Word of the Week
Pollution (puh-loo-shun): The presence of a harmful or poisonous substance in the environment that can have negative effects. It comes from the Latin word polluere meaning "to contaminate."
April 22nd is Earth Day! Earth Day is a day to celebrate our environment and learn more about how we can better protect it. It was founded by a Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Wow! We've been celebrating this holiday for over 50 years now. Pretty amazing. What's even more amazing is that this special day is celebrated in over 175 countries worldwide.
So. . .this sounds like a neat enough holiday, but has it really made a difference?
There are a few different laws and acts passed that Earth Day has played a role in.
The Clean Air Act
This law helps regulate and control air emissions from stationary and moving things. This act helps control and eliminate the emissions of harmful pollutants into the air we breathe.
The Clean Water Act
This act helps regulate quality standards for water and eliminate dangerous pollutants from being put into our waters. It not only protects us, but it helps protect fish and other wildlife too.
The Endangered Species Act
This law helps protect plants and animals that are endangered or at risk of becoming extinct. It even helps protect their natural habitats. This law is meant to prevent extinction and to be so successful that these at risk creatures are no longer at risk and can be removed from the list.
I can honestly say that I've never given much thought to the air I breathe or the water I drink. I suppose I've always just taken these things for granted. So. . .you're never too old to learn!
How can we celebrate this important day?
Use the car less! Walk or bike different places. . .if your parents are with you or give you the okay!
Pay your bills online, and help save trees by using less unnecessary paper.
Volunteer and help clean up your local park. We've all seen litter in different places we go. Roll up your sleeves and clean it up!
Create a compost bin! SO much of our garbage doesn't have to be garbage. Banana peels? Coffee grinds? Unused or rotten produce? They can all go into the bin to later feed future plants. Makes total sense!
Plant something! Trees, bushes, shrubs, flowers. . .just about anything helps clean our air and can make a difference.
That brings me to this week's project, of course! Make your own paper planters.
Paper Earth Seed Planters
What You'll Need
Seeds (any kind will do, but wildflower seeds are great)
Construction paper (blue and green)
Cookie cutter (circle)
Section of screen, raised
Take two pieces of blue construction paper and cut or tear into small pieces. Mine were about 1"x1" in size. Place them in a small bowl. Do the same with one piece of green construction paper and place it in its own bowl.
Fill each bowl with some water. Just enough to cover and submerge your paper pieces.
Let them soak for a few minutes.
Pour the blue batch of paper (with water) into a blender. Add 1/2 cup of water to the blender and blend. It should look a little like orange juice high in pulp. Pour the mixture back into its bowl and stir in a handful of seeds. Repeat the same steps for the green paper, adding only 1/4 cup of water to the blender this time. NOTE: For every sheet of construction paper used, you'll need roughly 1/4 cup of water. Use your judgement. . .add a little more if it looks too thick.
Place your cookie cutter on the raised screen. I stapled some screen to an old frame I had laying around to raise the screen up and let air get around it. Using a spoon, scoop a thin layer of blue into the cookie cutter and smooth out. Let it sit for a minute to keep the circular shape, then remove the cookie cutter.
Add little blobs of green to make a pattern that looks like Earth.
Repeat until you run out! Everyone has different sized cookie cutters. My batch made two large shapes, and one small one.
Place the screen in the sun to dry. Once almost dry, place your products between some paper towels and flatten with a book to keep them from curling up.
VOILA! Now get to planting!
HAPPY, HAPPY EARTH DAY!