Earth Awareness Archive

Great Backyard Bird Count

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Friday Feb 13th is Day 1 of the 4-day Great Backyard Bird Count. I highly recommend this as a family activity. It takes as little as 15 minutes per day and it is easy for children to participate. Your kids will be thrilled to know they are helping Audubon and Cornell's Lab of Ornithology–real bird scientists– understand more about our feathered friends.

Print a tally sheet and go to the window (or for a walk, or to the park) to observe and count. You enter your data online, or with this printable form. It is that easy. And, there is even a beautiful certificate that you can print and present to your child when you are done.

Ya Gotta Laugh While Ya Learn!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

One of my biggest peeves is the idea we have to scare kids about the environment.  Young minds are very motivated by fun and curiousity.  There is so much to love about nature…leverage that curiosity!  And, when it comes time to help the wee-ones develop their awareness of "environmental issues," make it fun! I highly recommend Hippo Works!

Strong, Green Shoots an '09 Prediction

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

I am positively giddy. This rotten economy is going to do something that all the well-meaning progressive programs (and/or faith-based for that matter!) could not. As the money stream slows to a trickle for most families, the idea of luxury will change. And yes, the kids will whine about it. But, this is a good thing.

Many of us perked our ears to Richard Louv and his look into the future of the “Last Child in the Woods.” I predict that the lousy economy is going to beget the “nature-child reunion” that Louv speaks so convincingly about.

When the next digital toy does not arrive to provide another 2-6 month diversion, children will seek stimulation elsewhere. Our brains are wired to want to play with new objects and figure them out. I was reminded of this (more…)

First Snow

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Today was the first "sticks to the ground" snow in my neck of the woods.  Finally, autumn has made its turn to winter and I felt like a celebration was in order.  My merry-making was limited to throwing snowballs at my ecstatic puppy, but it was nice to make the connection none the less.

I've been charmed by the flocking birds and honking geese for weeks now. It's the season for rethinking dinner menus to better reflect the last offerings of the garden and get in the groove of relying on the root vegetables. As I scrubbed dirt of my spaghetti squash, I wondered how anyone could care about climate change unless they were plugged into the indicators of seasonal change. Why would you care about something you don't, on some level, love? How do you love something you don't even know?

We've become a culture that knows more about American Idol contestants than about birds at the feeder.  We can talk about (more…)