Thursday, December 8, 2011

Buy Safe This Holiday Season

When shopping for kids this holiday season, beware of the harmful chemicals that lurk in several products currently on the market -- including toys. Lead and phthalates were two chemicals found recently in the 26th Annual Trouble in Toyland report, a survey of toy safety.

Healthy Legacy -- a coalition of organizations whose mission is to remove toxic chemicals from everyday products, which KSE is a member -- has highlighted some of the important findings of the report:

Though banned since 1978 in products marketed to children, lead, a known neurotoxin affecting children’s development, can still be found in imported toys. From October 2010 through November 2011, almost 200,000 toys were recalled in the United States due to lead content that exceeded federal limits. Researchers found that a handful of toys investigated exceeded current federal limits and several others exceeded standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Even though the number of toys containing harmful chemicals is troubling, there are resources at our fingertips to make better decisions in our purchases this holiday season.

Healthy Legacy points to the Public Interest Group In Michigan's (PIRGIM) Tips to Keep Kids Safe.

Another resource is U.S. PIRG's Toy Safety 2011 guide, which identifies chemical dangers, as well as other safety concerns in toys on the market.

Hopefully we'll soon live in a world where these guides won't be necessary, but in order for that to happen we need to take action. A simple thing you can do is support the Safe Chemicals Act, commonsense legislation on chemicals in our everyday products. Support this effort by sending a message to the legislators who represent you.

Together, we can improve the lives of our children and the health of our Earth.

Have a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Conserving Classroom Calendar

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

Have you noticed that it's Cyber Green Week at Kids for Saving Earth? We have been tweeting about it! Save $4 on a small or medium group membership through December 3. Place the coupon code "Cyber Green Week" in the comments section of the order form and we will be sure to give you the $4 discount. We hope you'll continue doing some of your holiday shopping at our KSE Green Shop this December.

The December calendar is filled with Earth-saving ideas for the holidays as well as suggestions for making your holidays environmentally healthier.

Learn about why using live evergreen trees for your Christmas tree is actually "greener" than buying plastic trees. Also, think about buying holiday cards from the KSE Green Shop or making your own green holiday cards. It's easy to make bird houses from trash materials to give birds at home or school yards a happy holiday. And don't forget to start early to have your students make and discuss their New Year's resolutions to help the Earth. Print out the resolution form to have the kids take home and return to you after the holidays.

Finally be sure to learn the history of December holidays by checking out the links for St. Nicholas Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve. If we missed a holiday in your country, please email us to let us know!

We are excited to have a private donation that will match any donations we receive from you up to $500. Please give us a wonderful holiday gift by donating to Kids for Saving Earth. You can write a check to the address below or click here to provide your donation by credit card. For every dollar you give your donation will be doubled. We need your support to continue helping kids help the Earth.

We so appreciate all you do to help protect the Earth. Enjoy your holidays!

For the Earth and its children,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday! Discounted Membership Rates All Week!

Happy Cyber Monday! We're extending our Cyber Monday offer all week, through Saturday, December 3rd.

Small and Medium-level Kids for Saving Earth Memberships are $4 off all week. Just enter the code "CyberGreen" at check-out.

This is a great opportunity for any classroom, club, or family to receive membership materials and help KSE continue providing environmental education curricula.

Membership materials include certificates, the Rock the World CD, All About KSE DVD, activity guide, and more!

Click here to see our list of memberships and order.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday shopping at the KSE Green Shop!

The Holiday Season is fast-approaching! For your holiday shopping, please consider shopping for the Earth. The Kids for Saving Earth Green Shop is a great resource for Earth-related gifts for your home, classroom, or your child.

For your home or classroom, check out the ActiveIon Ionator, a safe, chemical-free device that uses simple tap water to clean and disinfect surfaces.

The ionator HOM™ and ionator EXP™ are virtually the only cleaning products in the world without chemical-related health warning labels. The technology driving the ionator products has been used for decades in food processing plants, four-star restaurants, and large hotels. The ionator has taken this technology, miniaturized it, and made it affordable for everyday use.

