3 TIPS to educate, inspire and take action for our planet
This year will be the 51st anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd. A day that celebrates and promotes the health, wellbeing and future of our planet, Girl Scouts know the value of respecting and advocating for environmental conservation. Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low was a lover of nature and her passion for the environment continues to be an important part of our organization.
The Girl Scouts also recently launched the Elliott Wildlife Values Project and American Forests tree planting and conservation initiative. Girl Scouts is setting out to plant five million trees across the country in five years, and to protect and honor new and existing trees. Not only is this great for wildlife, it will also help ease the effects of climate change. Read more about it here.
Locally, we collaborated with the University of Arizona’s Biosystems Engineering Club to create an aquaponics garden here on our Broadway Campus. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (growing fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). The system is self-sustaining, using rainwater collected at Angel’s Place for Girls, and features growing beds for plants, each with their own fish tank to provide nutrients to the plants. Girls who participated in this event got to make their own mini versions of an aquaponics garden making terrariums out of recycled 2-liter soda bottles, with a live fish in the bottom chamber and a plant on top, which would receive nutrients from the fish’s waste. This project was funded by Whole Foods and the University of Arizona Green Fund. We invite you to come check it out when the garden is open to the public again.
Here are 3 tips that you can do with your troop this Earth Day to make a difference for our planet.
There are many art projects that can be done with recycled materials. Here are a couple of ideas of turning “trash” into treasure: Use large plastic bottles to set up a bowling game. Recycle tin cans by painting them or putting paper around them to hold writing utensils. Upcycle old T-shirts or towels and turn them into dog toys. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Dream up something fun and earth friendly!
2. Plant something
Planting is the perfect Springtime project. Visit your local nursery and find seeds for a variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. You can also go online or visit your local library to read books about sustaining your own backyard garden.
Pro-tip: If its your first time planting, things like carrots, potatoes and beans are great to start with because they are all easy to plant and easy to care for. If you live in an apartment or do not have yard space, you can look into an indoor herb garden, which is also easy to care for and grow.
3. Learn about where your food comes from
Visiting a local farmers market helps support local farmers and growers in Southern Arizona. It also gives you an opportunity to hear the story about where your food comes from. With knowledge comes power. ACTIVITY: Make a day trip to local farms or farmer markets in your community with your troop. Ask everyone to pick out one ingredient from the market and share its journey from farm to market. Then take a step further and use your selected ingredient to cook for dinner. Invite your girls to share their story and recipe on social media!