Taking Eco-ideas beyond Earth Day 2000
adapted from 'Eco Education Guide 2000', Earth Day Network Worldwide.

Introduction

The collection of eco-ideas on this page have first appeared in a publication of the worldwide Earth Day Network to encourage environmental education groups to participate in Earth Day 2000. Earth Day was celebrated on 22 April 2000 by over 500 million members of the network and is evidence that an internationally coordinated EE event is not impossible.

The Eco Education Guide 2000 available from the network describes over 20 outstanding international EE projects in ways that will inspire your group to start similar initiatives in your area. INforEEP has adapted Chapter 3 of the guide which contains a list of practical ideas for projects. After all, our ultimate quest is to promote these ideas well beyond Earth Day 2000 !

 

Classroom and school activities
 

In the classroom
The classroom: in many still the centre for learning.

  • Organize a school recycling program if you don't already have one.

  • Organize an essay competition with an environmental theme, such as what the environment could be like on Earth Day.

  • Have students write letters to a local official asking them to support a specific project.

  • Organize a competition: poster, essay, poetry, T-shirt design, photography, music or art, with a clean energy or other environmental theme. You will need a central location and a contact person for collecting entries. You can have the awards at a culminating event and invite local businesses or individuals to donate prizes for different age groups.

Schoolyard activities
 

In the school yard
The outdoor classroom brings new opportunities for hands-on learning.

  • Grow trees from seeds.

  • Set up an organic garden at your school, complete with a compost pile.

  • Survey how many different kinds of plants, animals and insects live in and around the school yard. Draw pictures of them and learn about their habitats, behaviors and lifestyles.

  • Start an indigenous garden at your school. Watch as more creatures come and visit the school grounds as a result.

  • Replace lawn with an indigenous garden.

  • Plant shade trees to keep rooms cool without using air conditioning. 

Artistically-speaking ...
 

Thinking artistically
Thinking artistically ...

  • Make a paper tree on the classroom wall with each leaf containing the individual promises of students to improve the environment.

  • Host a reading by local naturalist writers.

  • Paint an environmental mural.

  • Have a parade ! Consider an Energy Parade, an Earth Parade, or a Children's Earth Parade.

Field trips
 

In the field
Learning from field trips. 

  • Visit a landfill and recycling centre to learn about the different ways to deal with waste.

  • Adopt a local park, stream or beach, and clean it up.

  • Go on an urban hike. Explore local waterways, parklands or beaches.

  • Identify local bird and wildlife species. Form a nature club.

Working with others
 

Working with others
Caution: 
Environmental architects at work !

  • Invite speakers to come and talk about environmental issues. Write essays and frame projects around the talk.

  • Do an environmental audit of your school. Look to see much and what type of waste is generated, how much water is consumed, and how much and type of paper, cleaners, food and energy are used daily. Work out ways to improve the school's use of resources and production of waste.

  • Develop an environmental policy for the school. Have students and teachers help design it and then have the principle officially launch it on a day such as Earth Day.

  • Create a community green map highlighting all the environmental assets in your community (such as parks, recycling centres, farmers' markets etc.)

  • Help establish a green belt around your school or community.
  • Help set up an Earth Day exhibit at your local library, religious meeting or supermarket.

  • Organize a Walk-A-Thon or running event. Try to design the route around a local environmental feature, park or issue.


Copyright 1999, Earth Day Network.
Text adapted with permission.
Images by INforEEP.