A water cell applies a slight electrical charge to the tap water. The charged water passes through an ion exchange membrane, creating an oxygen-rich mixture of positive and negative nano-bubbles. The ionized water now attracts dirt like a magnet and lifts it from the surface, enabling it to be easily wiped away.  Counter tops, appliances, stainless steel, bathrooms, windows, etc., shine and are sanitized with the ionator.

Do you need a gift for an educator? Check out the Everything Green Classroom Book, by KSE President Tessa Hill. This is the essential guide for incorporating eco-friendly concepts into everyday lessons, activities, and field trips. With suggestions for adjusting activities for grade level, teachers can create fun lessons for any elementary school class. If you order from the KSE Green Shop, you can have it signed by Tessa. From air pollution to water woes, each chapter is organized by topic so you can easily explain concepts to your class, plan hands-on activities, and encourage students to continue thinking about issues outside of the classroom.

KSE Buttons and Pins make great stocking-stuffers for any Defender of the Planet. Choose from several styles of buttons or pins.

These are just a few of the items you can find in our Green Shop. You can also find office supplies, KSE music, posters, and books. Remember, all purchases support our efforts to provide environmental education materials throughout the year.

Happy Earth-shopping!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Environmental Education and Activities for November

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

Happy November!

It's the time of year in North America to prepare for the winter season. That means lots of yard work.  Don't forget to teach your students about composting. Check out Compost Power on our calendar.  Ask them to teach their parents how to compost and to take photos of the process. Place the photos on your school bulletin board.

Another project kids can do with their parents is to learn how to Become an Earth Inspector and discover what are some of  the dangerous toxins in homes. Print out the Become an Earth Inspector and the 30 Pollution Place work sheets. Read the information in class and send home the work sheets for the kids to share with their parents.

Magazine Exchange is one of the easiest activities you can do to remind kids and their parents about the concept of "reusing." It saves money and the Earth. Surprisingly, it also encourages kids to see which magazines parents read and that they may enjoy trying to read them also.

In the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving in November. This is a day to celebrate and be thankful for all the good that life has given us. Of course the Earth is our shared home and we are very thankful for all it provides us. Try out the Respect the Earth campaign to show kids a good way to thank the Earth.

The holiday season is about to begin. Think green when you are shopping and encourage your students to do the same. Print and provide each child with the Shop Green Holidays ideas and don't forget to check out the KSE Green Shop for your gift giving this season. If you would like to give a gift to KSE just forward this email to other instructors by clicking on the "Send to a Friend" link at the bottom of the page. Tell them you love us!

Kids for Saving Earth is thankful for all you wonderful instructors and parents. We are so grateful for all you do.

And don't forget to Like KSE on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter!

For the Earth and its children,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Briargrove Elementary Defenders of the Planet discover the benefits of eating organic and local foods

We're always asking what Kids for Saving Earth Clubs around the country are doing to promote Earth-friendly activities. Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, founder of Rawfully Organic Co-op, has let us know the tremendous effort she's a part of for the KSE club at Briargrove Elemenatary in Houston, TX. She's spearheading an effort to help create a one-acre "edible schoolyard," where students can learn about growing their own food naturally and organically.

"This creation is a one-acre natural garden and kitchen classroom that allows students to participate in all aspects of growing and preparing nutritious produce," states a press release about the effort. "Kristina’s expertise in coaching families on integrating the consumption of raw, organic fruits and vegetables in their diet will help the children in their 'green' journey."

Knowing where our food comes from is one of the most important aspects of living and eating healthy, and supporting a healthy Earth. Eating food locally supports local farmers and cuts down on the emissions that are used to transport food all over the country. Eating organic foods helps reduce the number of pesticides on our farms and in our bodies. We are so happy to hear about the efforts of Briargrove Elementary and Rawfully Organic Co-op, teaching kids these essential activities to support healthier people and a healthier, happier Earth!

The project will start this Friday, October 7. Read more about this exciting project, and check out Briargrove Elementary's KSE site for all the other eco-activities they participate in throughout the year.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conserving Classroom Calendar for October: Earth-saving activities for kids

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

In the United States families celebrate Halloween throughout October with parties and carnivals and by dressing up in costumes to go "Trick or Treating."  If your community celebrates Halloween remind your kids to think Earth-saving when choosing costumes or hosting your Halloween parties.  Look for costumes at thrift stores to reuse items instead of buying new.  How about having a "Can Can Carnival" and using the money you make to support an environmental activity for your class or school.

