We are Ocean Guardians at Earhart Elementary!
The health of our oceans is vital to the health of all living things on Earth. As the temperature rises, sea levels rise along with it. This makes the ocean environment more acidic, which disrupts the delicate balance of life on earth. Even more alarming, we now know that human-made pollutants such as plastics are contaminating our oceans. Plastics unfortunately do not disappear, but rather break down into minuscule particles. Sea animals ingest these particles, thus putting all life on the planet in serious turmoil.
As Ocean Guardians, we here at Earhart aim to do everything we can to interrupt this cycle as a community. Our first goal is to create awareness of our consumption of single-use plastics at school. Those single use plastics are a noticeable cause of much of the plastic contaminating our oceans. We hope to become as waste-free as possible. That means avoiding our reliance on single-use plastics in our lunches and snacks. We will work together in the classrooms, at home, and in the community to be as proactive as possible to help protect our oceans from the dangers of plastics. As Ocean Guardians, saving the planet starts with all of us.
Ocean Guardian Earhart
Ways to Go Green
Our mission is to protect the delicate balance of our ecosystem. By reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills or that blows into the oceans.
As students and family, we can make an effort to do our part as ocean guardians.
“The birdhouses provide nesting space in the birds’ increasingly threatened habitat. An increased bird population is not only pleasant for the eyes & ears, but is also important to our ecosystem. Birds scavenge wastes, pollinate plants, & search for food in the garden. They help our garden habitat by eating greenflies, caterpillars, & snails: a huge benefit for the organic gardener.”
♥ Green Lunch & Snacks
Pack your kids lunch & snacks with less waste as possible. If you have older students who [theoretically] shouldn’t be as messy as elementary kids, you may want to consider setting out reusable napkins that you can wash whenever you have snacks.
Instead of buying small individual snack or lunch package, buy bigger package, & pack the portions in containers. Also use washable containers instead sandwich bags.
What is waste-free lunch? Read more …
♥ Go Paperless
Earhart School has already been on “Go Paperless” for years. We have been posting online newsletter, homework assignment, volunteer sign-up & so much more. We still can try harder. If it is necessary to send home a hard copy of any matters, only one student of a family gets a copy.
♥ Water Conservation
The lack of rainfall this winter could spell trouble for Bay Area’s water supply. If it continues to go without rainfall, there will be a crisis. It is a great time to educate our students about WaterSmart. Things like stop a running toilet, check for leaks, & use less.
Place a gallon jug under the sink or tub faucet while you wait for the water to heat.
Use the captured water for other purposes, like flushing or watering plants. Insulating hot water pipes minimizes both water & energy waste because it reduces the amount of time needed for hot water to arrive at your tap.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Use a cup to rinse your mouth. Run the tap only to rinse the toothbrush.
When washing hands, wet your hands, turn off the water, soap up, then turn on the water to rinse.
When washing dishes by hand, fill the kitchen sink or a basin rather than letting the water run. Even better, use an automatic dishwasher. Newer models are more efficient than hand washing & do not require pre-rinsing dishes by hand. Simply scrape off food waste. Wash only full loads.
Make sure the dishwasher is full before you run it, & wash full loads of clothes in cold water to save water & electricity.
Wash fruits & vegetables in a sink or bowl filled with water rather than letting the water run.
Water your lawn less frequently but more deeply. Applying ½ inch of water to lawns with clay soil will moisten the soil to the root depth of 6 inches. Lawns in sandy soils need less than ½ inch each watering day but need more frequent applications.
You can also check watering depth by watering for five minutes, then probing the soil with spade to see how deeply you have moistened the soil. If five minutes of irrigation moistens your clay soil two inches, you would need to water for fifteen minutes to moisten the soil to a depth of six inches. This test only works during the dry season.
Select plants adapted to our Mediterranean climate. Group plants with similar water needs together. Use separate irrigation stations to water according to high, medium, or low water needs. Mediterranean or California native plants thrive on less water.
Grow attract “good beneficial bugs” plants, like sage, parsley, clover, foxglove, cosmos, marigolds, & sunflowers. Good bugs can defeat the ones destroying your garden.
Use mulch, the “secret weapon” of the WaterSmart garden. EBMUD recommends at least three inches of mulch to maintain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, protect the irrigation system from the sun, & give the garden a finished look.
Organic mulch [wood bark or compost] will also amend the soil as it decomposes. Avoid applying mulch right up against the main stem or trunk of a plant.
For more water-wise gardening tips, please check out Bay Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition
♥ Stop Junk Mail
Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive & recycle what you can’t eliminate.
Go to DMA Choice & sign up to stop catalog & other junk-mail offerings that flood your snail-mail box. If you can, pay bills online & have bank statements sent electronically.
♥ No Plastic
Stop using plastic bags. Get inexpensive [& often free] reusable bags & take them with you to the store.
Stop buying plastic bottle water. Buy refillable water bottles for your family. Take your personal bottles with you & refill them with tap water. Besides saving the earth, It will save you a lot of money too. More reduce plastic waste tips …
♥ Energy Conservation
Change those old incandescent lightbulbs with new Energy Star lightbulbs.
Unplug electronics that aren’t used all the time either manually or plug them in to a power strip for easy on/off. Does it save a bundle of money or energy? Probably not, but it is easy to do & it is a positive step.
Dry your laundry outside if possible or hang a clothesline inside. Clothes smell great, but if stiffness bothers you, fluff them in the dryer for few minutes when you bring them back in. That will use much less energy than running a full load.
When replacing appliances, look for ones with the federal Energy Star rating. Also make sure the company you buy from will haul off & donate the old one for reuse.
See if you can go a whole week without using a printer at home & at work. Then try it for a month, saving energy & paper.
Use the garbage disposal only when necessary. Compost your food waste. You can dispose of it in your green waste bin or use it for your garden. Start composting your vegetable & other non-meat food wastes & see how little trash you throw away.
Turn off your computer. Don’t just put your computer on sleep mode. Turning it off during your lunch break & especially at night saves a lot of energy.
♥ Less Chemicals
Making your own cleaners will save you money & eliminate chemicals from your home.
♥ Buy Local
Food that is grown or raised locally requires less transportation to get to you, it’s usually fresher & better tasting. It also helps local businesses. A win for everyone.
♥ Idle-Free School Zone
Turn off your engine after arrive at school to pick up your kids to reduce pollution.
♥ Carpool with Others
Even if you don’t have to commute across town, carpooling with friends decreases air pollution, & of course, saves you money.