Posts Tagged ‘Growing and Learning Green’

Read About Recycling – Terrific Picture Books Help Children Gain Environmental Awareness

Posted on August 12th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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Today we highlight ten picture books about recycling. These are great picture books for Earth Day and learning to care for our environment

Let's help children gain environmental awareness! Storytime Standouts shares some terrific recycling picture books.



cover art for recycling picture book 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World10 Things I Can Do to Help My World written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh
Picture book about recycling, water conservation and energy efficiency
Published by Candlewick Press

Striking die-cuts and a fun format enhance to this delightful read-aloud. Big, bold illustrations – perfect for a group setting – show readers ten ways young children can help our world and be eco friendly. With reminders to turn off the light when leaving a room, turn off the tap off when brushing teeth, put out a birdfeeder in the winter, draw on both sides of the paper and walk to school rather than drive, youngsters will feel empowered to make a difference.

Additional notes such as Every time you do this, you save eighteen glasses of water. and Turning off lights and using more efficient lightbulbs saves valuable energy. will engage and inspire older readers.

Made from 100% recycled material 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World’s eco-friendly tips are great for preschool and kindergarten. For older children, 10 Things I Can Do demonstrates creative ways to deliver important messages using eye-catching illustrations, factual information and word art.

Possible extension activities could include identifying and illustrating five or ten more ways to “help” (at school or on the playground) using like techniques.

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World at Amazon.com

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for recycling picture book The Adventures of a Plastic BottleThe Adventures of a Plastic Bottle – A Story About Recycling written by Alison Inches and illustrated by Pete Whitehead
Picture book (for older readers) about manufacturing and recycling published by Little Simon, a Division of Simon & Schuster

Written and illustrated “scrapbook-style.” The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle introduces a a thick, oozing blob of CRUDE OIL deep beneath the ocean floor. Our hero knows that one day destiny will call. Crude oil could eventually be refined into fuel, asphalt, wax or plastic. In this case, the oil is pumped from the ocean floor into a tanker and soon arrives at an Oil Refinery where it undergoes polymerization. It is transformed into plastic crumbs and sent to a manufacturing plant. At the plant, it is heated and molded into a shiny plastic bottle that oozes personality. Best suited to Early Primary students, The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle is an engaging story, enhanced by fun illustrations, interesting factoids and a glossary. It is part of Simon and Schuster’s series of “Little Green Books” and is printed on 100% postconsumer waste recycled paper.

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling at Amazon.com

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling from Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book Bag in the WindBag in the Wind written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Barry Root
Picture book (for older readers) about recycling, reusing resources, social responsibility published by Candlewick Press

Best suited to children in elementary school, Bag in the Wind is a thought-provoking story about an empty plastic bag. Although still usable, it has been discarded. It is subsequently unearthed at a landfill and is blown back into a world of plants, animals and people.

Beautifully written and illustrated, Bag in the Wind is a picture book that will challenge older readers to think about ways to reuse resources and be eco friendly.

Bag in the Wind at Amazon.com

Bag in the Wind at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book Big Earth Little MeBig Earth, Little Me
Picture book about recycling, reusing, planting a garden published by Scholastic

Featuring bright, bold collage illustrations, a ‘lift the flaps’ format and simple text, Big Earth, Little Me provides a great introduction to the idea of helping the earth and making eco friendly choices. Whether reminding youngsters to recycle, turn off the water when brushing their teeth, use a lunch box and draw on both sides of the paper or encouraging children to help in the garden, the message is simple, positive and clear.

Big Earth, Little Me at Amazon.com

Big Earth, Little Me at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book Don't Throw That AwayDon’t Throw That Away written by Lara Bergen and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
Picture book about recycling and reusing published by Simon and Schuster Canada

Don’t Throw That Away! has an upbeat, positive message for very young children: what looks like garbage may be recyclable. Discarded paper, plastic, metal and glass all belong in a recycling bin, an empty jam jar can be transformed into a vase and a plastic milk jug can become a bird feeder. Additional flaps reveal homemade musical instruments, costumes and a car made from a cardboard box.

Great for preschool-age children, the relatively small format (typical of many board books) makes it best-suited to an individual or small group setting. Would be an excellent introduction to an art or craft project reusing discarded materials.

