Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day: Make a Difference Today, Continue the Education Tomorrow!

Earth Day 2017, here at last.

On this day we honor our planetary home, of course it begs the question: why not make every day Earth Day?

Some people do live their lives that way, and we've been looking at ways to do that all month long, here at GTG.

Given that, let today be a day you go out there and do something great for Mother Nature around you. It might involve a trash clean up, it might involve restoration of habitats or building new for your neighborhood birds. It might involve planting a tree, going for a hike, celebrating the natural world, turning off lights, conserving water, or dining on an organic meal.

Maybe too, it can include a commitment towards more than just a day. Maybe a habit change. Maybe a pursuit of knowledge and education.  Click the "hot spots" in the Thinklink below to go directly to a myriad of environmentally educational videos to build your knowledge base. (Or click the Thinklink link above!) The more you know, the more you care!


Let me know what you are pursuing this Earth Day. What big or small difference can you make today, tomorrow, or even every day this week/month/year ahead?!


Earth Day Every Day Graphic made using Canva.com, Thinglink clickable graphic made using canva.com and the following images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2eu037gj48https://www.caee.org/sites/default/files/resource_images/ACE_2-color-logo.pnghttp://projectgreenschools.org/partner/cut-the-red-tape/, http://www.environmentandsociety.org/mml/collection/12437 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

There's a New Podcast In Town: Begleyesque

Just in time for Earth Day ahead, there's a new podcast in town. (Actually, at this point, it's not as new as it used to be at the start of 2017!) This one is brought to you by Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife Rachelle Carson-Begley, and is called Begleyesque. Perhaps so we can all "speak-Begley!"

Ed Begly, Jr.'s name might sound slightly familiar to you as he's both a long-time actor (anyone remember St. Elsewhere?) and a mega-environmental activist. He practices what he preaches, living in a solar powered home, driving an electric car, and currently building a LEED Platinum-Certified house for their next home ("Our Green House with The Begleys"). He and Rachelle (also an actor) co-starred in the reality series "Living With Ed," which was shown on both HGTV and Discovery’s Planet Green.

Given all the "green" above, yes, this weekly podcast is about "living green." It's a fun mix of Hollywood celebrities and environmental innovators chatting with Mr. & Mrs. Begley. There's also a Q&A segment per episode, with the gameplan being "saving the planet one person or household at a time."

You can find it on their website, or subscribe at iTunes.

Episodes, to date, include:
  1. Introducing Begleyesque      (a very good place to start!)
  2. Going Green W/Jeff Goldblum
  3. Save Money, Save The Planet
  4. Moby Reveals His Real Name & Talks Veganism
  5. Green Valentine's Day Gift Ideas
  6. Sharon Lawrence Talks Water Pollution & Women Power
  7. Bill Nye Hijacks a Conversation With Frances Fisher
  8. Air Pollution: Causes, Effects, & Solutions
  9. Beth Grant Gets High Off Love
  10. Mike Farrell Talks JFK Assassination
  11. Michael Kaliski, Hollywood's Green Movie Guy
  12. Public Transportation vs. Uber vs. Biking
  13. Don Most Talks “Happy Days” & Vaudeville’s Comeback
  14. Oceana’s Keith Addis On Bait and Switch in Aquaculture
May the eco-inspiration over at Begleyeque get you geared up for Earth Day, just a few days away!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Running On Plastic: Shoe-Speaking, That Is

There is an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic in our world's oceans. The environmental hazards linked to that are far reaching, from damaging marine wildlife to getting into our food sources. It's not a problem that solves itself, so we are lucky to have change-makers among us who are willing to think outside the box to figure out ways to repurpose some of the trash among us.

Adidas is one of the latest in the bunch as it partners with Parley for the Oceans (an amazing organization committed to the health and fragility of oceans--and a great place to go to gain information on marine debris and oceanic activism).  Adidas has a new shoe on the market that is made from oceanic plastic waste, in particular gill nets (vertical nets that trap fish by their... you guessed it... gills).


