Saturday, April 28, 2018

Revisiting "Drawdown" and Solar & Wind Power

In revisiting Drawdown's Top 10 list I recently wrote about as ways to reduce Earth's greenhouse gases, I was certainly struck by the prevalence of alternative energy. # 2, #8, #10: wind turbines, solar farms, and rooftop solar. With Earth Day just behind us, these alternative energies have been heavy on my mind this month (as is evident from my latest posts).

I ran across this video (below) which I feel is the heart of Earth Day... and where our planet should be environmentally. I try really hard not to get enmeshed in the politics of the season beyond environmentalism here at GTG, but at times it's hard. Not to mention frustrating and aggravating. I hate seeing the climate deniers at the helm and the budgetary cuts they bring about on behalf of our planet.

I feel like this video from The Years Project encapsulates what we in America are at risk of doing--falling behind the global innovators who are trying to solve the non-partisan environmental (& economic) issues we all face daily. I'm sad to see that we as a country are not addressing (or even, at times, believing in) these issues. Luckily there are others around who are.

May we always be inspired to do better, and make the world a better place!

Clip art from; Video from

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Why Just Settle for Earth Day: Make it an EdTech Earth Week

I have a long history of "Earth Day" being more like "Earth Week." That is what happens when you teach at a very green "Maryland 'Green' School" for 7 years... then move to another school & put yourself on the committee that's committed to getting it certified as "green" school too.

(You can check out that history and get your GTG "Earth Day" history up to date by scrolling through here.)

With Earth Day falling on a Sunday this year, I vote we make this week ahead Earth Week too. (Would that be "Earth Week II?")

For some of us, that means we get to piggy back one week with another week on top! 2 weeks celebrating, honoring, and protecting the Earth! One-twenty-sixth of a year! I love it! I'll take it. It also goes to show you that it can and SHOULD be more than a day!

Here is a slew of educational technology activities that tie nicely to Earth Day. May these be a lovely way to extend and continue that celebration and protection of Mother Earth! Plus, it's through taking action and working to make a difference that we all feel like we are indeed doing something. This is what it will take to shift the pendulum to where we feel like we are standing up for what is important for us, taking advantage of innovative trends, and moving forward to where we all should be!

  • ARMAP Arctic Map
      • Use ARMAP to see the "Who, What, Where, and When of U.S. Arctic Science."

Closing with 2 #edtech #eco shares from my school this last week...from some of our youngest to our oldest at our Lower School, as shared via our Seesaw Digital Portfolio:

  • A Kindergartner's view of how we can be "helping hands" to the Earth:

Images from, and student digital creation this Earth Day 2018.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day 2018

The Google Doodle this weekend is just the perfect representation for Earth Day! Jane Goodall certainly is synonymous with protecting and taking care of our planet!

Have a glorious Earth Day. Do something outside today!

Video from; Image from

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Earth Day 2018: How Are You Honoring The Earth This Weekend?

This weekend commemorates Earth Day 2018, with the official day tomorrow, Sunday.  No doubt, the weekend will be ripe in your community (and globally) with green fairs, eco festivals, environmental events, and more.

At the very least, it should be!

I think the best way to do honor the Earth this weekend is to focus on the question: What impact will you make?

Often we stop ourselves, wondering what in the world can one person do? Time and time again, we have visually seen those answers. Political activism is one of those times--just look how many people stood up, stepped out, took part in that march, voted, or made their voices heard.

What will you do today, or this weekend, for Earth Day? 

Here are some suggestions if you need them:

  • Get some Vitamin N: Nature! Spend time outdoors, perhaps picking up trash along the way.
  • Say no to straws or order some stainless steel ones.
  • Grab coffee in a reusable cup versus a throwaway. The same goes for water!
  • Bike or walk instead of driving where you need to go.
  • Take your reusable bags to the grocery store so you don't have to waste time or energy on single use plastic bags.
  • Think twice before wasting water, whether brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
  • Repurpose or reuse containers before throwing them out.
  • Donate some time to help someone else out: at a homeless shelter, making sandwiches, helping a neighbor with their lawn, etc.
  • Flip those lights off, and open those windows to get some fresh air.
  • Visit a park, a wildlife center, or go for a hike.
  • Unplug. Step away from those screens.
  • Plant some flowers, some trees, or a garden.
  • Pass up the plastic bottles.
  • Make a salad and forego the fast food, eating clean instead.
  • Install a rain barrel.
  • Spread the word on social media that it's Earth Day, sharing eco ideas along the way.
  • Go vegetarian for the day, or go "Meatless Monday" for the next few weeks.
  • Visit a farmer's market.
  • Refuse, reduce, reuse, then recycle. In that order.

Or simply share below some other ideas to keep the ripples of ideas moving forward.