I know that teaching reading is a daily project in your classrooms and homes.  Consider teaching reading with an empowering goal through "Reading for the Earth."  It will inspire students, and your class can earn additional funds for Earth-saving projects. Check out the "Use the Library" eco-activity. Using the library is actually an Earth-saving activity.  Kids borrowing books from a library not only save money but also use less of the Earth's resources.

A very simple activity to do with kids is to promote "Use Cloth Napkins Week" to encourage your students to ask their parents to use cloth napkins.  Inexpensive cloth napkins and terry cloths work great and are easily washed for reuse.  Just be sure to have each member of the family have their own color napkin.

Please let us know about your environmental education projects.  We want to spread the word about your activities through our web page links as well as Twitter and Facebook.

We also want you to "like" us on Facebook.  If you have any announcements or press releases about your activities, please email us information.  We can also put your events on our calendar.

Shop at our Green Shop.  You'll help KSE and the Earth.  If you have product you are interested in selling on our site, email us your ideas.

Thanks so much for helping kids help the Earth.  Tell others about us by emailing them our web site link

For the Earth and its children,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Month, New School Year, new Conserving Classroom Calendar

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

September is here and I know you have much to do to begin the new year.  Please squeeze in some time to outline your Earth-saving plans for the year.  Remember that kids can learn math, science, music, art and just about any required curriculum by incorporating environmental protection into your school activities.  The added benefit to Earth-saving is that kids become empowered.  Children will long remember these meaningful, important lessons.

In our September calendar we have added links to information that will help you keep your room and school supplies healthier. Click on September 1, 2  and 6 to learn more.

So where on Earth are Kids for Saving Earth members?  They are all over the world and you can check out how many are in your state or country.  The groups are advised by instructors and/or parents throughout Earth. From California to Minnesota from Kenya to India, Kids for Saving Earth provides environmental education to empower children to protect the Earth.

There are several simple eco activities this month that kids can do with just a little help from you.  Teach kids how to save money both in your classroom and in their homes.  This can become a math project.  Pick an environmental project or two to support with the money you have saved.  Don't forget KSE or the KSE Rainforest when it comes to donations.

Ask students who bring bag or box lunches to pack them "green."  Print these forms and give them to your students to help them prepare their lunches in a green manner.

This "Clean Your Desk" form on the calendar will teach children how to clean out their classroom desks. Make it an Earth-saving experience and empower kids while they learn to organize their desks.

Have you had your first KSE Club meeting either during or after school?  Kids need to experience meetings. It's a good opportunity to teach parliamentary procedure.  Here are a few ideas for your first meeting.

We have two nonprofit partners who are working on interesting projects.  One is Global Green. They are announcing the Global Green USA Green School Makeover Competition: A Chance to Win $65,000 to Green Your School! Learn more by clicking here. The town of Mansfield CT will present a free school composting webinar for anyone interested in learning how to start a composting program at their school.  Click here to learn more and register.

And don't forget to "like" KSE on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter.

For the Earth and its children,

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eco-activities and environmental education for the new school year

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth! A new month, a new Conserving Classroom Calendar, an interactive calendar with Earth Holidays and Eco-activities for classrooms, kids clubs, families, and anyone else who wishes to help the Earth.

Begin your school year with our Respect the Earth campaign. It's a great first step to empower children to spread the message about capitalizing the word Earth.  They can sign up on our Respect the Earth link and tell others to do so too.

It's back to school days and KSE has created a new program: Rules for Greening Schools.  Review this program and when school year begins choose the steps that work best for you. You can help protect the Earth and your students health. Also check out how to clean for healthy schools.

Another green school activity is to hold an Earth Expo at your school.  This will take some preparation so read it over and decide how you can fit some or all of it into your curriculum.  You might want to include studying about The Great Garbage Patch, a floating garbage "patch" in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas! Once they understand its causes, ask them to email us about what they can do to help prevent this problem. We  love to include students’ video reports on our site.

A friend of mine recently lost her son to cancer.  Adam was an amazing young man who loved the beauty of the Earth.  KSE has named him a Defender of the Planet.  The best way your students can honor his memory is to become Defenders of the Planet too.  Click here to learn more.

