friends have some costumes they don’t want to use this year.
Avoid Halloween-store makeup kits. Use real eco-friendly makeup that mom can use long after the holiday is over. Zinc oxide is a great option to use in place of white face paint and can be used as the base for a number of costume make-up ideas. Brown, green, grey and blue eyeshadows, and dark eyeliner can be used to create ghastly-looking scars and bruises.
Encourage your family to hand out candy made with organic sugar or fair trade chocolate. Natural foods stores will often carry individually wrapped candies including lollipops, chocolates, and toffee. And it’s still sweet enough to not get tricked for handing it out.
Decorate a pillowcase or reusable canvas shopping bag to carry the trick-or-treating haul. Don’t buy a new plastic pumpkin this year, go old-school and decorate a pillowcase or canvas shopping bag.
Have you ever been to a swap meet? Swaps are a great way to conserve resources because instead of tossing out items that you don’t need anymore, you can exchange them for items that you want or need.
How Swaps Work
Go through your belongings and find items that you don’t use anymore. Be sure your parents aren’t planning to pass them down to a younger sibling!
Pick a date to have a swap party at your house, church, or school. Double check these dates with your parents, teacher, principal, or church leader to find out what works for them.
Pick a theme! You can have a winter swap to swap winter coats and boots, winter sports gear such as ice/hockey skates, sleds, or even snowboards and skis. Or you can have a summer swap to exchange rafts, snorkeling gear, camping equipment, kayaks, and boogie boards.
Or you can set up a swap based on the items your are swapping. Books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and toy swaps are great way to get some new media to keep you busy.
Costume swaps and clothes swaps help you to exchange items that are too small for you for something that fits! Maybe you can plan a Halloween costume swap.
Ask people to bring only those items that actually work and are clean.
Donate any leftover items to charity.
Did you know that your cell phone charger still uses energy if you keep it plugged in after your phone is charged? That is one of the amazing facts you can discover on the Energy Star website created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You can find ways you can save energy, watch a slide show about global warming, and learn how your school can get involved and become more energy efficient.
Visit the Energy Star website.
The poor neighborhoods of Cairo are harnessing the power of the sun and microbes to find new sources of energy in the city. Since 2003, Thomas “T.H.” Culhane, an urban planner and NG Emerging Explorer has been working on these projects with a nonprofit called Solar CITIES.
Using simple materials and waste from kitchens, he and Solar CITIES have installed 34 solar water heating systems and five biogas reactors to help residents get clean energy in their homes.
(Pictured: Solar CITIES project leader T.H. Culhane (right) and
organization intern Omar Nagy stand next to a solar-powered water
Learn more about the Solar CITIES project on National Geographic News.
Play Recycle Roundup.
Photograph courtesy T.H. Culhane
As you head back to school, see if you can add a few of these tips to your school routine.
- Ride your bike or walk to school.
- Use last year’s school supplies.
- Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
- Buy recycled paper.
- Carpool to sports practice
Read the whole list and then tell us which tip works best for you and your family.
The amazing new National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010 has thousands of fun facts, but it also has lots of great information about the environment in the section called, Going Green. Check out the Weird But True facts about how you affect Earth and learn some new eco-lingo. Watch this video to see all the other fascinating tidbits you’ll find in the new book.
AD: Find out more about the book and how to order it online. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2010
Stars of the new movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian told our young reporter, Calla Rosenfeld, some of their favorite green tips. Watch the video!
What is your favorite way to use less energy and help the environment?
Last week at the premiere of the movie “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” star Ben Stiller donated his jeans to NG KIDS to help set a Guinness World Record. All the denim collected will be donated to COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN.®, which recycles jeans into insulation for homes that have been damaged in storms.
Check out Ben’s green tips and watch him hand over his jeans to our kid reporter, Calla. Then find out how you can participate!
NG Kids is attempting to establish a new Guinness World Record for most clothing collected for recycling! Once we have counted and boxed all the denim jeans, we’ll send them to CottonFromBlueToGreen.org to reprocess into insulation for storm damaged homes.
So far we have collected 7959 denim items! Please keep them coming and help us set a record.