Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garbage, Garbage, Garbage, Garbage... GARBAGE

When Linda Richards was here last week at Eagle Cove School's Bay Week Concert, she sang one of her usuals, and one of my perinnial favorites that she sings each year:  "Garbage, Garbage, Garbage."
Below, the song is performed with a little help from the perfect helper:  Oscar the Grouch.  

Interestingly in the video, it is during the Clearwater Concert to celebrate Pete Seeger's 90th birthday.  Pete Seeger adapted the 1969 Bill Steele version of the song by adding the 4th verse.  In a "1 degree of separation," Linda Richards has spent many years in the past as Pete Seeger's Chief On-Board-Educator on his "sloop" The Clearwater, a sailing vessel he co-founded in 1969 to use as a way to educate about the pollution in New York's Hudson River.

Definitely gets you thinking about the perils of over-pollution and garbage, garbage, garbage, GARBAGE!

Garbage Lyrics ~ Pete Seeger

Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak and baked potato
Then he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eats the skins;
The busboy comes and takes it, with a cough contaminates it
And puts it in a can with coffee grinds and sardine tins;
The truck comes by on Friday and carts it all away;
And a thousand trucks just like it are converging on the Bay, oh,

Garbage (garbage, garbage, garbage) Garbage!
We're filling up the sea with garbage (garbage...)
What will we do when there's no place left
To put all the garbage? (garbage...)

Mr. Thompson starts his Cadillac and winds it down the freeway track
Leaving friends and neighbors in a hydro-carbon haze;
He's joined by lots of smaller cars all sending gases to the stars.
There they form a seething cloud that hangs for thirty days.
And the sun licks down into it with an ultraviolet tongue.
Till it turns to smog and settles down and ends up in our lungs, oh,

Garbage (garbage...) Garbage!
We're filling up the sky with garbage (garbage...)
What will we do
When there's nothing left to breathe but garbage (garbage...)

Getting home and taking off his shoes he settles down with the evening news,
While the kids do homework with the TV in one ear
While Superman for the thousandth time sells talking dolls and conquers crime
Dutifully they learn the date of birth of Paul Revere.
In the paper there's a piece about the mayor's middle name,
And he gets it done in time to watch the all-star bingo game, oh,

Garbage (garbage...)
We're filling up our minds with garbage
Garbage (garbage...)
What will we do when there's nothing left to read
And there's nothing left to need
And there's nothing left to watch
And there's nothing left to touch
And there's nothing left to walk upon
And there's nothing left to talk upon
Nothing left to see
And there's nothing left to be but
Garbage (garbage...)

In Mister Thompson's factory, they're making plastic Christmas trees
Complete with silver tinsel and a geodesic stand
The plastic's mixed in giant vats from some conglomeration
That's been piped from deep within the earth or strip-mined from the land.
And if you question anything, they say, "Why, don't you see?
It's absolutely needed for the economy," oh,

Oh, Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!
There stocks and their bonds -- all garbage!
Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!
What will they do when their system goes to smash
There's no value to their cash
There's no money to be made
But there's a world to be repaid
Their kids will read in history books
About financiers and other crooks
And feudalism, and slavery
And nukes and all their knavery
To history's dustbin they're consigned
Along with many other kinds of garbage.
Garbage! Garbage! Garbage! Garbage!

From Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Concert (Clearwater Concert), Madison Square Garden, 5/3/09. Featuring: Tom Chapin, Michael Mask, & Oscar the Grouch.

Linda Richard pic from my camera when she was here last week during our Bay Week Concert

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cheers to MD Park Quest 2011!

Much like horses out of the starting gates, I knew about 5 folks (myself included) who were poised and ready this morning, waiting for the proverbial bell to ring. 

Stalking the computer, hitting refresh, ready to go when the moment is right.

On your mark....Get set....Park Quest!

Last year, "Team Dabrowka's" Park Quest antics were shared here, and shared often.  This year, under the new and creatively-improved name "Team Green Gators," more sharing shall continue.