You might not know that KSE has some pre-school environmental activities.  Check our web site.  Also consider ordering our Teacher's Guide for Little Kids for Saving Earth.

Thanks for all you do.  Don't forget to communicate with us, support us, and spread the word about Kids for Saving Earth.

Have a happy August.

And don't forget to "like" KSE on Facebook, and Follow us on Twitter.

For the Earth and its children,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July is here! Environmental activities and education for kids from Tessa Hill

July is usually hot and sunny in the U.S. and Canada, filled with summer activities like fishing, camping, picnicking and family vacations. Kids often spend lots of time outside enjoying the warm weather. Take time to review some rules about protecting everyone from too much sun. Check out Unsun Fun to learn how to keep skin safe in summer while having fun outdoors. Also we have included a KSE Envirahealth Alert from The Environmental Working Group about best choices for safe sun blocks.

July is also a good time to educate your students about how to put the sun to work in a way that can help protect the Earth's health. Review activities in our Sun Power - A Bright Idea to help kids learn about solar power and how they can encourage governmental leaders to support sustainable energy practices.

Because many Congress members are in their districts visiting constituents during the summer, it's a great time to set up a visit to their local offices. Click on Meet Your Congressperson to learn how you can talk with them about your environmental concerns. Freedom to express your concerns is much of what July 4th is all about.

The United States, France and Canada have special national holidays to celebrate and honor their countries in July. If any KSE international members would like to include their national holidays on any month of our KSE calendar, please email us to let us know.

We are also looking for your opinions about our web site. Tell us what you like about it and give us suggestions for what you would like to see on our site. Email us your thoughts.

If you are on a summer break, now is the perfect time to gather photos, drawings, letters or whatever you have that shows us what your Defenders of the Planet are doing to help protect the Earth. Those of you who filled out the membership forms promising to send artwork and more, Today is the Day. Send or email us all this information. We will add you to our Defenders of the Planet page. We want to tell the world what our members are doing.

Finally, we need your support.  Buying green products from our KSE Green Shop or contributing a donation will be greatly appreciated.  There is so much Earth-saving work ahead and we can't do it without your support. A $2 donation from each of you would provide us enough funding for one year.  I don't receive a salary and we run KSE on a very small budget.  Please consider donating! 

And don't forget to Like KSE on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.

For the Earth and its children,

Tessa Hill
President, Kids for Saving Earth
Office: 763-559-1234
37955 Bridge Road
North Branch, MN 55056

Friday, June 24, 2011

Save Our Parks!

Kids for Saving Earth is Headquartered in Minnesota, U.S.A. Here in Minnesota, we are fortunate to have 74 state parks and recreation areas, 56 state forest campgrounds and day use areas, and a handful of national parks, trails, and monuments.

I was lucky enough to visit one of these parks last month. On the North Shore of Lake Superior, Judge C.R. Magney State Park features over 4,600 acres of park land which includes hiking trails, campsites, and Devil's Kettle Falls on the Brule River.

The land was set aside in 1957. Over fifty years later, people come from all over the region to camp, hike, learn and experience nature in a way they can't elsewhere. Wildlife habitat is protected and preserved. Nature is allowed to flourish.

Devil's Kettle Falls on the Brule River

Rapids on the Brule River

Growth on the forest floor

Forest growth after the rain

Forest floor "carpeting"
State and national parks, trails, and forests are important for any region. They teach us about wildlife areas that existed all over the Earth before human settlements, cities, and suburbs. However, with the slump in the economy, many city, state, and national park budgets are being cut, eliminating important resources to keep these parks open.

It's remarkable how influential kids can be when they make their voices heard to important decision-makers. Kids for Saving Earth has put together an activity for kids who want to save their local parks: Save Our Parks!

Help pass the message on to our local and national leaders that parks are important!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's June (already)! Summer eco-activities for kids

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

June launches the summer season, so get out and enjoy the world of nature. Our June calendar is filled with links to nature activities. If school is still in session, take students on a trip to a forest or even a woodsy backyard. Order the KSE book A Trip to the Forest to help lead you through a forest adventure. Parents also will find it useful on a camping trip.

Clinton's Backyard Habitat eco-activity is a great way to encourage kids' appreciation of the important balance of nature and teach them how to create their own outdoor nature research center.  Print out this page for your students to take home for a summer activity.

Saving our community, state and national parks is an extremely important way to protect the Earth's health and promote a healthy understanding of the natural world for kids. Check this out to see how you and your students can help the Save Our Parks campaign.

Don't forget to tweet or blog about whatever activity you choose to do this month. We love hearing about new ideas and success stories.

Also remember that Kids for Saving Earth needs support. Contributions are greatly appreciated. Purchases from the KSE Green Shop provide additional support.

Thanks so much for helping kids help the Earth. Be sure to ask your students to "like" us on the Kids for Saving Earth Facebook page.

For the Earth and its children,

Tessa Hill
President, Kids for Saving Earth
Office: 763-559-1234
37955 Bridge Road
North Branch, MN 55056

Monday, May 16, 2011

Join the KSE Wildflower Team

Spring flowers are in full bloom! And that includes wildflowers in our parks, neighborhoods, and even in our own backyards! Pinks, reds, and yellows pop up throughout forest floors, prairies, and parks.

A fun and effective way to get kids outside and interested in nature is to take some time to observe the wildflowers that bloom this time of year. KSE has a great activity set up for kids, families, and classrooms to Join the KSE Wildflower Team. It's easy!

Step One
Take a hike in the woods or a meadow and take your camera or your sketch book along with you.
Simply take photos or enjoy sketching the wildflower plant.
Record the location where you found it and try to find it's name.To find out the name of the wildflower you have discovered, it isbest to "google" wildflowers by your state.  For example: Wildflowers in Minnesota
Email photos or scanned colorful artwork to or snail mail to:
37955 Bridge Road, North Branch, MN 55056
Include your first name, email address and school or other group, city and state..
Check this KSE Wild Flower Wise web site to see your photos or art on line
Plant a wildflower garden and put a wildflower wild sign in the area you planted.

And be sure to check out our page of wildflower photos submitted by other Defenders of the Planet.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Welcome to May! A message from Tessa Hill

Hello Friends of Kids for Saving Earth!

May is a month to be enjoyed outside. Take time to take your students outside to soak up some sun and the wonders of nature. The more children learn to love nature, the more they will want to protect it. This May calendar is filled with activities you can do outside.

Take your kids on a hike to look for wildflowers. Make sure to have them bring cameras if they have them, or let them borrow one to take photos of their favorite wildflowers. They can email the photos to KSE and we will place them on our Wild Flower Team page.

In Minnesota, where the Kids for Saving Earth headquarters is located, we celebrate the opening fishing season in May.  People fill the highways headed to their favorite lake to catch their favorite fish--most often walleye. It's ironic that they often do things that aren't so good for those beautiful lakes or the aquatic habitat. For example, most people are still using sinkers made from lead, a very toxic material. Check out our Get the Lead Out campaign to learn how your students can help encourage politicians to make laws to protect children and animals from lead poisoning.

Getting the word out about your activities is an important way to inspire others to act to protect the Earth. Ask your students to become KSE reporters and write emails or letters to their local newspapers or TV newscasters. Tell the kids to say they are reporters from Kids for Saving EarthClick here to learn more about this Earth-saving activity.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Tell your friends and associates to join the Kids for Saving Earth team.

Happy spring!

For the Earth and its children,

Tessa Hill
President, Kids for Saving Earth

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Arbor Day!

"Each generation takes the Earth as trustees." - J. Morton Sterling

April 29, 2011 is Arbor Day in the United States. The holiday was started by pioneer, journalist, and nature-lover J. Sterling Morton. He recognized the benefit of trees: shade, natural windbreaks, and erosion prevention. He organized the planting of hundreds of thousands of trees in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day event in 1872. Over 135 years later, we continue to celebrate this important and constructive holiday.

The Arbor Day Foundation has several ideas and suggestions for families, youth groups, and schools to celebrate and contribute to this event. They also have a great web-pamphlet on the history of Arbor Day you can read to kids.

And be sure to check out our extensive list of Kids for Saving Earth Programs for additional activity ideas.

What are your plans for Arbor Day? Let us know in the comments below.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is this week, Friday, April 22nd!