Don’t throw That Away! screensaver

Simon and Schuster’s Circle the Items That Are Recyclable activity

Don’t Throw That Away! at Amazon.com (Little Green Books)

Don’t Throw That Away! at Amazon.ca (Little Green Books)cover art for recycling picture book Don't Throw That Away


cover art for recycling picture book How to Take Care of the Environment
Earth Smart How to Take Care of the Environment – written by Leslie Garrett
Early Reader about recycling, waste reduction, conserving energy, pollution published by Dorling Kindersley

Part of Dorling Kindersley’s DK Readers series, Earth Smart is appropriate for children aged 7 to 9. Generously illustrated with photographs, it is rated “Level 2, Beginning to Read Alone.” Introducing ways we can help to look after the environment, content touches on recycling, a look at a landfill, disposing of toxic substances, reducing energy consumption, dangers of pollution and global warming, the benefits of enjoying eco friendly local produce and ways trees help us.

Leslie Garrett’s Blog The Virtuous Consumer

Earth Smart at Amazon.com

Earth Smart at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book George Saves the World by LunchtimeGeorge Saves the World by Lunchtime
Written by Jo Readman and illustrated by Ley Honor Roberts

Picture book about recycling, reusing and reducing waste published by Random House

Wearing a makeshift superhero cape, George announces his plans for the day, “I’m going to save the world!” Grandpa and his sister are willing to help and it is not long before the trio is finding ways to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Large, colourful collage ilustrations include photos and drawings. Readers learn about reducing electrical consumption by hanging laundry to dry, minimizing fuel consumption by walking or riding a bicycle and the importance of turning lights off. Suggestions are also made for recycling, donating, repairing and buying locally produced eco friendly items.

This book was inspired by The Eden Project an educational charity in Cornwall, England. It is worth noting that a sidebar refers to most electrical energy being produced by burning coal. This may or may not be true, depending on where the book is read. In addition, a suggestion is made that animal waste can be added to compost. This suggestion should have included the proviso that the compost ought not to be used for fruit or vegetable crops.

Cheerfully making suggestions without sounding preachy or extreme, George Saves the World by Lunchtime will be a positive addition to an eco-friendly (preschool or kindergarten) classroom or a home library.

George Saves the World by Lunchtime at Amazon.com

George Saves the World By Lunchtime at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book I Can Save the EarthI Can Save the Earth! – written by Alison Inches and illustrated by Viviana Garofoli
Picture book about the environment published by Simon and Schuster

Max is a Little Monster in more ways than one. He not only looks like a monster, he behaves like one. He litters wherever he goes, he uses too much water and toilet paper in the bathroom and he forgets to turn the lights and tv off when he leaves the room. As well, he is greedy with his toys: even when he’s outgrown them, he keeps them all to himself. One evening, he is watching his favourite television show when there is a power failure. When Max goes outside, he surprised by what he sees and hears. In the moonlight, Max notices flowers blooming and he hears crickets and an owl. When Max sees a shooting star, the transformation to “green” is complete. and, even when the power is restored, Max notices the natural world and takes eco friendly steps to make it better. He collects litter at the beach and learns to compost garden refuse. His wasteful bathroom habits change and he remembers to turn off lights. He decides, “fresh air feels good on my fur!” and is committed to recycling, eating healthy foods and trading toys with his friends. End notes include a glossary of terms used in the story I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is an introductory resource and is best suited to children aged four to six.
Note: This 8″x8″ paperback book is printed on 100% post-consumer waste (Forest Stewardship Council certified) recycled paper with soy-ink.

I Can Save the Earth at Amazon.com

I Can Save the Earth at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book Sandy's Incredible Shrinking FootprintSandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint
Picture book about one’s ecological footprint published by Second Story Press

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint tells the story of a young girl who, while visiting her grandpa, happily runs to a nearby beach. She loves to explore the seashore and is shocked to find a pile of garbage others left near a fire pit. She is disgusted by the waste and works to collect the candy wrappers, pop cans and mustard bottles. Before long, she meets an old woman who roams the beach and collects the litter others have left behind. The woman encourages the girl to consider, “The footprint of your life – the mark you leave on the world.”