"Park Quest," you ponder, "what is this?" 
Brainchild of Maryland's Department of Natural Resources and a growing MD phenomenon since 2008, Park Quest invites families to come together to come outside and play in their state parks.  Combining the philosophy of Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder with the No Child Left Inside Coalition, Maryland challenges all with "Park Quest:  Where A Family Becomes a Team."  Challenges, outdoor adventures, letterboxing, geocaching, history hikes, biking, canoeing, and more all make up the fun called Maryland Park Quest.  From Mother's Day to the finale in September, summer fun awaits...and for free--but only if you're registered!

So, to be fair, there has to be a uniform start to registration because only 1000 spots (up from last year's 750) are open.  This morning, April 25th, around 9 am, the bell rang and the gates opened up.

On your mark....Get set....Park Quest!

[Woo hoo...We were the triumphant Team #330!]

Clearly, more than just my 5 friends were ready and raring with their teams.  The Park Quest Facebook page had equally-ready stalkers and victorious announcements all day long about team names and the number they ranked on the sign up!  By 9:40 pm sign up day (aka, as I write), latest Facebook ranking placed teams up to #896.  Not too shabby for a 12-hour stint.  My guess, if we were to place bets, team #1000 will happen prior to midnight, perhaps with a few beads of sweat on their brow.  My #330 feels like a pretty comfy spot! 

So, mid-May, let the games begin, and the Park Quest stories to follow!  Hats off to Maryland State Parks and another year of fun ahead!

To learn more about Park Quest, check out

PQ Image from
Horses at gate image from
MD 330 from

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter...and Counting

My daughter likes to count the dogs she sees. One time when we were out and about, we got to a record sixteen.

This morning as I em"bark"ed on a 5-mile walk (training for my Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer this fall), I decided to follow in my daughter's footsteps.  I counted.  In the shadow of this past week's Earth Day, I decided to count the number of pieces of trash I saw on the way. After a mere 5 minutes, I was well over counting 100 pieces. 

Hmmm, given my walking pace is decent but not "Speed Racer's," I decided it'd be a pretty depressing walk if I continued this way. Especially on a gloriously beautiful Easter morning. Especially as I was walking without a bag and the ability to do anything about it.

So instead I decided to admire and be in awe at the scenery.  Gaze at the cherry blossoms.  The daffodils. The dogwood.  The violets.  The scampering squirrels.  The darting, singing birds.  The vernal pools.  The sights.  It was an amazing spring morning (one of the nicest so far), and it should be celebrated.  Not the morning to wallow in negativity.

It reminded me of the Edward Abbey quote to go out and enjoy what you work so hard for:
It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space."
"Hoppy" Easter...Happy Spring...Happy Earth Day Week.

It was the exact kind of thing, of course, that makes you think a little bit about Easter and the beauty of spring. THAT is something to count on...that, and perhaps plans for a neighborhood clean up later on.

Image from

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Very Full Earth Day-Bay Week

When you start the week with children's author Jennifer Keats Curtis coming to visit and inspire us to write, then on Day #2 having a double showing of an original "green" theatrical treat of an eco-remake of "The Wizard of Oz," you kind of wonder where on Earth you can go during Bay Week as you progress to Earth Day.  

Well, let me tell you, there was no disappointment anywhere.  At Eagle Cove School, we were the eagles that just kept soaring!!

This week, we wrote letters to the director of Anne Arundel County Recycling as well as our county executive about why it was important to modify our recycling bins so as not to let a windy day pollute our bay.  We wrote Earth Day Haikus (which is trickier than it sounds) for the Earth Day Haiku Contest (co-sponsored by PlanetPals, The Haiku Society of America; With Words; and Sketchbook Haiku Journal), we've been reading Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French as our read aloud, we studied "rivers" in social studies and talked about the many ways rivers can be polluted.  

And then, the week, really rocked!  Quite literally!!
A major part of our Bay Week the last 4 years has involved a special visit from Linda Richards ( Trekking down from NY state, Linda is a singer-songwriter-mega environmentalist extraordinaire.  Musically, she's amazing, but the truly fun part is that she gets each classroom together and inspires them to write "eco" parodies of familiar tunes and turns them into performers after a short half hour.  

So Wednesday, she had a whirlwind of a day, hitting up all 7 of our PreK to 5th grade classrooms, putting everyone into creation-mode.  Then Thursday, the Bay Week Concert occurred where, for an hour and half, we were in an environmental musical mecca!!  Singing old favorites from past years when she's been to visit (my personal favorite = "Garbage, Garbage, Garbage, GARBAGE") ... to sharing the newly ECS-created tunes.  Truly, I may have to digress later in another blog entry about the great, showstopping tunes she shared!!
But WAIT!  There's More!!

Given a winter of over-used snow days, we had to attend school today (Good Friday) for a half day.  However, when this day is also Earth Day, we knew how to soften the blow!  In honor of March 22nd's World Water Day, we broke our student population into 3 groups:  PreK/Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd, and 3rd--5th.  We led each group on a one-mile "Water Walk" with 5 buckets that as a total held 2 gallons of water.  Our mission:  to walk approximately that 3.7 mile journey that over 1 billion people world wide walk daily in search of clean drinking water.  Using teamwork and just plain determination, the youngest of our clients felt it the most, revealing that it was much harder than they originally thought.  
I had the perspective of seeing it all as I walked all 3+ miles, and even a fourth grader commented that although it wasn't really heavy, the pressure of the weight really wore on your arm.  There's no way to see someone else's life until you walk a mile in their shoes, and we did just that!!  We managed our mission with only a few drops lost; but even more, we worked as a community to get things done, gaining empathy as we went.  While the water walkers walked, the other 2 groups took part in community-building group games with our science teacher, Tim Decker, and Linda Richards.  True, little "book learnin'" took place during that hour and a half or so, but the life lessons were rich and community-building/awareness skills-learning were endless!

Disneynature: Oceans (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
After our water victory, we united as a group in the auditorium to watch the Disneynature: Oceans.  Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, the movie has a very "David Attenborough" feel. In watching it, you get a sense of the vastness of the ocean!  The imagery is amazing...from diving dolphins to amazing octopus to soaring seabirds at a sardine smorgasbord!  It truly is amazingly mind-boggling the number of fish in a school!  Secondarily amazing was the sight of a gym/auditorium filled with 4 to 10  year olds in theatre darkness, completely glued to this nature movie, rooting for the baby sea turtles as they were making their way to the water while trying to escape the looming seabirds!!

All in all, our Earth Day/Bay Week at Eagle Cove School, the Maryland "Green" School I call home, was a grand success.  Once again, we managed to top the previous year!  For a time, you wonder if you'll be able to top it next year--at this point, I know we will!  

Happy Earth Day!

Images from:
Earth Day:; Earth Day Eagle:; Earth Stamp:; Oceans:; All other pics from my camera!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Wizard of Oz ~ Earth Day Style

We all know about Dorothy's "ruby reds"....well, today they were a "glittering emerald green" at Eagle Cove School! PreK'ers through 5th graders did two performances of the classic "The Wizard of Oz," but with a green, eco- minded tilt.

This "green" version was written by our science teacher, Tim Decker, with the music and choreography created by music teacher, Colleen Vernon.  Students have been working for weeks after auditions and giving up their recess to rehearse the scenes, learn the music, and design the props/ stage designs to be ready in time to perform it during our annual Bay Week.  So today, Dorothy donned those "emerald greens" twice--once this afternoon, and then again tonight for a nighttime show for our school community.

The Green Version of Oz takes us to Dorothy's "post-party" life where she gets one more gizmo she can plug-in in her over-plugged life.  True to story (but minus the black-and-white to technicolor transformation), Dorothy finds herself empty-handed, without all of her STUFF, in the odd land of Oz.  While there, she sees PreK and Kindergarten "Greenkins" bobbing around, cleaning up and "greening" up the very pristine and natural world of Oz by recycling. 

There, Dorothy meets the Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy proclaims in astonishment, "How do you LIVE without TV???"  The Wizard sends Dorothy on her way to "follow her nose" (rather than the "yellow brick road") to take on a quest to retrieve some items to get herback home.

Dorothy nose takes her to an area that smells a little smokey and overheated, where she meets the very illuminated "Wizard of Watts," who has on lights galore.  Dorothy herself becomes illuminated by discovering the way to cut energy starts at the light switch, and she switches the Wizard of Watts out.