Earth Day is a great day to realize what simple things we can do and change in our daily lives to help the Earth. It's also a great day to teach our children the importance of this worldwide holiday, and the importance of taking care of our Earth.

Kids for Saving Earth has many, many materials to help you do just that:

  • The simple eco-activity of having students cleaning their desk can be a good lesson in how to reuse and recycle, while doing some spring cleaning! Clean Your Desk (pdf)
  • Get kids interested in Earth-related research with this simple fact sheet: Earth Facts (and tips) (pdf)
  • Encourage kids to use cloth napkins for a week to save on paper waste with this eco-activity, Use Cloth Napkins Week
  • Teach kids about the importance of cutting down on waste and plastic-usage by telling them about the Great Garbage Patch (pdf), the floating trash "island" in the Pacific Ocean. 
  • The emissions from buses are toxic, and when they idle outside of school, kids inhale them. Get kids to take action by reducing the dangers of idling school buses outside their school. No Idling! (pdf)
  • A great addition to any environmental education curriculum is the Kids for Saving Earth Promise (pdf), a multi-lingual program for kids to promise to keep the Earth "healthy and beautiful."
  • Lastly, to reward kids' Earth-saving efforts, give them a Defender of the Planet Certificate (pdf).
Of course, you can find much, much more on our website, (Click on "Programs" for the complete list.)

Be sure not to let this important Earth holiday go uncelebrated. Take this opportunity to teach a child about protecting the Earth!

And let us know what you're doing for Earth Day! Comment below, reach us via Twitter (@KSEgreenschool), or comment on our Facebook Page!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Simple Spring Activity: Make a Bird Feeder

Since it's finally spring here in Minnesota, we wanted to attract some of the birds to our backyard! We reused some common household containers -- in this case, milk and egg cartons -- added some bird seed, and voilĂ ! A simple and functional bird feeder!

The finished bird feeder (click to enlarge)

By using this KSE Eco-Activity (pdf), or just by searching "egg carton bird feeder" online, you can learn to create a bird feeder in a few simple steps.

We also created a feeder with similar steps using the bottom half of a milk carton. 

Within just one day, the birds had found both feeders. They love them!

It's a great, easy way to reuse old materials and get kids interested in nature in their own backyards.

By the way, does anyone know what kind of bird this is?

Related: Become a KSE Bird Buddy! Click to learn more. (pdf) 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Earth Month is Here! A message from Tessa Hill

April is here -- Earth month has arrived!  Every April I remember how my son Clinton Hill, the 11-year-old founder of Kids for Saving Earth, would smile his crooked smile and say, "Thank goodness for Earth day."  I know if he were alive today,  he would be so happy that Earth Day became a whole month dedicated to inspiring people to do good Earth-works.   Inspiring kids and adults to protect the Earth is why Kids for Saving Earth exists. Hopefully you are taking advantage of our environmental education curriculum.  Please tell other educators about us by forwarding this letter and calendar.

The first thing I suggest you do this month is very easy and will launch your activities for April.  Think of Clint, because most of the words in the Kids for Saving Earth Promise are his.  He was a true Defender of the Planet.  So have your entire school sign the Promise and line your hallways and homes with the Promise form. 

Review the KSE April calendar and determine what will fit into what I know is your very busy schedule.  Look over the Earth Day activity;  I think kids will enjoy it.  Also check out the Earth-saving Earth Day gifts kids can give to their families. There's the easy-to-make I will Save the Earth switch plates. Also give the gift of lower energy costs by buying fluorescent light bulbs at a rate as good as big-box stores but which can help you and KSE earn much-needed funding.  Email KSE to learn how these bulbs can help your school or group.

I so appreciate your Earth-saving efforts with your students.  Please email us, comment here, or reply to us on Twitter or Facebook about what you and your kids are up to this Earth month.  Don't forget to send or email us their Earth-saving art!

P.S. If you know a young environmental Defender of the Planet, nominate your hero for the $2,500  Barron prize.  Click on the link to learn more.

Tessa Hill

Tessa Hill

KSE Logo

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cancel Your Catalogs, Help the Environment

A local paper here sends out a weekly catalog featuring products from local merchants. Groceries, home improvement supplies, and electronics sales are advertised. I might page through the thing once, and then it goes into the recycling bin immediately after.

