Choose Sustainability: Earth Day Everyday

by Natalie Swarts, PTA Earth Week Chair

Students at La Mariposa will celebrate Earth Week April 23rd– 27th.  All grade levels will have an opportunity to go through a “Sustainability Maze.”  In order to complete the maze, students will have to make sustainable choices.  For example, is the more sustainable option a plastic water bottle (turn left) or a reusable water bottle (turn right).  Prior to entering the maze, students will talk with parent volunteers about how the everyday choices we make impact the environment.  You can reinforce these ideas when shopping with your child.  Take the time to identify environmentally friendly packaging and products.  Discuss how to reduce waste before creating it by making responsible and mindful choices.

As part of Earth Week, students will write a pledge and draw a picture showing what they will do to help the environment.  They might pledge to turn off the water while they brush their teeth, plant a garden or donate gently used items, rather than throwing them away.  Completed pledge sheets will be posted outside the teacher’s lounge.

The term “going green” means different things to each of us.  Whether your family aspires to achieve a zero waste home or you rarely recycle, it can be helpful to step back and consider the effect s our decisions have on the environment.   Although many environmental issues seem overwhelming, the following quote from Jane Goodall reminds us, “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.”

If you are interested in developing more environmentally friendly habits, you can break things down into six main categories:

  1. Save Energy
  2. Save Water
  3. Don’t Pollute Land, Water or Air
  4. Improve Your Environment (ie. plant native vegetation, compost)
  5. Respect the Natural World (ie. do not disturb animal habitats, learn about endangered animals)
  6. Follow the three Rs. Reduce the amount of trash you make.  Reuse and find new uses for items.  Recycle paper, cans, glass and plastic.

The bulletin board outside the MPR has specific examples for each of these topics.   You may want to start with something that is of particular importance to your family or that supports interests you already have such as animals, hiking, water sports, gardening, or healthy food choices.

Looking for more ways to celebrate Earth Day every day?  Check out our Green Links page.

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