The Midway Island Project

Photo by: Jan Vozenilek — at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Living in paradise has given me the opportunity to learn things about the environment that I really never paid much attention to before. I “do my part” to help save our Earth by recycling and reusing items; but I realize that I have to do MORE. Everyone does. So, I’m sharing a series of videos with you that will seriously OPEN YOUR EYES to what we humans are doing to our beautiful planet and all the amazing creatures that live here.

The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=101kps2KGiA[/youtube]

Learn more about this project by visiting the Midway Project Film website, reading the blog, and visiting their Facebook page. You can also help support the cause and the film by visiting the Kickstarter page.

My Mini Backyard Garden

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I’m SO excited to share with you a photo of my little backyard garden! It’s not much, but it’s about all this girl can manage!

In the far left pot I’ve got some beautiful smelling Lavender that I plan on drying and sticking in random places around the house. I love the smell!

The middle pot is Basil and Cherry Tomato – I plan on moving one of them into another one of my Spanish ceramic pots.

The right one (in a ceramic pot from Spain) is mint – although, for some reason, the mint isn’t thriving. Need to do some more research.

Looking forward to using the herbs/veggies from my plants! Xander wants to grow watermelon and I’ve saved a few seeds from a tomato from dinner the other night. We shall see what we can do with them!

Kid-Friendly, Earth Day Friendly Books

"The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss

The Lorax was published in 1971 following the environmental movement of the 1960s. In this classic Dr. Seuss story the greedy Once-ler discovers that he can make "much desired" Thneeds from the tufts of Truffula trees. He proceeds to cut down the Trufulla trees despite the warnings of the Lorax was lives there. The Once-ler becomes rich, but destroys the trees and the local environment in the process. But he is not stupid; he does save a seed from the tree. Being true to his uncaring attitude he doesn’t plant it himself, but gives it to a boy to plant and take care of. Even when there is nothing left but a broken down factory, the greedy Lorax manages to make money off the destruction by charging people for information he has on how the place became so desolate. This book has been a FAVORITE of mine for most of my life! I owned a copy when I was little and now, my children have a copy!

"Stuff!: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" by Steve Kroll

Pinch the Packrat learns the value of stuff. He has so much stuff in his house that it was spilling out into the street. His friends decide to have a tag sale in order to make money to buy a tree for the community park. They ask Pinch if he would donate some of his stuff, but Pinch loves his stuff and doesn’t want to donate any of it. At the tag sale, he sees how much money he could earn by selling his stuff, so he decides he will sell some of his stuff so he can buy even more stuff. Pinch soon learns that he gets more satisfaction from seeing the other animals playing and enjoying his stuff than he received from owning all that stuff. When he is asked to donate the money he made from the sale to buy a tree, he isn’t so sure he wants to do it. He goes home to think about it, and realizes how nice it is to live in a clean, tidy house without stuff everywhere. The next day he decides to sell even more stuff and gets his friends to sell their stuff so that they can buy even more trees.

"It’s Earth Day! (Little Critter)" by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is on a mission! After watching a film about climate changes at school, Little Critter decides to do his part to slow down global warming. With the help of his family and friends, Little Critter begins to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Together they learn about the importance of not wasting water or energy. Join Little Critter as he plants a tree, makes a climate control machine, and helps the polar bears.

 

William the Garbage Truck & Crew: William is Going Green” by James Martin II

William, the garbage truck, is fired from his job because he is too loud and smoky. William is very upset and tries to get a job elsewhere but finds out he needs to have a new hybrid engine and he just does not have the money for it. What is he going to do? Things turn around for William when he does an act of kindness and is rewarded. William is once again doing his job, but this time he is ‘in the green.’ Find out how this happens and the difference it makes for William and everyone else. This is a great little book. The illustrations are very colorful and definitely bring the story to life. The storyline does two things. One, it teaches the children the importance of thinking about our environment and making changes to help protect it. Second, it shows them that a kindness shown to another often results in others being kind to us. We love this book! Even my son’s first grade teacher wants a copy!

