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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thinking Day

Girl Scout Thinking Day.  It's a day when girls around the world focus on an issue of global importance and think about ways they can make a difference.  This year was global sustainability, or environmental stewardship.

The girls in our troop made cards from recycled materials (paper, tin foil, fabrics, felt and yarn).  The purpose of the cards was to inform their parents of ways they could create better sustainability in their families and communities.

With "The Lorax" being such a popular movie for kids (and adults), it's likely your kids will be thinking about how to keep the world unpolluted (sustainable) for future generations.  As Girls Scouts, we thought of some very practical ways to help (reduce/reuse/recycle).  These also make adults very happy because they are money savers!
  • Turn off water while you wash hands or brush teeth.
  • Take showers, not baths (baths use a lot of water) and make those showers shorter.
  • Don't wash your car in the driveway.  Car washes actually recycle the water so they use far less.
  • Install low flow toliets, dishwashers, front loading washing machines and instant hot water devices.  Each saves a lot of water.  You may also be surprised to find your community or utility gives you a rebate for installing these items.
  • Run washing machines and dishwaters only when they are full.  We also encouraged the girls to think about whether they need to wash every item of clothing they touch :)
  • Drive less.  Plan trips so you can go several places at once.  Take the bus (I LOVE doing this for part of my commute).
  • Don't use leaf blowers!  These things are horrible for air quality, especially when used on dirt, or hard surfaces (driveways, patios & sidewalks)
  • Recycle - paper, glass plastic and anything else your community takes.  Please make sure materials are free from food or other debris or they get trashed.  
  • Upcycling has been a trendy option for sustainability.  Reuse clothes by handing them down or donating.  Also, if you sew or craft, consider cutting clothing for fabric scraps and felting on wool items. (I'm dying to try this!)
  • Turn off the lights! Unplug appliances (TV, DVR, DVD, computer & printer) when you leave for a day or more.
  • Don't use plastic water bottles!  They are expensive and a huge burden on landfills (that much plastic doesn't get recycled)
After our Brownie meeting I heard back from several parents that their girls were full of great information.  They were also genuinely interested in sustaining our environment.  Let's hope they do.