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Living Green, Learning Green

Want to raise environmentally responsible kids in a world of heavy consumption? It isn't easy to get the message across that everything used, consumed, discarded, or thrown away has an environmental cost. For most kids, three of the great mysteries of urban life are:

  1. What happens to the poop after I flush?
  2. What's on the other side of the light switch and why does mom go nuts when I leave the light on?
  3. Where does all the junk go when it gets thrown away?
There're mysteries because the environmental connection is hidden behind walls of convenience. Somebody else gets to handle the messy details.

For example, if my daughter is thirsty she doesn't truck out to the well, she turns the tap. (Actually she heads to the fridge for a cold soda but that's a different issue ;-) When my son wants to chuck uneaten lima beans, he doesn't bury 'em in the back yard (they might grow more), he sneaks them into the trash. End of story. At least as far as he's concerned.

But where one story ends, another begins. To help our kids become "Earth-smart" we decided to take them on an environmental tour of our community. It was half-lark, half-serious and all fun. To make it a family project (and to build a source of future science project stuff ;-) the kids decided to record their experiences in a family 'Green Book.' Into this scrapbook went press clippings, drawings, and photos of sights seen along
the way.

Armed with cameras, pens, note paper and, natural curiosity we set out to explore our connections to the greater environment by taking a series of self-made tours, and you are welcome to come along.

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