More books about “going green” and Earth Day:

Please share your favorite Earth-friendly books!

Earth Hour: Go “Beyond the Hour”

tumblr_lgyjtkZJK11qaa7h1o1_250At the center of the Earth Hour is the symbolic collective action of lights out on March 26. Yet earth hour is about much more than just switching off the lights. It’s about switching to a more sustainable lifestyle. Being mindful, using less, making everyday choices to reduce our environmental footprint.

If you want your kids to be environmentally responsible when they grow up, you’ve got to teach them while they’re still young.

Here are some tips for going beyond hour. Big or small, through all our efforts combined, these changes will help make a difference.

Turn off lights and appliances at the wall when not in use explain to children that lights, tv’s and computers use energy, and that it is in short supply!  This Is an easy way to reduce wasted energy and carbon. If you switch off just one appliance at the wall you could save 99 pounds of greenhouse gas!  Ask Your child if he can imagine what 99 pounds might look like, and show him/her some examples – like twenty 5 pound bags of potatoes!

Stop using plastic containers explain to your child that every bottle they throw in the trash sits in a big pile at the local dump.  Have Your child help you pick out fun, brightly colored refillable or reusable containers.

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Help the Earth and Celebrate Earth Hour

Earth Hour is driven by the global community’s will to protect the planet we share. Earth Hour’s exponential growth – from a single-city initiative in 2007 to a global movement across 128 countries in 2010 – is indicative of the growing desire for a cleaner, healthier world that is gathering momentum by the hour.  At 8.30pm on Saturday 26 March 2011, Earth Hour will mark a moment of global contemplation to go beyond the hour; a collective commitment by individuals throughout the world to be the ongoing change they want to see in it.

So – to help “celebrate” our Earth – you are asked to do the following:

  1. Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March 2011 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
  2. Sign up and Share stories of your actions that benefit the planet on earthhour.org
  3. Sustain your actions beyond the hour – www.beyondthehour.org

In a bid to extend the message to young children and their caregivers, the Earth Hour organization has appointed the globally loved animated character Pocoyo as the first Global Kids’ Ambassador of Earth Hour, Beyond the Hour.  Pocoyo will reach out to millions of preschool-aged fans across the globe, fostering “Learning through Laughter,” to inform children about environmental issues.

Parent and their caregivers can find a fun activity book, promo, screensavers and wallpaper at http://www.pocoyo.com/earth_hour_2011.html

At the recent Beyond the Hour press conference in Singapore, Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director, Andy Ridley commented “Everyone has the power to make change: a CEO can change an organization, a 7-year-old can change a classroom, and a president can change a country. What we are announcing today is just the beginning.  It is through the collective action of individuals and organizations that we will be able to truly make a difference, which is why we are urging people across the planet to share how they will go beyond the hour this Earth Hour.”

All week Atomic-Mama.com will be featuring helpful “Earth Saving” ideas! So be sure to follow the blog!

Right now though – check out this great Earth Hour video:

Help spread the word about Earth Hour! Feel free to share this post on Twitter, Facebook and Stumbleupon!

Product Review Blog Carnival: Earth Day

Earth Day is on April 22nd and Atomic-Mama.com is hosting a Product Review Blog Carnival that features reviews on products that benefit the Earth! We’re talking gardening, Earth-friendly house keeping, “green” living and even learning about the Earth and how to “green” your lifestyle!

Here’s the lineup!

Kelli from 3 Boys and a Dog wants to know – are you wasting energy? This super simple trick can cut your energy costs! Check it out and maybe save some money!

Connie has done an awesome review on StayVocal Reusable Shirts! These are shirts made from shirts that would be destroyed by other companies. Includes the message, I Make The World Better By ______. Sounds awesome and very Earth-friendly. Connie also has some information on Eco-friendly handbags and jewelery from five Accessories, made from recycled and green items!

If you are into gardening why not learn how to create your very own butterfly garden! You can also check out one of my (and my son’s)  favorite Sid the Science Kids episodes – The Dirt on Dirt!

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