Saturday, December 28, 2019

Recycling That Thin Plastic

When the recycling rules continue to change, that's when the buy-in begins to thin out. Even for us die-hard environmentalists.

3+ years ago when we re-did our kitchen, we opted for a big recycle bin in the pull-out cabinetry and a little secondary compost bin behind that because at the time, we had backyard composting. Well, in those three years, we decided that we didn't like backyard critters who had outsmarted our composting system and the recycling rules of our county changed. They used to promote the "when in doubt, throw it out (into your recycle bin)" and they'd take it from there. So we went from recycled a majority of our household waste to having to create space for a trash bin under the sink and to stop putting our recycling in a plastic trash bag.

But, like I said, it all changed. And with that change, the people in my house were all discombobulated when it came to what you can and cannot recycle. The thin plastic has been a perpetual question. Luckily, this video does a nice job of making it all a little more crystal clear. May it help set it all straight in your kitchen too!!

To learn more, check out


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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday season here at GTG. 
May you find peace during your holidays, joy in the twinkling of the lights, 
and magic in they eyes of the children who surround. 
Take time to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors!

Image created at

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Wrapping Up What To Do With That Wrapping Paper

'Tis the season, most certainly indeed! Both Hanukkah & Christmas are next week, and odds are high there are some gifts you are both giving and receiving. With the changes over time with recycling, it can be tricky to know what to do when it comes to gift wrap, bags, and wrapping paper. Given that, I used the information from this NBC News article to create an infographic to help give you the ins and outs of recycling this holiday season!

Infographic created using Canva.com 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: Greta Thunberg

It seems rather fitting that 20 years ago Time Magazine changed their annual designation from "Man of the Year" to "Person of the Year." We've come a long way since 1927 (which went to Charles Lindbergh). Greta Thunberg won this year's recognition as the "person, group, idea, or thing that, for better or worse... has done the most to influence the events of the year." She also is the youngest person ever to achieve this honor. Her dedication for the planet via her activism, speeches, and climate strikes is notable, and she is the first environmentalist to be named as such--with the exception of The Endangered Earth who won 1988's Planet of the Year. Time has two exceptional links about Greta & why she was chosen for Person of the Year.

This year when I was crafting my Christmas Wish List, I discovered that Greta was the inspiration for a number of environmental books for kids of all ages. May this list come in handy if you are looking for any last minute holiday gifts or environmental reads for 2020.

--No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference (Nov. 2019) by Greta Thunberg
Authored by Greta herself.

--Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis (coming out March 10, 2020) by Greta Thunberg, Svante Thunberg, Malena Ernman, and Beata Ernman
The family story of Greta and her parents Svante & Malena, and her sister Beata and how they dealt with Greta's Asperger's syndrome and rising environmental activism.

--Greta Thunberg and Climate Change (Sept. 2019) by Robert Bonaparte
A 42-page book that is heavy on the science of climate change.

--Greta's Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went On Strike To Save The Planet (due out June 2, 2020) by Valentina Camerini
A chapter book for 3rd-7th graders.

--Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet (Sept. 2019) by Jeanette Winter
A picture book for ages Preschool to 3rd graders.

--We Are All Greta: Be Inspired by Greta Thunberg to Save the World (Sept 2019) by Valentina Giannella
From Amazon: "this is a book for young people, for parents, for grandparents and anyone having to answer direct and urgent questions about what must be done to protect our world."

--Greta and the Giants: Inspired by Greta Thunberg's Stand to Save the World (Nov. 2019) by ZoĆ« Tucker
A picture book for ages Preschool to 2nd graders.

--The Greta Thunberg Story: Being Different is a Superpower (Sept. 2019) by Michael Part
A book geared for kids and adults alike.

--The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience (Oct. 2019) by Hillary Rodham Clinton & Chelsea Clinton
This is the only book on the list that I've currently read.. and it's the one on my nightstand that I am still reading. Greta is one of the 8 environmentalists who are in the "Earth Defender" chapter.

May these books and Greta Thunberg's recognition help to continue to bring greater awareness and momentum to the fact that #ClimateChangeIsReal.

Time magazine cover from; All book images from the associated links at

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Checking in About Computer Education Week

Here at the tail end of Code Week (or Computer Education Week) 2019, which is officially Dec 9-15 this year, this video falls in the cateogory of "Must-See TV." Even though it is from 2013, it still feels very current and is a good use of your ten minute viewing!

Take time to pursue some coding... whether it's Computer Education Week or not!