To learn more about Adidas' new shoes line, watch the videos below or go to Fortress of Solitudes' interview with Adidas & Parley. To learn about their company stance on sustainability, click here.





To learn more about Parley for the Oceans:


videos from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXD9pf8aQlM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iisMyJdkyqg and http://www.parley.tv/#the-cause-1; shoe image from http://www.fortressofsolitude.co.za/the-parley-effect/; "The beginning of the end of plastic"  pic from http://www.adidas.com/us/parley; sea turtle pic from http://www.parley.tv/#fortheoceans

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Earth Day Is On Its Way: April 22

Since 1970, Earth Day has been April 22nd. This year, it feels like a little darker and more important event with the EPA on the budgetary slice & dice line, as we live under an administration where Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said, regarding climate change: "I think the president was fairly straightforward on that: We're not spending money on that anymore."

But for those of us who are educators, particularly environmental educators, science data speaks louder than presidents & their budget directors. Which is why perhaps this year, Earth Day education is needed now more than ever.

Going to the source is often the best place to start. Earth Day Network is that place. Working globally with 196 countries, environmental sustainability & protecting the planet for our children's children are the tenets of their mission. You can learn of the history of Earth Day and their "record of successes."

Here is a glorious portal of information & downloadable resources for Earth Day:
Additionally they have a wealth of information on the Campaigns page. Here, they have links to their 6 different themed campaigns: Green Schools, Endangered Species, Reforestation, Green Cities, Campaigns for Communities, and Climate Change. (Or you can go to their "All" link to... well... see them all!)  Each of these themes serves as an umbrella for a bounty of even more specific campaigns. It might be a good place to go find your passion, your tribe, or extra tidbits of specialized information.

And, if you are around DC on Earth Day, there's always the March For Science on the National Mall. I was there for the Women's March. DC is a powerful place to be part of something so big. The march is geared to start at 8 am with rallies and teach-ins beginning at 10 am with a multitude of speakers. For more specific information, click here to go directly to the March of Science website.

For those not near DC, you can still take part! You can find one of the nearly 400 satellite marches in the US or across the globe.

As stated from the Earth Day Network website:
"Science serves all of us. It protects our air and water, preserves our planet, saves lives with medical treatments, creates new industries, puts food on our tables, educates the next generation, and safeguards our future. Science isn’t Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative. Indeed, threats to science are pervasive throughout governments around the world."
Science is not partisan. Nor are facts. This Earth Day, let's go out there as educators and inform both our students and ourselves. Let's go out there as citizens and do something good for the planet. I'd love to hear about your plans and your actions.


Banner image screenshot & logo from http://www.earthday.org/, Neil DeGrasse photo from https://cleantechnica.com/2016/10/12/top-10-favorite-climate-change-mic-drops/; Women's March photo from my camera.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Story of Stuff: 10 Years of #Eco-Education


Back in 2007, Annie Leonard was fed up with "STUFF" and decided enough is enough with "enough!" She released the original animated documentary called "The Story of Stuff," which has lead her now on a decade-long adventure of activism through "The Story of Stuff Project."

Annie & her "Say No to Stuff" mantra has been a frequent focus here at GTG.


Her latest environmental education mini-movie was released last month... 'round about the same time our new head of the EPA was denying climate change and our human-planetary impact.  Her latest is "The Story of Microfibers" and it will change the way you look at clothing, laundry, and how it affects marine life and our water supply.


In addition to her many movies, there's a plethora of environmental-awareness resources.  Check out her bounty with the links below. They are kid-friendly and perfect for Earth Day ahead as you inspire your young stewards to be community-minded, solutions-focused, and action-oriented--just like Annie's S-O-S Team!




Image from http://storyofstuff.org/resources/; video from http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-microfibers/

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Wisdom comes in many forms and from many places.

In this case, wisdom comes from a 5-year old fellow who is upset about what the current state of the environment. As much as it breaks your heart to see him at the height of emotion, it also serves to give you hope that we have these sweet souls on the planet--not to mention inspiration for Earth Day ahead (April 22nd).

"Henry the Emotional Environmentalist" apparently has his own Facebook page. You can follow Henry and see where his passion will take both him and the planet here at this link.

 

Image from http://emilysquotes.com/we-dont-inherit-the-earth-from-our-ancestors-we-borrow-it-from-our-children/Video from https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveEvolutionPage/videos/10154683863428908/

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lifelong, Lasting Products Only: Sold Here

We've all had them... the favorite sweatshirt (mine was my dad's, stolen years ago, threadbare now), the favorite pillow, the favorite... whatever! We want it to last forever, and alak, alas, it just never happens. Like my sweatshirt, they become tattered, the paint might chip off the seasoned pan, or something happens that makes it just... not... last.

Well, it is with that premise that Tara Button founded "Buy Me Once."  Her philosophy:  "Let's throw away our throwaway culture." In doing so, we're helping ourselves, our wallet, our planet!

Here's Tara, telling a little bit more about her philosophy of finding and vetting long-lasting items to help our planet's sustainability... and keep our "stuff" out of the landfill!



BuyMeOnce has links to take you to their shopping site (and a boatload of brands built for longevity), articles, design challenges (for items to "stand the test of time" & challenging manufacturers to "do better"), gifts, and more.

She also invites you to email her brands that you feel should be on her site!

The articles and tips section has some great posts on throwing parties without bags-full of trash afterwards and more fun things too.  My favorite: "10 Books to Read for A Better You & A Better Planet."



Video from http://www.buymeonce.com/home-usa/; Logo from http://www.buymeonce.com/, and image from http://notable.ca/this-website-only-sells-products-that-come-with-a-lifetime-guarantee/

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Oil Spill STEM Challenge

There's no such thing as a "good" oil spill.

Having just watched the movie Deepwater Horizon myself, it's a powerful and messy environmental situation, that can create great harm to wildlife and humans both.

Hence the great environmental concerns over the Dakota Access Pipeline (as well as all of the other political & environmental concerns from this week).

Deepwater Horizon and the nightly news & controversy about #NODAPL aren't the subjects of 3rd grade classrooms. But a STEM challenge on the subject of oils spills is quite informative and can lead to some amazing insight for kids.

That's just what our 3rd grade team did. With a little help from online resources such as this Earth Day Oil Spill activity from STEMActivitiesForKids.com, third graders got the opportunity to simulate a captured oil spill, then run feathers through them to see what birds face when they encounter an oily pollution problem. Can they come up with a solution to help clean the birds up?

After hands-on experimentation, our students got their creativity spinning & began brainstorming stories where sea creatures got ensnared in a slippery situation of their own, covered in oil. After using the writing process to plan their individual stories and write their drafts, students then made it into a "read-to-me" eBook that they illustrated, narrated, and recorded on the iPad app My Story.

The multiple levels and learning styles used in this whole activity, from STEM-start to digital-finish, really brought home the meaning of how humans can both negatively AND positively affect the environment. It is through activities like these, especially in a community that borders the Chesapeake Bay and has open waters nearby, that young stewards of the environment are born.



Oil spill covered bird from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:King_Eider_covered_in_oil.jpg; My Story logo from https://twitter.com/mystoryapp; all other images created on my iPad using the My Story app.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

#EarthHour 2017, Recap

This was the view at my house, from 8:30--9:30 last night, during Earth Hour.

We had a few friends and family members over... along with pizza, adult beverages, a backyard bonfire, mood lighting, an in-the-dark soccer game with my two kids and the dog, and merriment for all. I was proud to have celebrated every year since 2009 when I first learned of it.

World-wide, here's what it looked like:

And here's what the last 10 years have looked like. Happy 10th Anniversary, Earth Hour. It was celebrated at my house, and across the world. Glad I could be a part of something bigger than myself, and I feel like I'm raising a glass to our planet in an important way! It feels like now, more than ever, we need to take part and do our part. I'm so glad we did in my world for the 9th consecutive year, and I will do so again, next year: Saturday, March 24, 2018, from 8:30--9:30 pm!



