Thinking Earth Day

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One of the benefits to moving is that you get to clean everything out of your house and sort of “start-over.” I am not sure if its because Earth Hour was a major event in our neighborhood last weekend…or if its because we just moved to metropolitan area with the goal of being the “Greenest City in America“…or the fact that green products seem to be talked about much more in the media, but one of the ways we have “started over” in our new house is by trying to be a little greener. I’ve learned to love curly-Q fluorescent light bulbs (I used to hate them, but much like spinach I know they are good for me – and just a little FYI – the ones from Ikea seem to produce the most natural-looking light). I’m becoming really good at sorting recyclables. I’ve polished up my bicycle and am actually using it. I’m also becoming a whole lot wiser on drip irrigation and native plants.

However, one area where I have been a bit of a slacker in the past is talking about Earth Day with my students. Oh, there are some fairly logical reasons why this has occurred (its not really in my standards and Earth Day is always right before that madness known as STAR Testing Review Time), but this year I have vowed to at least actually bring it up on April 22nd and once STAR testing is over to spend some time talking about it in class. With that in mind, here are a few Earth Day resources I have picked up on my journey around the blogosphere this week.

  1. Carbon Footprint Calculator – Unless you’ve been living under a rock you probably know that carbon dioxide is a green house gas that has been linked to global warming. As citizens of an industrialized nation we each produce tons of carbon dioxide each and every day. Earth Day has a handy quiz that can help you calculate the size of your carbon footprint. If you’re anything like me you’ll take it once and then figure out what you have to do to manipulate the results.
  2. Google Earth Global Temperature Trends – I originally read about this on the Google Earth blog last week. Programmers from Columbia University used a database of global temperature records to create a Google Earth file that shows the temperature patterns for individual locations. You can download this file to your computer, pick a placemark, and check out how much the temperature has changed since records were kept for that location.
  3. Planet Green Game – From the Tech Savvy Educator I found this nifty little web-based product of Starbucks and Global Green USA. The Planet Green Game is an online game where you accrue points as you travel through a fictitious town and make various environmentally-related decisions. As the player is faced with each dilemma they are also provided some information on making environmentally-conscious choices.

My personal learning network and I will be searching or more Earth Day resources over the next few weeks. If you have a few of your own post them here in the form of a comment to share with the rest of us.

Joe

Photo: Earth and Moon by Bluedharma

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