This breezy, empowering picture book includes colourful collage illustrations made from natural and recycled materials. Suitable for children aged six and up.

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint at Amazon.com

Sandy’s Incredible Shrinking Footprint at Amazon.ca

cover art for recycling picture book Why Should I Recycle?Why Should I Recycle? written by Jen Green and illustrated by Mike Gordon
Picture book about recycling

Why Should I Recycle? is part of a series of books that includes Why Should I… Save Energy, Save Water, and Protect Nature. It explains that items typically tossed into the garbage often can be reused. On a field trip to a recycling center, Mr. Jones explains that bottles, cans, plastic, clothing and paper can all be used again. Additional suggestions include composting, donating used clothing, books and toys, reusing plastic bags and choosing to buy items made from recycled materials.

Endnotes for teachers and parents include suggestions for points to discuss as well as follow-up activities and a list of books about pollution, conserving energy and recycling.

Best for children aged 4 – 6, Why Should I Recycle? provides an introduction to this subject and is well-suited for use in a classroom library.

Why Should I Recycle? at Amazon.com

Why Should I Recycle? at Amazon.ca


Fun ways to create art from recycled trash: Make It!

Posted on April 14th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

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 make it! a picture book about creating art from recycled trashMake It! designed by Jane Bull with photography by Andy Crawford
Picture book about creating art from recycled trash published by Dorling Kindersley Limited



Nicely designed with bright, colourful photographs and an enthusiastic, conversational tone Make It! by Jane Bull challenges readers to check their garbage cans for all sorts of “found” art materials rather than buying new. Highlighting the the importance of recycling, Bull estimates that half of the contents of a typical garbage can has the potential to be recycled. She encourages readers to sort the materials into paper, plastic, metal and fabric. inside spread from Make It! a picture book about creating art from recycled trash

The cheerful, inspiring art projects in Make It! have been organized according to source materials. Colourful photographs show examples of ways to fold and weave paper, to make a pot from newspaper, to create 3D art and to convert junk mail into mâché bowls and jewelry.

The plastic section of Make I! shows us how to make a fun rainbow frame and also many creative ways to reuse water bottles, bubble wrap, candy wrappers and plastic lids from bottles. Metal can be recycled to make robots, rockets and aliens, mirror mobiles and moving pictures. Wool gloves and hats are transformed into stuffed creatures and fabric is woven into mats while garments become purses and soft cushions.

Readers will be on the hunt for bottle caps, stray gloves, newspapers, paper scraps, empty tin cans and too small clothing as they discover fun ways to art from recycled trash.

Great ideas for children aged six and up.

The copy we examined was hardcover and “Made with Care” using FSC certified paper. The paperback version has recently been released.

Make It at Amazon.ca

Make It! at Amazon.com

 

Earth Day Printables For Children Promote Environmental Awareness

Posted on April 12th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts Free Earth Day Printables for Kids

Earth Day Printables to Help Children Learn About the Environment, Recycling and Other Ways to Care for Our World





green picture books that encourage environmental awareness

You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, recycling and reducing our environmental footprint or our page about gardening with children. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day




Our early childhood printables, including our Earth Day printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the free PDF downloads.




Some of our early childhood literacy printables including our Earth Day printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website, please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

image of an Earth Day printable for children

Earth Day Recycling Domino Game and Board Game Cards

Print these game pieces onto cardstock and them cut them apart. For the board game, recycle paper scraps to create a fun game board. Playing pieces promote recycling and environmental awareness as players race to the end.

image of PDF icon  Green Domino Game

Uses a variety of "green" symbols

image of PDF icon  Green Board Game Cards

Make your own board game and use these cards with it


image of an Earth Day printable for children

Earth Day Interlined Paper

– beginning writers can use our writing paper to tell stories about Earth Day

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Children Love the Earth

Green theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Recycling Boy and Girl

Green theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree with bluebird

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree including roots

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.