Image from my camera (collage created using Li-Pix), infographic from https://www.earthhour.org/2017-highlights, video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZp4LX4AYnM

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Earth Hour 2017: Tonight No Lights from 8:30--9:30 pm

Tonight is the night. The night of no lights from 8:30--9:30pm. Why? It's Earth Hour! In case you missed it, check out last week's post to learn more and get some good ideas on what you can do tonight to shed some light the #ChangeClimateChange.

The video below will help serve as a little inspiration as to why caring for our environment, believing in climate change, and fighting for the EPA is important, despite what American leaders these days may be saying.

Go forth in darkness tonight, and be a part of something bigger than yourself.  It's a great way to give a giant hug to our planet!  Can we break last year's record breaking participation of 178 countries & territories (including the International Space Station) that participated?

 



Earth Hour images from https://www.earthhour.org/EarthHourReports; Video from http://earthhour.org/celebrate-earth-hour

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reinventing Trash & Finding Beauty

In The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard talks about how we, as a planet, have an excess of...well...stuff. Whether it's bangles, clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets, electronics, or any other "must have," we have become a materialistic society that wants
more, more, more!

So we spend our hard-earned money on it, we get it, we stock-pile it, and eventually we trash it... And the landfill grows.

But here are 5 short AJ+ videos of ways people around the planet are reinventing trash & what they do with it. All 5 are examples of innovation and ways to make trash recyclable, reusable, approachable, re-inventable, and a newly usable resource. From art to music to inventions, each of these examples illustrate how we can find beauty outside the landfill with something we might easily have just thrown away.











Reinventing Trash image created on www.canva.com
Story of Stuff image from http://storyofstuff.org/;
Videos from:
1. Bolivian Wall-E: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka6nEMPqF0Y
2. Haitian Teens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAVI-ny3OE0
3. Taiwain's Musical Solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMQ1NfjPauw
4. She Turns Trash To Art: https://youtu.be/z1jxPG2nl2s
5. Wearable E-Waste: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv--ezAQOrY

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lights Out for Earth Hour 2017

Writing about & planning my own personal Earth Hour is an annual tradition since 2009.  With it being only a week away, it's time to ring that traditional bell!

This year's Earth Hour is Saturday, March 25th from 8:30--9:30 pm in your time zone. It marks the 10 (or really, would that be 11?) year anniversary since the first Earth Hour in 2007, celebrated in Sydney, Australia alone. From there it has grown, to become a global event, a virtual crowd-wave of diminished lights to show the number of people, communities, nations, and world landmarks that want to "shine a light on climate action" by going dark from that hour in their own time zones.

To learn more about Earth Hour, check out their website to zoom into these specifics to be "enlightened!"
If you are looking for unique ways to celebrate Earth Hour in a way that speaks to you, check out these two resources:
However you celebrate it, I'd love to hear about how you took action and were part of the movement to #ChangeClimateChange. Please share your plans in the comments below!




Earth Hour images from http://www.earthhour.org/; Video #1 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw7EenLAdrA

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Green Your Routine... With Green Tea

I am not, nor have I ever been,
a warm beverage drinker.

I tried to get into lattes during Starbuck's early days. Nope, couldn't do it. Coffee just wasn't for me.

Tea? Nada. Not even in the cutest of mugs or tea cups.

Hot chocolate? No way. Not even when freezing at a Girl Scout Yule Log event, eons ago.

Give me a Diet Coke every time. That's my caffeine-infusion of choice.

But this week I've made a change. Maybe it was in my perpetual quest to savor in health information from podcasts such as The Model Health Show, maybe it's because it's the "season of green" with St. Patrick's Day around the corner, or maybe it's that knowledge that a few of my routines these days need a health intervention poke and a prod. Whatever the inspiration, I grabbed a box of green tea the other day at the drug store... and I've been drinking it ever since.  It's been my morning starter, my midday pick me up, and it's helped boost my water intake.

