Category Archives: Small Steps

Watershed Education, Science Enrichment and Birthday Parties

SC-thumbAs the Fall season of 2010 is starting, consider your sustainable choices, and your connections to your community.

Increase to two best habits, and let two unsustainable habits fall by the wayside. For instance, I’m choosing to drink more water, eat more vegetarian meals, eat less sugar and to connect face-to-face rather than only over the internet.

I’m excited to hear that more municipalities are recycling plastics #3 to #7, as well as #1 and #2.

I discovered that shredded paper is not helpful to the recycling process, so I’m considering increasing the amount of craft paper that I make in order to use the shredded paper we produce. Another option is to add the shredded paper to our compost.

My work as a consultant to the Philadelphia Water Department is extremely exciting and rewarding. The enviroscape watershed model is a great stimulus for watershed information. At public events (see the calendar) and with classes at schools, the visual polluting of the water is dramatic.

My frequent talking points are:

  • rainwater goes down storm drains on the street,
  • pick up after your dog,
  • clean land makes clean water.

There are multiple free educational opportunities via the Philadelphia Water Department. Contact me if you want to increase your school’s watershed education, either in the classroom or with field trips to PWD locations.

Sustainable Choices is also expanding in other ways. The Montessori School (TMS) in Dresher, PA  is increasing outdoor explorations of their property, and the township park beside TMS with be provided with consulting services and education. The House at Pooh Corner is increasing science exploration in its preschool class.  Both schools are excellent matches between my skills and their specific requests. The opportunity to work with exceptional teachers who want support in developing their scientific skills is also very rewarding.

The third area of expansion and exploration with Sustainable Choices is with Birthday Parties or “one time” events. I look forward to a fall birthday party this coming weekend, and wonder how to expand this potential educational opportunity. What a joy it is to encourage appropriate nature exploration in local parks.

It’s going to be a great year!

Dottie

The Earth provides for us

SC-thumbThe Earth Provides Four Resources for Every Human Being

  • Air to breathe
  • Water to drink
  • Food to eat
  • Space in which to live

Each of these resources is compromised because of the large numbers of people now living on the earth whose consuming lifestyles have a negative impact on our natural resources. We must make changes now in how we live so that the earth can continue to sustain our needs and be a healthy and safe place for everyone.

You know this.

My hope is that this website will provide you with tools that you can use to make these changes. I’m offering to teach workshops for environmental centers, schools community groups and home schooling groups as well as provide individual coaching for teachers and others who want answers to specific questions about how they can make changes, both big and small, that will add up to a healthier, safer world.

Consider Your Sustainable Choices

As you look at your life and the way you are living in the world, consider the four ways that your needs are met, and how we can help the earth help you. List for yourself ways that you care for the earth, or start with these ideas:

Air: Every day you bring chemicals into your home that are meant to do good. You bring them in to clean your home, manage pests, care for your clothing, or enhance your appearance. Find out how to make sure these chemicals are the safest and most effective in accomplishing your intentions. First, read the labels. If the ingredients are labeled “dangerous” choose another product to bring into your home.

Topics to Explore: integrated pest management, safer cleaning supplies

Food: Consider Michael Pollan’s quote: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” from Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

Topics to Explore: healthy eating, local food, organic food, diet for a small planet

Water: The water we drink and use comes from our local surface water or sometimes from water sources underground. Using local water rather than bottled water transported from elsewhere is one example of positive environmental sustainability. Use the water from your faucet rather than drinking from bottled water or other bottled drinks. Take steps to learn about water and how to protect it. Every step we take to improve the quality of our surface water or ground water will improve someone’s drinking water, perhaps our own.

Topics to Explore: storm water retention, watershed, ground water, water use cycle

Space: You use space both in your home and in your community. Help the earth provide quality space for your use.. Improve the quality of the space around you by walking rather than driving, cleaning up a park, or promoting civic pride. Connect to your local community by participating in local events.

Topics to Explore: supporting local businesses, protecting the watersheds, “transition town”, alternative energy, energy conservation

Future posts: I’m keenly aware that the above post leaves out some current and important issues:

  • Reducing energy use and
  • Protecting water in Pennsylvania (Marcellus Shale gas drilling)

Enjoy the environment!: The whole point of protecting the environment is to enjoy the Earth we live in. Take time to listen to and look for birds; Garden; Visit a local park; Hike or bike with friends and family — Enjoy!