National Green Week

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Did you know February 7-11 is National Green Week? This important observance was founded by the Green Education Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. National Green Week is a free education program that aims to teach school children about recycling, reusing, and reducing waste and other ways to advocate for the environment—essentially to be leaders of their own sustainability campaign.

National Green Week 2009 enlisted 2000 schools and nearly a half a million students nationwide. Over 250,000 participated in the “Waste-Free Snacks challenge, eliminating over 100,000 lbs of trash. The response was amazing, with more than 500,000 children in 900 schools across 48 states participating to go green and reduce waste. The 2010 results were even more impressive, with over two million children reducing their trash by over 100,000 lbs. 2011 may take it even further. Although National Green Week kicks off now, schools can chose any week from Feb.7- April 22—Earth Day—to participate.

In his most recent State of the Union address, President Obama urged Americans to join forces in promoting green energy in the U.S. to meet the goal of 80% of America’s electricity coming from clean energy sources by 2035. Green Education Foundation promotes clean energy during National Green Week 2011, encouraging teachers and students to discuss environmental issues and what they can do to help protect the planets valuable resources.

Teachers and schools can access free educational materials based on national standards for science, math, language arts, social studies and creative arts curricula. By participating in National Green Week 2011, students will learn that simple decisions like turning off lights, adjusting the thermostat, and using reusable containers for snacks and drinks add up to big savings in energy and waste. According to Green Education Foundation founder Victoria Waters, “Children are in the best position to impact the future of the environment by developing green behaviors that become lifelong habits.”

National Green Week 2011 also offers schools hands-on components like the Green Energy Challenge, which provides students with the knowledge and skills to audit their schools and homes for energy waste. In the Waste-Free Snacks module, students nationwide participate in the largest school-based waste-reduction program of all time by simply pledging to carry their drinks and snacks in reusable containers during their Green Week. The goal is to eliminate 200,000 lbs of trash from schools and landfills. The Green Thumb Challenge is an impressive youth gardening initiative, with over 5,000 schools participating in using gardens as a teaching tool. The goal is for 10,000 schools to plant sustainability education gardens.

So, how can you, your family and your school take part? Learn more at www.greeneducationfoundation.org

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