Earth Day image created at; Dalai Lama quote/picture from

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Drawdown's Top 10 To Drop Down Greenhouse Gases

I've recently been reading the book "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming," edited by Paul Hawken. The book details Project Drawdown and it's ambitious plan to bring together 200+ scientists and researchers around the globe to analyze and rank 100 solutions to reverse the effects of climate change and global warming. Additionally, with the efforts to do this by 2050. In the book they detail what each option would look like by ranking based on the number of gigatons reduces of carbon dioxide, the economic net cost, and the economic net savings.

The term "drawdown" (as stated in the book & their website) "is that point in time at which greenhouse gases peak and begin to decline on a year-to-year basis"(page x in the Forward). They have broken their solutions into the following categories: Energy, Food, Women and Girls, Buildings & Cities, Land Use, Transport, and Materials... and they also share 20 "Coming Attractions" of innovative ideas on the horizon that have environmental potential.

The top 10 alone are fascinating, and speak once again to the fact that innovation is the key to solving our environmental issues:
  1. Refrigeration Management (HFC's & previous ozone depleters)
  2. Wind Turbines (Onshore)
  3. Reduced Food Waste
  4. Plant Rich Diet
  5. Tropical Forest Restoration & Recovery
  6. Educating Girls
  7. Family Planning
  8. Solar Farms
  9. Silvopasture (cattle in treed, not cleared, pastures)
  10. Rooftop Solar
Here's a video of Paul Hawken discussing Project Drawdown with Bill Maher. (It is Bill Maher, so this is mostly PG-13, except for about 6:30 and 7:50 in. Therefore, the information here is more for the adults in the room.)

To learn more about Project Drawdown, check out their website, especially their Frequently Asked Questions page. Also online (or in the book), you can see the entire listing by rank.

Video from; book cover from; graph from Drawdown's Facebook page:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Solar Panel Sightings & Classroom Resources

One of my daily rituals on the way to driving to school is to check out the several houses en route that  have solar panels. They change seasonally, even daily:
  • Blankets of snow on them in the winter;
  • The sliding, gliding snow melt as the sun above warms them;
  • Dew on early morning;
  • Reflecting the sun, reflecting the clouds.
We've watched as more have appeared on our route over the years. My son points them out. We even got to witness the overnight appearance on one house as they were adding more. These silent storehouses of energy strike me as soldiers, attentive, standing firm, doing their job.

I must say, I'm proud of them. They are a stunningly gorgeous, a symbol of innovation. It is the countries that lead in alternative energy such as sun and wind that will succeed in making our planet ready to face the future!

Below are some kid-friendly facts and lessons plans/activities for parents & teachers alike:

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

#Plogging: For Both You & Your Planet!

A new fitness trend is sweeping the nation (though one might argue it's not as new as the notoriety it's been getting). "Plogging" is the latest rage, a trend that originated in Sweden.  What is plogging, you ask?

Plocka upp (Swedish for "picking up trash") + Jogging = Plogging

The premise behind plogging (or "trash running") is simple: grab your running shoes & a trash bag (and maybe even a pair of gloves) to help both you and your health, and that of the planet!

Though the rage this season in media, it actually tracks back to 2016 via social media. But it's gained new momentum in the news and the U.S. nonprofit organization with February's "Keep America Beautiful" campaign.

As with much of everything, there's an app for that. The Lifesum Interantional Health app allows you to track plogging to raise awareness of the amount of plastic pollution that is out there.

Plogging also has additional health benefits as it incorporates squats in the "picking up" portion of your exercise regime. By building in those squats, you are able to burn more calories according to some sources (235 calories an hour, versus 288 cal/hr. from jogging alone). Plus it increases your balance and flexibility. Additionally, the extra weight of your growing bag of trash helps build up those arm muscles too!

To really learn more, go on Twitter and just search up #plogging. You'll find a slew of real life examples of people out there helping the pollution problem of our planet!

I personally know my knees would never be able to handle it.  I might have to take up #Plalking instead! ;-)  Sounds like a great thing to do this month of Earth Day!

Banner created at;  video from; image from

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Earth Day 2018: Teaching Activities & Lesson Plans

As a Part 2 of my Earth Day 2018 Series...

Here's a baker's dozen of links (in absolutely no order) that takes you beyond Earth Day Network. These will connect you to a multitude of resources out there to inspire you for planning your Earth Day classroom (or even home) activities.

The best part... these aren't just limited to Earth Day. It makes for a grand excuse to make everyday Earth Day!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Earth Day 2018: History & The Network

April 22nd, 1970 was a day that will live in history.  That marked the very first Earth Day, nearly 5 decades ago. This video gives a great overview on Earth Day and how it all began.

The Earth Day Network is your go-to place to learn all about it.  "End Plastic Pollution" is the theme
for this year. There's a bounty of educational resources here:

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Earth Day Series: Teaching Resources!

Video found on, originally on; logo from