Free Printable Riddles about the Environment for Children

Earth Day Riddles

– print the questions and the answers. Cut them apart and then challenge children to match the questions with the answers.

image of PDF icon  Green Riddles - Part 1

image of PDF icon  Green Riddles - Part 2





Have a look at our Earth Day and Environmental Awareness Pinterest Board

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Earth Day and Environmental Awareness for PreK and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

All the Water In the World – A Dazzling Depiction of the Water Cycle

Posted on March 8th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at at picture book about the water cycle,  All the Water In the World by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Katherine TillotsonAll the Water In the World written by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
Eco-Friendly picture book about water, the water cycle and water conservation published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers | Simon and Schuster





You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

All the Water In the World playfully and joyfully celebrates water and the water cycle. The first line explains,

All the water in the world… is all the water in the world.

Young readers will know that water sometimes blasts from hoses and collects in puddles but there is much more to the story of water. A breezy, lyrical introduction to the water cycle, All the Water In the World explains that water goes around.

That rain that cascaded from clouds and meandered down mountains and wavered over waterfalls then slipped into rivers and opened into oceans, that rain has been here before.

Positively delicious descriptive words celebrate water, water vapour, clouds and rain, and remind us that we must not take rain and the water cycle for granted; in some dry, dusty places, people must wait and hope for rain.

Beautiful illustrations match the tempo of the text and feature expressive bold colours that blast, splash, drip and gush across the page.

All the Water in the World at Amazon.com

All the Water in the World at Amazon.ca




Checking Out an Eco-Friendly Picture Book: George Saves the World by Lunchtime

Posted on June 20th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at eco-friendly picture book, George Saves the World by Lunchtime.George Saves the World by Lunchtime Written by Jo Readman and illustrated by Ley Honor Roberts
Eco-friendly picture book about recycling, reusing and reducing waste published by Random House







You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Wearing a makeshift superhero cape, George announces his plans for the day, “I’m going to save the world!” Grandpa and his sister are willing to help and it is not long before the trio is finding ways to reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Large, colourful collage ilustrations include photos and drawings. Readers learn about reducing electrical consumption by hanging laundry to dry, minimizing fuel consumption by walking or riding a bicycle and the importance of turning lights off. Suggestions are also made for recycling, donating, repairing and buying locally produced items.

This book was inspired by The Eden Project an educational charity in Cornwall, England. It is worth noting that a sidebar refers to most electrical energy being produced by burning coal. This may or may not be true, depending on where the book is read. In addition, a suggestion is made that animal waste can be added to compost. This suggestion should have included the proviso that the compost ought not to be used for fruit or vegetable crops.

Cheerfully making suggestions without sounding preachy or extreme, George Saves the World by Lunchtime will be a positive addition to an eco-friendly (preschool or kindergarten) classroom or a home library.

George Saves the World by Lunchtime at Amazon.com

George Saves the World By Lunchtime at Amazon.ca


Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough Fun

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Recycled Coffee Ground Playdough Recipe

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough FunWhen presenting my workshops for teaching professionals, I often include using Fimo Clay and rubber stamps to make paperweights with special messages. While presenting Growing and Learning Green for the Early Childhood Educators of BC on Saturday, the idea of using (used) coffee grounds to make a play-dough-like modelling clay was talked about.



Earlier today, I stopped by Starbucks and easily obtained a large bag of used coffee grounds for free. Thank you Starbucks!

Homemade Coffee Ground Playdough in the mixing bowlThis evening I mixed together equal parts coffee and flour. I added 1/2 part salt and made sure the mixture was blended thoroughly. Once I was happy with the mix, I stirred in 1/2 part water.

If you were doing this, you might use the following:
3 C slightly damp coffee grounds
3 C All Purpose flour
1 1/2 C Table Salt
1 1/2 C Water

I did most of the mixing in a bowl and then kneaded it on some parchment paper. The consistency was great and the dough was relatively easy to manage. I rolled it out between two sheets of parchment paper and was able to use a small-ish cookie cutter and a larger biscuit cutter to cut out shapes.

Homemade Coffee Ground PlaydoughI was not successful when I tried to press a rubber stamp into the mix – bits of coffee seemed to cling to the stamp.

I have left two pieces of dough out to air dry and will check them in the morning. I froze the rest of the dough so that I can share it at my next Growing and Learning Green workshop.

Air-dried Coffee ground playdough
This is a picture of the playdough after air drying for three days. It feels quite solid and is not crumbly. The surface looks almost dusty.
If you have ideas about ways to reuse coffee grounds – I would love to hear from you!