The biggest awe factor the other day was when I was at school, lunchtime arrived, and it hit me I hadn't even had a Diet Coke yet that day! My family was equally in shock and awe when I shared the news.

I will say too, my energy level has been amazing. It's not even the caffeine. According to the Caffeine Informer website (a total portal on the caffeine numbers in just about every drink ever invented), green tea comes in significantly lower than coffee, and about half that of my daily does of Diet Coke. Maybe it comes back to the water... and probably also to the fact that it's not a soda can full of chemicals!

Perhaps you, like me, have been living under the clover leaves of cluelessness and are wondering what's up with green tea & all it's health benefits. These two infographics sum it up well.  Likewise, if you need more, this articles shares 21 health benefits & reasons to start your day with green tea. Cheers & happy sipping during this season of green!
Happy St. Patrick's Day ahead!

Images from: http://www.teatimemagazine.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/02/StPatricksDayTablescapeHorizontal.jpghttp://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/2012/03/tea-cup-tuesday-irish.htmlhttps://www.curejoy.com/content/green-tea-benefits/cjhb_web_view=android&utm_source=cjAndroidApp&utm_ medium=androidBrowser&utm_term=Ayurveda&utm_content=HealthBytes&utm_campaign=Curejoyhttp://www.skinnydivadiet.com/2015/07/11-reasons-to-drink-green-tea.html; Happy St. Patrick's Day image made using Ripl.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Garbology Revisited

Garbage isn't sexy, but you certainly can learn a lot from it.

One go-to place for students to learn is My Garbology. The website opens with a clickable kid-sized quiz filled with an assortment of animated fun facts. Along the way, you need to sort out where the banana, the plastic bottle, and more should be deposited: compost, reuse, recycle, or landfill. Many of those facts and figures you click upon are startling in their statistics. Definitely good food for thought, and you will encounter a challenge or two along the way. There are also links to parents, students, and teachers, as well as many other resources on their site.


Another place to take notice of our over-consumption & garbage is the arts. Namely, the photography of Gregg Segal.  In his bio, Gregg details how he was taking pictures of his neighbor's garbage with his new camera at the age of 11. Early on, he had a vision of how garbage had an artistic quality about it. At the very least, he knew photography could capture a story worth telling, revealing volumes about our cultural values and beliefs. His work has been featured in many well-known publications

Some of his garbage/over-consumption series include:

7 Days of Garbage
Essential questions such as "where does the garbage go?" and "What happens when that space is maxed out?" were driving forces that led to this series of Gregg's. Especially when you consider that Joe "Average" American can self-generate approximately 29 pounds of garbage a week. Photographing this personalizes it and definitely brings the problem home. This series also brings home the idea that companies need to figure out a way to help with the excessiveness and build in their own circular construct of recycling to help the product go "cradle to grave"--from creation to safe and proper disposal.
  

The vision behind this series is to highlight "a world drowning in excess." Detritus is seen as an iconic embodiment of our role as wasteful over-consumers. That "more, more, more" mentality. From Segal's description on this series: "Wandering the Earth, no place left for him in landfills, this dustbin refugee exudes pathos and regret, a vibrant reminder of our willful abuse of the planet."

This series came out of his investigation of garbage. He started paying attention to both the food we were eating, and that which we were throwing away. Especially kids. Using food journals, he replicated the diets of kids, with some startling results. Makes you ponder as a parent what eating habits we are helping our kids build (and the associated health costs that processed foods lead to.)


To investigate some of his other thought-provoking series, check out his website!



Garbology definition from a google websearch https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=garbology+defined; "My Garbology" image from http://educade.org/lesson_plans/brainstorm-sustainable-activities-with-my-garbology; Greg Segal's images from his website: http://www.greggsegal.com/projects.php

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Vicki Davis' Philosophy: "Innovate Like A Turtle"

Vicki Davis is the CoolCatTeacher. As an #edtech teacher myself, Vicki Davis is one of my top 5 go-to resources. She has a blog she maintains, as well as a YouTube channel, two podcasts, and is active on social media. Oh, yeah, and she's a full time teacher! She is the virtual queen of virtually everything for the classroom, talking about everything from technology to stress management.

