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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Earth Day, Any Day.

Earth Day, Any Day.

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The cliche slogan, "Everyday is Earth Day," sounds nice but what does it mean in practice? It can mean a lot of things. It might mean a project that lasts through the years; or Instilling/Inspiring green behaviors that become habits; or even Simply using materials and resources mindfully. However, for me, there are so many to-do's that need to be done each day, it is not always realistic to expect green activities all day everyday. For me, it is about baby steps. So, my motto has become, "Earth Day, Any Day," that way if I slip up or don't get to the green project I wanted to, I don't beat myself up. Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity. What Earth Day, Any Day activities did you engage your students in today (Earth Day) or are on-going projects that promote green-ness regularly in your school and community?

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Jason Flom's picture
Jason Flom
Director in Tallahassee, FL

Today my students and I did three things to celebrate Earth Day.

1. We toasted our mundane complaints.

For instance, I regularly complain about speeders on my street. However, the fact that I can complain about that means that I not only have a home (shelter), I also have food, water, and basic health. If I lacked any of the basic needs, provided by our dear planet, I would not waste time on people speeding. I'd be be worried about where the next meal would come from, how to feed my children, find water that is potable, or how to get healthy.

The mundane complaint is a sign I've got everything I need and can waste time complaining about things that others are not fortunate enough to complain about.

2. We did a massive clean up of a wetland across the street from our school where many birds roost and thousands of tadpoles strive toward frog-hood.

3. We wrote about how to ensure that our children and our children's children (as well as people the world over) have the ability to complain about worthless stuff.

For instance, one student complains about sweatpants. In order to have that complaint, he constructed a web of needs that must be met -- businesses that employ people, who are healthy enough to go to work; farms that have soil & water for growing the cotton; and enough land to balance food crops with raw material crops. He then came up with ways to ensure those elements stay in place in the future.

All three of these will be on-going projects to help make Earth Day, any day.

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