8 Days Remaining in the 2011 Get to Know Contest

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Make some time this week to take a child outdoors. Help your child to discover the natural world and encourage them to write, photograph, or create art about the experience. There are just eight days left to get involved in the 2011 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest

Get to Know Your Wild Neighbors!

This year, renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman plans to invite Canadian youth to go outside and “get to know” their wild neighbours. In cooperation with national partners Wildlife Habitat Canada, Parks Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest encourages young people to develop a deeper appreciation for their neighbours of other species by getting outdoors and creating art, writing, digital photography, and videos. The goal of the contest is to engage the power of art to help youth feel more connected with nature. It’s all about making connections with other environmentally passionate youth, using the creative arts to convey your passion, and having your accomplishments celebrated. Connect…Create …Celebrate!

2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. In celebration of this important designation, the theme of the 2011 Get to Know Contest is “This is My Forest”. Whether it’s a single tree in a backyard or acres of boreal forest in a national park, the contest offers youth the opportunity to learn about and celebrate their local forest and its inhabitants. Winners will receive all kinds of wild prizes, including cash, an invitation to the week-long Get to Know Art & Nature Camp in Victoria (courtesy of Parks Canada), and the chance to have their entry published in the 2012 Robert Bateman Get to Know Calendar. The contest launches during National Wildlife Week, April 10 – 16, at participating parks, zoos, and museums all across Canada. To learn more and find out how to enter, visit the contest website

Providing Leadership on the Global Warming Front: Winston of Churchill

Posted on May 12th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Winston of Churchill – One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming written by Jean Davies Okimoto and illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell
Picture book about global warming published by Sasquatch Books

You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



The town of Churchill, Manitoba describes itself as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World. Tours to see polar bears are offered from early October until the middle of November and use special vehicles to cross the tundra.

In Winston of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming we meet a rather unique polar bear. Winston is fearless and powerful. When he calls his compatriots together, they listen intently to his warning, “The ice is melting. We are losing our home. The time has come for action. This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.” Winston urges the bears to fight for ice. “We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight on the hills. We shall never surrender.”

Delivering a positive message that many individuals, making small changes can have an impact on global warming. Winston of Churchill is a very enjoyable read aloud. Clever wordplay and illustrations will be thoroughly enjoyed by adults as well as children.

Winston of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming at Amazon.com

Winston Of Churchill: One Bear’s Battle Against Global Warming at Amazon.ca

A Book Giveaway & Easy Green “Actions” For Families To Try Together! A Guest Post by Author, IAN JAMES CORLETT

Posted on April 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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April 22nd, 2011 is Earth Day and the perfect opportunity to discover E is For Environment Stories to Help Children Care for Their World – at Home, at School, and at Play. Written by Ian James Corlett and illustrated by R.A. Holt, E is For Environment introduces all sorts of “green” actions for children and families to embrace.

We are delighted to share this guest post by Ian James Corlett and invite you to enter our contest* and win a copy of E is for Environment

Oh Canada. Famous for toothless hockey players, ice cold water, and children’s entertainers like Raffi. This is a story that combines them all… seriously! Well, maybe not toothless hockey players, but teeth anyway!

Remember the Raffi song lyric, “We brush our teeth, chh-chh-chh-chhh… chh-chh-chh-chh-CHHH!” That was a rallying cry in our house when our kids were small. With the help of Raffi, his catchy lyrics and his substantial beard, our kids learned a great routine to keep their teeth clean. They’d turn on the tap, squeeze out waaay too much toothpaste and then stumble through scrubbing each little tooth. All the while, the tap was running, and running and running… And we all do it. Turn on the tap, start brushing our teeth, possibly even walking around the house a little while we look for socks or a towel or even plunk down on the porcelain, and all the while… woosh, woosh, woosh, the water rushes down the drain.

Now, it is awfully cute watching the kiddies learn how to keep their chompers white, but all that water going down the drain made me think. And I wondered just how much water goes down that drain… Well, it’s A LOT! Let’s assume only one person in 100 in the USA leaves the tap on while they brush (and we all know that far more than one in a hundred do it). Over the course of a year that adds up to over TWO BILLION gallons of water just going down the drain! Just from tooth-brushing!