Vicki's philosophy to "innovate like a turtle." What that means is she makes sure to do a little bit every day (or at least every other day) in order to keep propelling herself forward.



If you are looking to sharpen your sword, build in more classroom teaching techniques (especially of the #edtech variety), and "innovate like a turtle," here are some amazing resources of Vicki Davis' to dive into:
To learn more about Vicki Davis, click here to read her bio.


Images from http://www.coolcatteacher.com/; quote slide from https://twitter.com/emergingedtech/status/768820278990430208

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bill Nye is Coming Back to a Netflix Near You!

Bill Nye & Netflix are just about to become the newest, modern day Reese's Peanut Butter Cup: 2 great tastes that taste great together.

And what a better day for it to happen but Earth Day Eve:  April 21, 2017

Fondly known as "Bill Nye the Science Guy" from his kid-friendly, fact-based science shows of the '90s, Bill Nye is someone people have looked to through the ages on knowing "what's what" when it comes to scientific information.  His new show, "Bill Nye Saves the World" is going to be more talk show with other science experts than his shows from the past. 13 episodes are set to go for debunking science deniers--whether that's climate change or countering everyday "alternative facts" that are popping up as science data from the White House website, as well as EPA & USDA data is getting buried in the new presidential administration.

Netflix & Nye are quoted as saying: “Each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.”

Yet given all of that, the show was in the creative works prior to the final 2016 election, and plans to be more factual than political... it just so happens that 2017 happens to be the year of "alternative facts" and "fake news."  Here are two videos giving you sneak peaks into the new Netflix world of Bill Nye--one more informative while the other is a true trailer.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My "Model Health Show" Hits DC!

One of my favorite
Scratch that and try again:

My ABSOLUTE favorite podcast out there is The Model Health Show. Shawn Stevenson (author of Sleep Smarter) & his partner in crime and production, Jade Harrell are a complete dynamic duo. It is the perfect match of science, health, humor, and good information for good living. If you don't know it, get there and get there quick, as you'll be wondering what took you so long.

Imagine my delight when I heard they were going to be in DC on Martin Luther King Day, taping a live episode. Oh, no doubt about it. I was sooo gonna be there.

That episode of the podcast (#204) aired this past week.  It was great to relive it on my car radio this week, after being in awe and being there at one of DC's Busboys & Poets cafe & bookshops, a month ago. Insert warm fuzzies here!

I think for me, too, the fact that my visit was on Martin Luther King Day (also known as the "National Day of Service"), during Obama's last few days as President. Additionally, it followed a morning spent with my daughter at our church, helping to set up for the week-long Winter Relief shelter for 30 homeless guests)--in a venue that shouted "peace" and heroic leaders. It was a powerful experience and a heartfelt day all the way around. It was really good to center my brain space in that way, on that day, and here again this past week.

I typically listen by way of podcast, but it's a special treat for me to be able to relive that powerful space and place here, with the video version:


pictures from my camera, poster created using my pics at canva.com, and video from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2eBWGPtDQU

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Design Process & 3D Printing & Tinkercad....Oh My!

It. Is Hard!

And I have to teach this stuff!!

Playing around in Tinkercad, working on designing my first item for the 3D printer.... Playing is serious business!

The same can be said about swirling around the design process.

I am finding that I am really hitting the wall with my spatially-inept self. This is not one of my innate talents! My 9th grader and my 5th grader were totally running laps around me as I was showing them my Tinkercad-antics. Simultaneously, they were teaching me.

I think it's the same thing that makes me feel seasick when I watch them play & build & navigate Minecraft. I don't have "that" vision.  I was always the Algebra Gal, not the Geometry Girl. It's playing out here and now as I'm trying to take shapes and turn into real pictures.

I feel topsy, turvy, and all over.  Especially when I flip it around, feeling upside down, trying to get my shapes to all land on the same plane.

