Be an Earth Hero
SPECIAL NOTE: Before I start today's blog, I wanted to take a minute to talk about our governor's decision to continue distance learning for the rest of the school year. Although this means that we will not be together in-person again this year, and that our May 20th conference will be canceled, I want you all to know that I am still here working hard to share the message of a healthy watershed with you. I also want to extend a message of hope. We have so much good in our world, so many wonderful people doing fantastic work (that includes all of you Watershed Explorers), a wonderful planet to be thankful for, these are all reasons for hope. Let's continue to hope and work for a better planet. We are over 800 strong and we can make a positive difference in this world. As always, I am proud of each of you for all that you do every day, you inspire me! Keep exploring and working hard!
Good Morning Watershed Explorers,
How did you celebrate the Earth this week? Did you get out and enjoy nature. Did you create something using reusable materials? Did you write about an activity you could do to help the Earth? I would love to hear about it.
With this being the last Earth Day celebration post for the week, I wanted to focus our attention to small changes we can all make to help the Earth. We already know about many of these ideas, but sometimes it's nice to revisit them and make a conscious effort to do them!
Let's start with the 3Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Two other Rs have been added to the list, refuse and repurpose, but to make it simple, let's stick to the basic three today. There is a reason why the 3Rs are in the order that they are. It just makes sense actually, if people can reduce their waste they will have less to reuse and less to recycle. Did you know that the average person living in the United States creates about 5 pounds of trash each day? The bulk of that waste comes from food packaging. I know what you are thinking, and no you don't have to stop eating! It is possible to make some small changes in what is eaten however, that will lessen the amount of trash that a person creates. Instead of choosing a packaged snack, choose fresh vegetables or fruit. If you do need a packaged snack, buy a big box, or big bag of the snacks and fill reusable containers instead of buying a bag of small little packages or putting snacks in plastic bags. These small changes can have a huge impact on the amount of trash that each person creates.
If it is not possible to change habits to reduce waste, a person may be able to reuse their waste. There are many options for reusing items. Clothing items can be passed down within a family or turned into household cleaning rags or cloths. Rain boots can be turned into planters. Here is a link to show you how to do this https://www.momtastic.com/diy/692899-rain-boot-planter/ Food packaging can also be used. There are so many ideas on the web that will show you how to make bird feeders out of old milk cartons and thousands of creations with toilet paper rolls, plastic bags, jars and more. With this extra time at home, why not find a cool reusable item project to work on. You will be helping the Earth, and hopefully have fun doing it too!
The last R, which should be the last, if the other two Rs are not possible, is recycle. If all else fails and you can't reduce or reuse your waste, definitely recycle. There are dozens of items that can be recycled in Rhode Island's green bins. Check out https://www.rirrc.org/ which is the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation website to get the list. If it is not an item that you can place in Rhode Island's green bins, there may still be a way to recycle the item. If you remember from one of our in-class lessons, I talked about a special glove recycling program that the Narragansett Bay Commission had signed on to do through a company called TerraCycle. This company has many free programs for hard to recycle items, so please check them out and with your parents maybe you could even sign-up for a few. Here is their website https://www.terracycle.com/en-US
Lastly, I want to focus on wastewater. Our wastewater systems are crucial to keeping our Earth healthy. The most important concepts to remember with wastewater treatment are to only flush the 3 Ps, poop, pee and toilet paper. This means keeping flushable wipes out of our pipes, and also not pouring grease down the drain. If you can also limit the amount of chemicals that you use in your showers and sinks that is also helpful. These simple acts help to ensure that the Narragansett Bay Commission and all other wastewater treatment facilities can clean the water efficiently and effectively.
You are all Earth Heroes Watershed Explorers. Keep working hard, and if you have time, try a few of these activities to help the Earth be as healthy as it can!