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TEACH YOUR KIDS NOW

To help your kids understand why it’s important to reuse, reduce and recycle, start teaching them about the environment now. We’ve included some links to websites that will help your kids learn about global warming and conservation and what they can do to help.

 

Go Green Guidance is based in Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to her work with Go Green Guidance, Larky Hodges specializes in educating audiences through stories that introduce concepts of science, sustainability and living harmoniously on the earth. She enchants her listeners with original stories and traditional folk and fairy tales that span the globe. With dramatic flair, Larky uses storytelling to excite her listeners about science and ecology. She can tailor performances to coordinate with anything from school curriculum to festival themes. With more than 15 years experience as a professional storyteller in the Boston area, she is looking forward to sharing her stories with new listeners.

If you have an event that is looking for a wonderful and unique performance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

One of the most effective things we can do to preserve the earth is teach our kids that it is important to conserve. Have your kids turn off that energy-sapping PlayStation for an afternoon, and try some of these eco-friendly craft projects. Don’t worry – we haven’t used popsicle sticks or pipe cleaners: these are all activities that you’ll be willing to display in your beautiful, green home.

Create your own composter

The composting bin

One way to decrease your landfill contributions and avoid chemical fertilizers is to compost. By allowing your yard and vegetable waste to decompose naturally, you are also creating a valuable soil amendment that will strengthen your plants. As aeration speeds up the decomposition process, this mess-free, aerating composting bin will allow you to create compost in as little as three weeks. Once the contents of your bin begin to look like rich, dark topsoil, simply spread it across your garden.

COMPOSTING BIN

Composting bin side view

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Cut 2x4’s into three-foot lengths. If necessary, sand off ends to make them smooth.
  2. Using long wood screws, make an X out of two of the wood lengths. Be sure the wood meets at right angles. Repeat.
  3. Join the two X’s with remaining lengths of wood using long wood screws.
  4. Make sure your PVC pipe is the correct length. It needs to be about five feet long (long enough to rest steadily across your wooden frame). Drill a series of holes in the PVC with a mid-sized drill bit. This will help aerate your compost.
  5. On the center of the garbage can lid, trace the perimeter of the PVC piping. Using the power drill, drill a hole in the center of the traced hole. Then use the jigsaw to carefully cut out the circle you’ve drawn. Repeat on the bottom of the garbage can.
  6. Affix the lid to the garbage can, and insert PVC through holes. Rest garbage can in your wood frame, using the PVC as an axle.
    Inside the bin

  7. Draw an 8x*8 inch square in the side of the garbage can (a magazine is a great template). Using your jigsaw, cut three sides (bottom and 2 sides, not the top) of the square.
  8. One bolt will go in the middle of each of the cut sides. Mark the holes and predrill them slightly smaller than the bolt size. This may take a helper as the plastic is quite flexible. Attach the latches using the nuts and bolts. These latches will be essential as your compost bin fills up, so be sure they are secure.
  9. Your composting bin is now ready for use! You can add any plant, fruit and vegetable waste and biodegradable paper products to the bin. If you add a bit of water to the bin it might speed up the decomposition process, but you can also add wet waste (some citrus, for example). Do not put pet waste, animal products (dairy and meat) or greasy foods in the bin. Your compost will decompose faster in hot weather, but be careful to keep it moist enough that it won’t become a fire hazard. Whenever you add new material, spin the bin a few times to be sure it is decomposing evenly. When the matter is dark and looks like soil, use it to fertilize your plants!

 

Wind-Powered Chimes

This eco-friendly take on wind chimes will add an air of serenity to your veggie garden.

Supplies: Two unwanted CDs, scraps of newspaper, wrapping paper, or magazine pages, hemp twine, old cutlery, non-toxic craft glue (I personally like Crafter’s Pick, but any brand will do), non-toxic varnish (I’ll recommend Delta Ceramcoat here, but anything with no VOCs will do), scissors, a paintbrush, and a drill.

  1. Take your paper choice (the newspaper, wrapping paper, or magazine pages) and glue them to one side of each CD. This is an opportunity to get creative – do you want to personalize them with a family photo? You might make a political statement, or create a holiday ornament, or simply create a pretty image.
  2. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly, then cut the paper to match the shape of the CDs.
    Glue the two CDs together, paper-side facing out.
  3. Coat the paper-side of the CDs with varnish, allowing it to dry thoroughly between coats. Use your judgment about how many coats you should apply. If you live in a damp climate and you intend to hang your chime away from cover, a few more coats will help it last longer. Allow your CDs to dry completely.
  4. Using a medium-sized drill bit, drill three holes an equal distance apart on one side of the CD, with one hole on the opposite side.
  5. Run a piece of hemp twine through your three bottom holes, tying the twine on one side to be sure it cannot be pulled out. Be sure that the twine is all of roughly the same length.
  6. Tie the loose end of each piece of twine around one of your pieces of cutlery so that each piece hangs close to the others.
  7. Take another piece of twine and run it through the hole on the opposite side of the disc. This piece will be used to suspend your wind chimes, so this is the time to determine where you want them to hang. Hang the chimes, and enjoy the fruits of your labors!

Stuffed Shirt

Kids stuffed shirt pillow

Prove that you’re not a stuffed shirt by adding a few of these fun throw pillows to your child’s bedroom. Kids will be grateful that they don’t have to give up their favorite clothes when they outgrow them, too.

Supplies: A worn out or unwanted t-shirt, a needle and thread or sewing machine, stuffing materials (use something that you have laying around the house, and think about the final feel of the pillow), scissors.

  1. Take a clean t-shirt and turn it inside out.
  2. Use a needle and thread and sew together the openings at the bottom and sleeves of the t-shirt.
    Adult traditional-style pillow
    Turn the shirt right side out. Through the neck opening, stuff the shirt with your material of choice. I like to use fabric scraps, but you could use anything soft you have lying around the house – you could even use packing peanuts to keep them from clogging landfills.
  3. Stitch the neck of the t-shirt closed, and lean back on your newly completed throw pillow.
    If you’re looking for a more adult variation, feel free to cut your t-shirt into a more traditional shape (use an old record as a template for a nice-sized square pillow). Once you’ve stitched the pillow together, stuff it with the scraps you cut from the shirt and whatever other materials you want. Sometimes, I use a non-toxic craft glue to affix some leftover holiday ribbon as well.

Tank-Tote

Tank top purse

When your favorite tank top is looking a little worn around the edges, try giving it a second life by turning it into a purse or shopping bag.

Supplies: An old tank top, a needle and thread, scissors.
If you want a larger shopping bag, this is one of the easiest projects you could do. Turn your tank top inside out.

  1. Sew the tank along the bottom opening.
  2. Cut the tag out of your tank as neatly as possible.
  3. Reverse your tank top and enjoy your bag.
  4. For a smaller clutch, simply trim the bottom of the tank top to the desired length of the bag, then follow the instructions above.

Cereal Post

Cereal box post cards

Once you’ve eaten all of your cereal, don’t just recycle the box – reuse it. While you’re at it, you can get the kids to write a letter to their grandparents (or their congressmen, asking them to support a federal tax credit for small wind power, for that matter).

Supplies: A clean, empty cereal box, scissors, a ruler, a pen and postcard stamp.

  1. A standard postcard is about six by four inches. Use a ruler to measure out the appropriate dimensions and mark them. Be sure to line up your outline so that it captures an interesting part of the cereal box!
  2. Write your message on the back, and don’t forget to put the destination address and stamp on the right-hand side.
  3. Recycle your scraps!