Yet, eventually--remarkably--they did! Right there in the middle of feeling like a complete failure at this technology, All of a sudden, my own personal lightbulb went on.  I'm doing it! I feel kind of like a rock star (while simultaneously about ready to pull out my hair!!)

There's merit in learning new skills and doing, making, tinkering, & innovating. 

The challenge and frustration is part of the process. The glee of tackling a challenge is just right on the other side.

From here, I have a few weeks to practice and wrap my head around designing in 3D in order to get it under my belt enough to teach 2nd and 3rd graders. I can do this. Yes! I can do this, and it feels pretty good! Not to mention... it builds my awareness of how challenging it can be to learn new tasks. That lesson of empathy might be the most important thing to learn yet--for teachers and, well, just plain everyone!

Tinkercad logo from https://twitter.com/tinkercad; "EcoLeader" image from my creation on Tinkercad.com; Design Process poster from PBS's Design Squad  http://mpt.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/adptech12.sci.engin.design.dsposter/the-design-process-poster/

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

10 Timely TED Talks to Insire You About Nature

Over the last couple years, I've become a mega-fan of podcasts. They are the perfect thing to listen to in the car, on the move, while doing never-ending laundry.

But in my pursuit of podcasts, I've lost sight of another true love:  TED Talks.

As a person who likes to soak up information like a sponge--sometimes there's just not enough hours in the day for all!

These 10 TED Talks speak to me on the beauty and glory of nature.

In this era of change for the EPA with Scott Pruitt's confirmation as Head within the Trump Administration, these 10 talks remind you of the importance, magic, promise, and meaning of nature. As Thomas Peschak said in his talk , "You can't love something and become a champion for it if you don't know it exists."

Watch (in any order), and embrace the awe of what exists, and then go forth and be a champion for nature and our planet:
  1. Emma Marris: Nature Is Everywhere, We Just Need to Learn To
  2. Franx Lanting: Photos That Give Voice to the Animal Kingdom
  3. Deepika Kurup: A Young Scientist's Quest for Clean Water
  4. Suzanne Simard: How Trees Talk to Each Other
  5. Elora Hardy: Magical Houses Made of Bamboo
  6. Zaria Forman: Drawings That Show the Beauty and Fragility of Earth
  7. Thomas Peschak: Dive Into An Ocean Photographer's World
  8. Francesco Sauro: Deep Under the Earth's Surphace, Discovering Beauty & Science
  9. Mac Stone: Stunning Photos of the Endangered Everglades
  10. Stephen Ritz: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx
PS... These are just a small handful from TED.  Be sure to go and search for your own meaning there!


TED Talks logo from http://www.dfiles.me/ted-talks-logo-png.html; David Suzuki quote from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/8e/84/cd/8e84cdc7cc2ea9082b3ed86663845ea9.jpg

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tiffany Diamonds Aren't Just for Valentine's Day


Tiffany & Co.'s diamond's aren't just for Valentine's Day.  You could possibly argue they are for Earth Day as well! Or maybe just plain every day, in an eco sort of way!

"Transparency" is a very common word these days in the news.

Tiffany & Co. take transparentcy to a new level as it relates to sustainability.... and "a girl's best friend." (They say "diamonds" are that best friend--well at least Marilyn Monroe and Carol Channing have been known to say that!)

Tiffany & Co., a company that relies on mining to obtain their product, has strong feelings on both sustainability, responsible practices, and the environment. These two videos add a new layer of sparkle to an already-shiny name that is synonymous with jewelry. Perhaps these are why they are leading their industry.

You can learn more about their dedication toward mining responsibility on their very detailed Sustainability portal on their website. In it, they include their plans for a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions future, a Social Accountability program, energy efficiency, commitment to reducing their environmental footprint and more!





videos from https://www.facebook.com/GOODHQ/videos/10154470492003068/?permPage=1 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L02eRwfupc; Images from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds_Are_a_Girl's_Best_Friend and http://www.tiffany.com/sustainability#p+1-n+1000-c+-s+-r+-t+-ni+1-x+-pu+-f+-lr+-hr+-ri+-mi+-pp+