When you stop to think about how much it costs our governments to provide clean tap water it really makes sense to conserve as much of it as we can. Not to mention that fresh water is rapidly becoming a diminishing commodity!

After I learned that, we had a family meeting and decided to implement a “turn off the tap while brushing” bylaw. It’s kind of fun too, because the young ones get to enforce the bylaw on the parents. (kids love policing mom and dad don’t they?). Just like brushing to the Raffi song, you’ll be amazed at how quickly these things become good habits with kids.

Another fun family energy-reducing action is searching for energy vampires. Energy vampires are appliances and gizmos that suck energy, mostly electricity, from your home. Did you know that all those power adapters or “wall warts” we have plugged in all over the place are robbing electricity even if nothing is connected on the other end? Yup. And all those little red lights you see on so TV’s and other gadgets are also energy vampires. So get the family together and go on a hunt! Give everyone a scrap of paper (like a junk mail envelope) and scan your whole house to find these little suckers. Of course you can’t unplug all of them (Dad needs to DVR his favorite shows!) but you’ll be amazed at how many you find that can be unplugged.

How about grocery shopping? Have you noticed just how many shopping bags are clogging up your cupboards? If that’s just at your house, There are BILLIONS clogging up oceans and land fills every year. So next time you’re shopping and the clerk asks, “Paper or Plastic” have your kids pop up and say, “NEITHER!” Put your kids in charge of remembering to bring your own reusable bags. It’ll give them a sense of responsibility and help our environment too.

Lastly, here’s an idea that is not only good for the planet, but good for our bodies too! Think about all the short trips we make every week. Like to the post office, or the grocery store or school. If it’s under a mile, walk it. Get out a map with your kids… wait, who are we kidding… search up Google Maps, and mark your house on it. Then look at all the shops and services you regularly drive to that are within a mile. Then try walking to these places instead. Especially with your kids. Walking with your kids is not only great for your health and the planet’s health (one less car) but it’s a great opportunity to bond too!

Trying these small steps (or actions) can be a lot of fun especially if you tackle them as a family. Sooner than later these actions will turn into good habits and make our world just a little bit better. Hey, maybe there’s a new Raffi tune in there… “Reduce your waste, wah-wah-wah-wah-wasste, waaa-waste a-waw-waw…” Umm. Maybe not.

IAN JAMES CORLETT is an award-winning children’s television writer and author of E Is For Ethics and the newly released, E Is For Environment. He resides in Vancouver British Columbia and Palm Springs California with his wife and two children.

*Residents of Canada can enter for a chance to win a copy of E is for Environment. Leave a comment on this post for one chance. Leave a second comment on our post about E is for Environment. Each comment will give you one entry to win. Maximum two entries per person. We will hold a random draw on Tuesday, April 26th and will contact winners by email.


E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World at Amazon.com

E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World at Amazon.ca

E is for Environment by Ian James Corlett

Posted on April 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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E is for Environment – Stories to Help children Care for Their World – at Home, at School, and at Play
Written by Ian James Corlett and Illustrated by R.A. “Riley” Holt


You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Featuring a friendly, conversational tone, E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World provides a wealth of useful information for children and families.Storytime Standouts looks at E is for Environment






After hearing a presentation by Matt Hill and Steph Tait of Run for 1 Planet at their school, Elliott and Lucy are inspired to find all sorts of ways to take action to “green” their world.

Twenty-six chapters (four pages each) cover everything from carpooling to soccer games and wearing a sweater rather than turning the thermostat up to packing a litterless lunch and choosing green gifts.

Each chapter begins with a scenario that suggests an opportunity for Lucy and Eilliott to make a change. Readers are encouraged to answer a question, “What do you think Elliot’s new plan was?” and then read to see if their guesses are correct. Additional supporting information is provided, and more questions prompt readers to consider how they can apply Elliott and Lucy’s decisions to their own lives. Thought-provoking quotes enhance most of the chapters.

  • When Elliott decides to use rechargeable batteries in his favourite toy robot, we learn that rechargeable batteries have up to 28 times less impact on the environment than regular (alkaline) batteries and rechargeable batteries can be reused up to 1,000 times.
  • When the family decides to walk to the post office rather than drive, we learn that Thomas Jefferson remarked, “Of all exercises walking is the best.” and Stephen Wright said, “Anywhere is walking distance, if you have the time.”