Video from and image from

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Holiday Shopping in the Resale Market

'Tis the season... for holiday shopping. Yet trends in shopping are shifting. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have already passed us by... so if you missed those deals and the big box stores, boutiques, and shopping online isn't doing it for you, maybe you need to check out one of these trending gift destinations, where you're destined to get something one of a kind. What's this new shop in town?  Well, it's really not new. It's the idea of "thrifting," or getting your gifts from thrift stores, consignment or second hand shops, and taking advantage of a circular economy by saving money and saving resources.

Articles such as the November 14th, 2019 Bloomberg's "Used Stuff Is the Next Big Trend in Christmas Shopping" reiterate this concept. The "pre-owned marked" isn't as frowned-upon as it once was. In fact, ThredUp (an online thrift store) has forecasted resale as a booming and growing industry. Projections suggest the resale market could grow to a $51 billion industry by 2023. (There are a lot of great infographics here on ThredUp's 2019 Resale Report, including the screenshots shared here.)

Some big name companies are getting into the game as the resale market shops have been booming:

  • Fashionphile, an online portal for pre-owned purses and accessories, is a Neiman Marcus investment.
  • ThredUp partnered with Macy's Inc. & J.C. Penny Co. this August.
  • RealReal Inc is a high end consignment shop that went public in June to the tune of $300 million.
  • Poshmark has been on the resale rise since its founding last year.
Other shops that might be new to you in this "new-to-you" market:
  • Depop
  • Heroine
  • Thrilling
  • And of course, eBay's been around for awhile. As have Goodwill, Salvation Army, and your local consignment shops.

With all this in mind, clearly people are beginning to shop differently. Might be worth a pursuit or two this year as you are looking for "that perfect gift." Or, some of these platforms might be worth pursuing when you are looking to downsize old sizes or make room for all the new holiday gifts coming your way later this month!

All images from ThredUp's 2019 Resale Report:

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Our Climate Our Future

"Our Climate Our Future" is one of the projects from Alliance for Climate Education [ACE]. After a decade of climate education for our youth, while also creating young activists, ACE proudly has enlightened and educated over 3 million students.

"Our Climate Our Future" is a video series that totals 40 minutes of climate education. It's a combination of teen narrators, animation, and a lot of facts. Here's the trailer.

The 40 minutes are well worth it and you walk away learning a lot. It leaves you empowered. Imagine if our middle and upper school students world wide all watched this and decide to take this on? To watch the video in its entirety (either as an educator, and educated citizen, or as future activists), all you need to do is get on their email list. You can either watch it in total, or by chapter. Chapters include:
  1. Welcome
  2. Living Large
  3. Fossil Fuels & CO2
  4. CO2 & Climate Change
  5. Real World Impacts
  6. Is It Real
  7. The Big Picture
  8. The Solutions
  9. The Movement
  10. Take Action
  11. It's Up To You
There's an interactive piece where you can use your mobile device to text your responses to questions that are tied into the video.

Also at the website, you'll also find Educator Resources such as a discussion guide and a student worksheet of comprehension and vocabulary activities.  Likewise, the Activities pages has a significant list of other classroom activities. There also is a portal where you can get ideas of ways to take action to be part of the solution.

Also on the website you can find "Climate Stories"--20+ stories of what young people around the US are experiencing and also ways that they are taking action. Their video stories are great ways to open your eyes to other people's experiences as well as the way climate change is affecting people around the country. Additionally, there is a form in which you can potentially share your story here too.

My favorite quotes of the movie: 
"When the people lead, the leaders will follow." 

"Today, over 90% of people under the age of 30 
agree that climate change is a real problem 
and that humans are responsible."

"No one is too young to lead."

Every day actions take us steps forward. Their question: what's your 'DOT?' What's a DOT? It means: "Do One Thing."

So my question: What's your DOT? Maybe it starts with watching this.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Mighty Mississippi River Watershed

According to National Geographic, the Mississippi River is the 4th largest river, behind the Amazon, Nile, & Yangtze Rivers. Notable in and of itself, but when you consider the whole watershed, which reaches from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains and runs through 31 states, it's bigger than you think!

To help you visualize it, Nat Geo's website has an animated map created by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio which brings all the branches, streams, and tributaries of the Mississippi River to life. You can click the above link to see the map from its original home at National Geographic (where there's more information on its creation), or watch it here.

Five sites to lead you to some more mighty Mississippi fun facts: