Archive for Sustainability

Green Guide to Back-to-School

Yesterday I went to Hall Middle School to start getting my new classroom ready and I thought about all of you, and figured you’d be soon heading to the store to start getting school supplies. Stop and read this before you do and make sure to share it with your parents too.

I was inspired to make two websites in the last 24 hours. One is called a Green Guide to Back-to-School. It has helpful ideas on what to avoid and things to be mindful about. Make sure to look over this PDF from the Sidwell Friends School on buying school supplies with the Earth in mind. I’ll be sure to put links to some of the materials on the site so you can find them if your local store doesn’t carry them. I also created a blog called The Green School that will have ideas about how to make your school and classroom environment more green. Be sure to share it with your teachers. I’ll eventually add activities and highlight some successful projects, such as Mrs. Buono’s classes’ water education program and the subsequent installation of a water refill station. Very cool!

Have a great year and keep the planet cool buy wise choices.

Ms. Newburn


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Visit to Free Range Graphics’ Studio

After school I had dinner with a friend, Ms. Erica Priggen, from Free Range Graphics. That’s the company that made all of those amazing videos like Grocery Store Wars, The Meatrix and the Mouth Revolution.

I meet one of the company’s founders, Mr. Louis Fox, who was the Moutholution’s Che’. I kind of tilted my head a little so that I could recognize him because my view of him from the video is upside-down. (You’ll know what I mean if you watch the video.)

It was fun to scout around the studio because their office has props from various videos, including C3 Peanuts, Darth Tater’s helmet and the Moutholution’s logo. What an fabulous company that has inspired millions to make this a better world. Thanks, Louis, Erica and all of the folks at Free Range Graphics.

You can do your part to make this a better place by sharing these videos with your friends and by living the wisdom imparted in these fun clips. Links to all of these videos and more are also on the Ecological Footprint Education site.

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Learn About Biodiversity: Bio DaVersity Code

Man is not alone on this planet. He is part of a community, upon which he depends absolutely. Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

Check out the latest clip from the folks at Free Range Graphics. This video is called Bio DaVersity Code and teaches about the importance of biodiversity and that humans are part of the web of life. You may recognize the plot.

Much of the ecological devastation has been caused because people don’t believe we are part of the web of life, and hence they don’t respect the Laws of Nature. I’ve been amazed over the years when I taught science that a number of my students didn’t even know that humans were animals!

If you want to read an excellent book that will transform the way you look at humans in relationship to the other creatures on this planet, and one that provides a possible vision for people as stewards of the planets, I recommend the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. It will change your life. It did mine.

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Global Warming and Future Possibility Videos

A friend sent me a video that Leonardo diCaprio made about global warming. I added this video and the one from Renew US to the ecological footprint website. Check it out.

While you’re on the website, fill in the number of planets it would take if there were 6.5 billion of you.

Remember to put on a sweater and turn the heat down a bit.

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Global Warming Video and a New Possibility for the Future

I found this video about global warming. It’s by the same folks who did Store Wars and the Meatrix. Do you like it?  Do you think it would be helpful for other kids to see? If so, let me know and I will post it to the Ecological Footprint website.

I’ve also made some other great additions to the Ecological Footprint website that I think you’ll appreciate:
1.  Quick polls – Tell others how many planets we’d need if there were 6.5 billion people consuming like you.
2.  Cool Friends Recycle Party – Learn what and how to throw a cool friends recycle party.
3.  Food and Your Ecological Footprint – Additional information about how your food choices impact your ecological footprint are now available. Make sure you read about the impact of eating tomatoes versus beef. You’ll be shocked!

You can post your comments here or directly on the Squidoo Ecological Footprint lens.

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Ecological Footprint Part III

This weekend I was inspired to create a website called Save the Planet: Ecological Footprint Education. One of the most valuable things we can do is to become stewards, or protectors, of the Earth. This website has resources, videos and suggestions on how to reduce your ecological footprint. If you know of any other great ideas on how to save the planet or other helpful resources, please share them with the class. (Click on the title of the email. It’ll take you to the blog where you can post comments for all of our benefit.)

We are currently in a very consumer-based culture, which is not living at a sustainable level. We need to question the value of this pattern, if we are to change it. Do you feel better when you make a purchase? Does it give you a deep sense of satisfaction or is it temporarily filling a void? Creating a shift in awareness and values will be important aspects of healing the planet. Are you willing to question your shopping impulses?

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Ecological Footprint Part II

I just took the ecological footprint quiz. Have you taken it yet? Here are my quiz results.


FOOD 2.2


5 planets! Yikes! It can be a bit depressing to see the results of your quiz. Don’t despair. Take action! Look at the choices you make daily and your consumption. What can you do to decrease your ecological footprint? Post your comments for others to benefit from your wisdom and insight.

If you liked the ecological footprint quiz, you may also enjoy taking the Bobby Bigfoot Quiz. It shows how the daily choices that you make impact your ecological footprint.

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