She then follows her nose to an odiferous place--a junk of a junkheap where she meets "The Wicked Witch of Waste" [WWo'W].  As the WWo'W waves her arms over her glorious dump, cackling, "It's mine, all mine!  My land grows every day," Dorothy finds the key to correct this situation lies in a recycle bin.  It is there that the Wicked Witch of Waste cackles, "I'm shriiiiiiiiinking!"

As the chorus of Munchkins chime their tune, "It's a Beautiful Day," Dorothy is given the AOK from the Wizard to head back to the heartland.   In order to do so, she must click her heels 3 times, saying "Reduce, reuse, recycle....reduce, reuse, recycle....reduce, reuse, recycle.One of Dorothy's final lines in Oz before returning to her house is:

"The Earth is our home and if we keep treating it badly, it won't be a good place to live...There's no place like home....there's no place like home....There's no place like home."
As Dorothy awakes, she has a new view on life, and adopts a new "green" attitude.  A great performance...and a great reminder this week of Earth Day!!  Hats off to the Decker/Vernon team, and all Eagle Cove School students who stole the show!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Day 2K11: Let Bay Week Begin!

 Anyone who has followed this blog over the long term knows that the week of Earth Day is a big deal at the school where I teach.

"Bay Week" is a time honored tradition here at Eagle Cove School as a way of celebrating and commemorating not only our Earth, but even closer to home:  the Chesapeake Bay.

Just as in years past, we've got a pretty progressive Bay Week Schedule here at our li'l "green" school.  And it doesn't matter that it is a mere Monday, we jump right in!

Today, author Jennifer Keats Curtis, author of Multiple children's books, joined us at ECS.  She started her morning with the PreK & Kindergarten students by sharing her latest book Saving Squeak The Otter Tale.  In the book, Squeak is a lonely, lost otter that gets found in the park by a li'l fellow named Braden.  Braden connects Squeak with a wildlife rehabilitator who eventually hooks Squeak up with a new otter Buddy, Bubbles, at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomon's Island, Maryland.  Oohs and Ahhhs over the darling illustrations by Marcy Dunn Ramsey filled my class of 3rd graders as I read the book this morning!  I'm sure it was the same for the PreK'ers and Kindergarteners!
Saving Squeak The Otter Tale1st and 2nd graders then descended upon Jennifer Keats Curtis, where they talked about 2 conflicting animals in the Bay:  crabs and terrapins.  The 1st graders traditionally have raised terrapins here at ECS, and they release their duo out into the bay near Poplar Island, MD in the spring.  Well, an unfortunate piece of trivia was revealed this visit:  Terrapins are going into crab traps for food, getting trapped, then drowning.  So, as a group, first and 2nd graders compiled a cumulative letter about how crab traps (and crabbers) needed to enlist the help of "BYRDS:"  By-catch Reduction Devices that allow the crabs in, but keep the terrapins out.

3rd, 4th, and 5th graders visited not only with Jennifer Keats Curtis, but also with KABMan (Keep America Beautiful Man).  A tad on the snarky side, KAB Man is out to fight the nepharious "Improper Recycling Habits."

After some chuckles at watching KAB Man, we talked about the extensive reach of Anne Arundel County's Single Stream Recycling, but how that isn't a perfect system.  Our bins our heavy and without lids, which create issues, especially at our school where the Magothy River is basically at our doorstep.  Recyclable waste blows into the waterways, and animals and ocean are polluted with plastics. In fact, a statistic that Jennifer Keats Curtis shared:  1/2 of the big litter results from packaging;  51 BILLION pieces of litter on the US Roadways come from packaging!!  Additionally, 91% of packaging is from the "little stuff of trash."  This stat comes from the National Visible Litter Survey.  Armed with that info, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders used that ammo to address the Director of Public Works and the County Counsel Executive in persuasive letters.  There's no surprise that impassioned letters followed!!
This is Monday!  No"bay grasses" are growing under our ECS feet!  Amazing things are happening, letters are being written, activists are being formed.  Not too shabby for a Monday afternoon.  Who knows what the rest of Bay Week holds!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Earth Day 2K11 Is On Its Way: Baltimore Style

~  PART 2 ~ EVENT #2 ~

With the news of Washington, DC's "EPA Earth Day on the National Mall" (this weekend, April 16 & 17) space was running short, so here we are at "Part Deux" to fill you in on another great area event.

Maryland Science Center's Earth Day Event
Saturday, April 23, 2011 
Noon – 4:00 pm
601 Light Street , Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

From DC, it's only a short trek up I-95 to get to Baltimore, Maryland, which is where you're going to want to go next weekend to continue your Earth Day 2011 outings & adventures. You'll want to check out The Maryland Science Center.

Grab the family for a fun afternoon full of hands-on activities that inspire your inner scientist & environmentalist! Extra Earth Day bonuses next Saturday with your regular admission price include some of these great opportunities:

♻ Harness the awesome power of renewable energy as they send solar bags aloft over the Inner Harbor

♻ Take an urban safari through the Science Center’s green roof to learn its environmental benefits

♻ Test their sorting savvy, and separate the paper, glass & plastic in recycling races

♻ Perform chemistry experiments and expand their eco-knowledge with green gurus from local colleges and universities

♻ Get the inside dirt on seeds and salad boxes from the Maryland Master Gardeners

To get the "411" on all this & more, check out or call the 24-Hour Information Line at 410-685-5225. Sounds like a dandy of a day ahead, and something to definitely mark on your calendars!

Special thanks to Rachel Fauber and Dan Wiznitzer from Himmelrich PR for sharing this information with me!!

Images from and

Earth Day 2K11 is On Its Way: DC Style

With less than a week to go, Earth Day 2011 is certainly on it's way. Given that, there's tons of fun going on all over the place to celebrate and commemorate our planet and all we can do to help it stay strong!!

2 Major events going on in my neck of the woods are this weekend's Washington, DC "EPA Earth Day on the National Mall" (April 16 & 17) and Baltimore's Maryland Science Center's Earth Day Celebration next Saturday (April 23rd) from 12-4 pm.

Event #1:  Washington, DC
"EPA Earth Day on the National Mall"
(This Weekend:  April 16 & 17)
National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets
Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-3pm

DC knows how to "rock the house" when it comes to Earth Day, and has been known for holding some of the largest nation-wide ED events.  Given the government is right there, it's a grand place to root for climate & clean energy legislation.  Last year, more than 50 organizations (from non-profits to govt to business) all participated.  Other big cities like NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, LA, San Fran, Seattle and more have been known to host similar free eco-events.

This year, 40+ exhibits on all things "green" and eco will be out on the National Mall (that open, green area between the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument).  Here's a highlight of the detailed events this year, directly from
National Sustainable Design Expo where students, green businesses, and others will demonstrate what they are doing to protect the planet.

"Earth Tales," co-sponsored with The Library ofCongress, features environmentally-themed story time, read by VIPs hourly. Saturday 11-4:
     11am: EPA Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas
     12pm: Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
     1 pm: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson
     2 pm: San Diego Chargers Marcus McNeill
     3 pm: Minnesota Vikings Madieu Williams
     4 pm: Olympic track star Michael Walton

"Bash the Trash" invites kids to build musical instruments from reusablees & recyclables--things that might ultimately be trashed.  “Earth Symphony” with new instruments to follow! Sunday 10-3.

On Sunday, Earth Natural Force kid rappers will perform at 12:15 and 1:45.

"Eco Art" (co-hosted by the Capital Hill Arts Workshop) is where kids can paint an Earth Day pic on a post card, and mail it right there thanks to the postal service, while they simultaneous launch their new “Go Green” stamp launch. Both days.

There will also be eco-videos in the EPA theater tent as well as the 

Cheers to DC for this annual event and here's hoping the weather cooperates!

Stay tuned for Part 2:  "Earth Day 2K11 Is On Its Way: Baltimore Style!" 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Park Quest Season Is Around the Corner!

Last summer, I wrote a lot about Park Quest.

What's Park Quest, you ask?  It's Maryland Dept. of Natural Resource's Brain Child where they present you with a "passport" that includes 24 state parks, each of which has a challenge for family teams to tackle.  What a great way to get families out into the great outdoors. To learn more, you can go to the MD DNR website here:  To find out more about some of our team's antics last summer, you can click the "Park Quest" label below!

But, to get a great synopsis of one team's adventures, you will definitely want to go to Maryland's "Bay Weekly" link here to read about Team Bay Boughey's Park Quest perks:  Here, Heather Boughey gives you a quick run down on what it takes to form a Park Quest Team, and some insights from their outings.  She'll also give you the quick commercial on how it lasts all summer--May 7th to Sept. 5th, with sign up being April 25th.  She also gives away the good stuff some of us Quest-ers fear--with only space for 1000 families, you need to be quick to register as the spots fill up fast!  

So definitely check it out because it's family fun and the stuff that memories are made of... but be sure to leave a spot for me!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Day Haiku 4 U

Earth Day is nearing,
To us it is appearing'
Let's celebrate now!

Interesting possibilities for your weekly composition, here at the cusp of Earth Day.

Go to to find the ins and the outs of the 2011 Kids Count for Earthday Haiku Contest.
Enlist the help of some syllable counting as you take on this Japanese-style poem writing!

Starting Date: February 22nd, 2011
Ending Date:
Earth Day-April 22nd, 2011

Open to:  Students 7-20 years old.
Other FYI:Winners will be announced by May 22, 2011

The Theme of the Haiku contest:  "What Earthday means to you."

So put your 5-7-5 together to come up with some haikus of your own!!

Image from:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2 Days to Season 2 ~ Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals"LA or Bust"....that could be the tag line for Jamie Oliver's second season of his "Food Revolution," which airs this Tuesday, April 12th at 8 pm EST (7 pm CST).  From Huntington, West Virginia, Jamie ventures forth, trekking to Los Angeles.'s looking like he's got his hands full in this major metropolis.  Unfortunately, the LA Unified School District has not quite rolled out the red carpet for Jamie, so he's fraught with drama, at the "get-go!"
To get a sneak preview, check out this 9 minute short, probably from the premier episode of this year's second season which starts this week (Tuesday!). Then set your DVR or park yourself in front of your television set (Tuesday!) to remind yourself about "obesity in America" and how it is a leading cause to heart disease and health concerns for our countries' children.  Might make you want to think twice about that run through the "drive thru" of your nearest fast food chain.
Image from

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why Reinvent The Wheel à la Earth Day?

Looking at the calendar, thinking about Earth Day (a mere 13 days away), and GTG, it struck me:
Why reinvent the wheel?
Where best to peruse Earth Day ideas but some of my own perennial favorites?

Click here to land on a load of Earth Day ideas here in the last 15 months of GTG history  (or go to

GTG Past Earth Day Highlights include:
  • Mega Resources, via PlanetPals,, the Elmer's Glue Crew, A-to-Z Teacher, and more!
  • Green Team Gazette's from 2010 & 2009
  • Our very favorite superhero "Michael Recycle!"
  • Dr. Seuss' The Lorax: "I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"
Image from

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Illuminations of Illuminations: When Math Meets the Environment

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." ~John Muir
"Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics."  ~Dean Schlicter 
With a dozen or so days until Earth Day, the clever teacher sees the importance of tying the environment to other curricular topics.  Math is a mighty place to start.  The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has a sparkling li'l gem for preK'ers to 12th graders.  It's called "Illuminations." It's a warehouse of activities and lessons for kids and teachers alike.

For a sure-fire math-environment tie-in, check out this 4-lesson eco-math link:

Here, you will find a four-way connect of math and ecological concerns.  Students will get the opportunity to investigate ways to improve their environment as well as analyze data, do some graphing, reasoning, problem solving, and more.

You'll find these lessons, along with inspiration (and illuminations) of ways to connect the real world (and real world ecological issues) with math.
 Seems like a one-way ticket to taking action, with an Earth Day frame of mind!! 
And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use.  And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  "Look at this Godawful mess."  ~Art Buchwald, 1970