In addition to being an inspiring resource for families, E is for Environment is ideal for primary classroom use. Reading one chapter aloud each week could be used to prompt on-going discussions and action including encouraging young researchers to explore the science behind the book.

E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World at Amazon.com

E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their World at Amazon.ca


We Planted a Tree and Made a Difference

Posted on April 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Are you aware of the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign?
It is a campaign that encourages people all over the world to plant trees that are indigenous and appropriate to our own environments. By the end of 2009, more than seven billions trees had been planted in more than one hundred seventy countries.

One cannot overstate the value of trees to our very existence. Trees and forests contribute to our health, wealth, food and fuel supplies as well as air, soil and water quality and climate stability. Today’s post pulls together some resources related to trees and the campaign to plant them.

Be sure to visit our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more
. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Beginning with a bright, cheerful introduction to trees and what they do for our world:

image of cover art for We Planted a TreeWe Planted a Tree – written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake



Young families in Brooklyn, New York and in Africa each plant a tree. As their trees grow, this inventive and beautiful picture book takes us to visit beautiful trees budding in Toyko and gorgeous bright, pink blossoms in Paris.

“The sun kept shining.
The pink blossoms dropped off,
But soon there were green leaves,
Green, green shiny leaves,
Which had food inside for the tree.

This joyous celebration of trees and the impact of planting just one, highlights that they can be a source of food and shade, they help to clean our air and they can prevent soil erosion. As well, readers learn that trees are home to birds and animals.

We Planted a Tree at Amazon.com

We Planted a Tree at Amazon.ca

This picture book connects nicely with Green Belt Movement Kenya. The mission of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) is to mobilize community consciousness- using tree planting as an entry point – for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation.

For additional information about tree planting, check out The Green Wave, The Green Wave is a multi-year global campaign that enables children and youth to make a difference – one school, one tree, one step at a time. The Green Wave brings together children and youth from around the world to raise awareness about biodiversity, and the need to reduce its loss.

The United Nation’s Billion Tree Campaign a worldwide tree planting initiative facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. People, communities, businesses, industry, civil society organizations and governments are encouraged to enter tree planting pledges on-line. The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment.

Plant a Tree Today (PATT) Foundation works to raise awareness of global environmental issues, campaign for better environmental practices and take action against deforestation and climate change by planting trees.


Empowering Young Children to Make a Difference – 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World

Posted on April 4th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at an eco friendly picture book that promotes environmental awareness

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World10 Things I Can Do to Help My World written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh
Eco Friendly Picture Book published by Candlewick Press






Striking die-cuts and a fun format enhance to this delightful read-aloud. Big, bold illustrations – perfect for a group setting – show readers ten ways young children can help our world. With reminders to turn off the light when leaving a room, turn off the tap off when brushing teeth, put out a birdfeeder in the winter, draw on both sides of the paper and walk to school rather than drive, youngsters will feel empowered to make a difference by this eco friendly picture book.

Additional notes such as Every time you do this, you save eighteen glasses of water. and Turning off lights and using more efficient lightbulbs saves valuable energy. will engage and inspire older readers.

Made from 100% recycled material 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World’s eco-friendly tips are great for preschool and kindergarten. For older children, 10 Things I Can Do demonstrates creative ways to deliver important messages using eye-catching illustrations, factual information and word art.

Possible extension activities could include identifying and illustrating five or ten more ways to “help” (at school or on the playground) using like techniques.

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World at Amazon.com

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Beautiful Salmon Creek Informs and Inspires

Posted on March 8th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Salmon Creek written by Annette LeBox and illustrated by Karen Reczuch
Picture books published by Groundwood Books

A wonderful resource for children interested in our natural world and students studying Pacific salmon, Salmon Creek is a beautifully illustrated picture book about one Coho salmon: Sumi. Beginning when Sumi first feels and hears the creek around her, “Sumi was blind, but she could hear the wind whispering through the cedars. She could hear the creek stones lifting and falling as the salmon mothers built their nests. And if she pressed against the curve of her egg, she could hear her salmon mother singing. Home is the scent of cedar and creek. Home is the journey’s end.” Richly detailed illustrations show us the wildlife that frequents the banks of the stream (bears, raccoons, heron, ducks and eagles) and Sumi’s growth and travels from alevin to fry, smolt and finally a fully grown fish, ready to spawn.

The afterward includes illustrations of and information about the life cycle of the Coho salmon, a commentary regarding threats to wild salmon, additional resources, a glossary and suggestions for how kids can help.

The Pacific Streamkeepers’ Federation

National Geographic’s Pacific Salmon lesson plans

Fisheries and Ocean’s Canada’s Stream to Sea programs for primary, intermediate and secondary students

Salmon Creek at Amazon.com

Salmon Creek at Amazon.ca


Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



I Can Save the Earth, An Eco Friendly Picture Book

Posted on March 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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I Can Save the Earth! – written by Alison Inches and illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

Max is a Little Monster in more ways than one. He not only looks like a monster, he behaves like one. He litters wherever he goes, he uses too much water and toilet paper in the bathroom and he forgets to turn the lights and tv off when he leaves the room. As well, he is greedy with his toys: even when he’s outgrown them, he keeps them all to himself. One evening, he is watching his favourite television show when there is a power failure. When Max goes outside, he surprised by what he sees and hears. In the moonlight, Max notices flowers blooming and he hears crickets and an owl. When Max sees a shooting star, the transformation to “green” is complete. and, even when the power is restored, Max notices the natural world and takes steps to make it better. He collects litter at the beach and learns to compost garden refuse. His wasteful bathroom habits change and he remembers to turn off lights. He decides, “fresh air feels good on my fur!” and is committed to recycling, eating healthy foods and trading toys with his friends. End notes in this eco friendly picture book include a glossary of terms used in the story I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is an introductory resource and is best suited to children aged four to six.
Note: This 8″x8″ paperback book is printed on 100% post-consumer waste (Forest Stewardship Council certified) recycled paper with soy-ink.

I Can Save the Earth at Amazon.com

I Can Save the Earth at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Mother Earth Shares an Important Lesson

Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Lessons From Mother Earth
Written by Elaine McLeod and illustrated by Colleen Wood
Lessons from Mother Earth
tells the story of a young girl who learns from her grandmother. They leave a small cabin and, with her grandmother’s guidance, the young girl discovers the bounty of fresh food provided by Mother Earth. Lamb’s-quarters, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, rosehips, dandelions and mushrooms are all part of the bounty.

Appropriate for children aged four and up



Lessons from Mother Earth at Amazon.com

Lessons From Mother Earth at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Big Bear Hug – What Could be Better?

Posted on February 2nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Big Bear Hug published by Kids Can PressBig Bear Hug written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland
Fable Picture book published by Kids Can Press


Author – illustrator Nicholas Oldland introduces a happy, affectionate bear who shares his love by wandering through forests and hugging flora and fauna, large and small. One day the friendly bear is shocked to find a man with a menacing ax strolling through the forest. The man is planning to chop down one of the oldest and finest trees in the woods. Despite his anger, the bear resists an urge to attack and gives the startled man an enormous “bear” hug.

This simply told fable features distinctive, bold illustrations and a loving message. Big Bear Hug will be thoroughly enjoyed by children three and up.

Link to “Bear Hug” Name Tags

Big Bear Hug at Amazon.com

Big Bear Hug at Amazon.ca



Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Encouraging Very Young Children to Love Our Earth

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

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Storytime Standouts looks at The Earth and I #picturebook
The Earth and I – written and illustrated by Frank Asch





Suitable for very young children, The Earth and I explores the relationship between a young boy and the world around him. We observe the boy viewing a rainstorm, celebrating a rainbow, playing with dirt and water in his backyard, going for a walk, raking leaves, planting seeds and eating fresh produce. “I sing for her. She sings for me. I dance for her. She dances for me.” When the boy discovers garbage littering a park, he clears away the garbage, plants a flower and embraces a tree,

An important message expressed simply, The Earth and I is well-suited to a preschool read aloud setting. As well, distinctive watercolour illustrations could serve as inspiration for young artists.

The Earth and I at Amazon.com
The Earth and I at Amazon.ca


Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


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