I'm sure some people hold on to these and scan carefully through the weekly deals and then responsibly dispose of them in the recycling bin, but I'd rather my copy wasn't printed at all, personally.

Catalogs for department stores, clothing retailers, household items, and other prodcuts fill mailboxes across America, and a lot of them go directly into the recycling bin -- or worse, the garbage can. According to the NRDC, 19 billion catalogs are mailed in the U.S. every year, and 95% of those are made from virgin forests instead of recycled materials. Producing that many catalogs translates to 53 million trees cut down, 3.6 million tons of paper, enough energy to power 1.2 million homes, 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and 53 billion gallons of water every year. Not only are unwanted catalogs a nuisance, they are destructive to our environment.

The Catalog Canceling Challenge, organized by 4th grade teacher Ted Wells, is an initiative to eliminate the waste of unwanted catalogs. In 9 Steps, schools can join "over 7,800 children in 21 states who have canceled 53,400 unwanted sales catalogs to save trees, water, energy, and our climate."

Another great resource to assist in canceling catalogs is from Catalog Choice, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to cut down on the waste of unwanted junk mail.

On the back of our local paper's advertisement circulation, the one I might page through once before recycling, is an email address and phone number to reach the company and be removed from the mailing list. It took me five minutes to help preserve Earth's resources, save energy, and reduce waste.

The Catalog Canceling Challenge
Switchboard: Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog - "Today Show boost for Catalog Choice"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kids for Saving Earth Art Call!

Attention teachers, parents, and other educators! Spring is here, and it's a great "artistic muse" for your students and children!

The artwork on our website and our programs is from kids from all over the world. We need spring and summertime artwork for our website, programs, and this blog -- pictures of warm weather, nature, parks, and lakes in watercolor, colored pencil, or crayon.

If you're a parent or teacher, have your children or students draw their favorite Spring or Summer scenes and send them to us and we'll feature them on here on the blog, as well as on our website,

You can scan and email the submissions to or "snail" mail the artwork itself to:
Kids for Saving Earth
37955 Bridge Road
North Branch, MN 55056

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's (Meteorological) Spring!

March 1st, this year and every year, marked the first day of meteorological spring in the Northern Hemisphere. (This is of course different than astronomical spring, which begins March 20th.)

As the snow begins to melt, it's time to gear up for springtime Earth-saving activities. KSE has several educational materials and activities for the new season. You can bundle all these into a springtime curriculum, or use them individually.

When the snow melts, we start seeing all the litter that had blown around before the snow fell. A great activity for kids is to go on a Garbage Walk. Get outside, take a walk, experience the new beauty of spring, bring some gloves and a garbage bag and help clean up the Earth! Here's a KSE worksheet to get you started: Take a Garbage Walk! (pdf)

With the Earth's tilt moving to an angle where we can really start to feel the sun's heat, now is a great time to teach kids about Sun Power, a great, simple article to teach kids about the solar power alternative to suit our energy needs.

Speaking of alternative (and renewable!) energy, KSE's News That Will Blow You Away! (pdf) is a great article for kids to learn about renewable energy and wind power.

As spring slowly comes around, so do the birds, back from migrating south for the winter. KSE has an Eco Activity for kids to simply build their own bird feeder. All they need is an egg carton, a paper hold punch, and some yarn, twine, or string. Make Your Own Bird Feeder (pdf)

After kids have their bird feeder set up, they can observe the kinds of birds that come along and Become a Bird Buddy (pdf), a KSE program to observe, research, and report on a species of bird.

A bird feeder is a great way to create a Backyard Habitat for birds, but there are ways to create a habitat for other animals as well. KSE's original program Clinton's Backyard Habitat (pdf) is a great two-page article for kids to learn more about creating a safe and lively habitat in their own backyard! It's a great activity for the whole family to participate in.

Another activity for the whole family is taking a Trip to the Forest. This KSE-original book, available at the KSE Green Shop, provides kids opportunities to read, write, observe, and draw. When the family takes a hike through the forest, provide this book to your children to engage them in the beauty of Earth's trees, flowers, and animals.

Spring is a great time to appreciate the wildflowers that start blooming. KSE kids, clubs, and schools can join the KSE Wildflower Team. Have kids draw or take pictures of wildflowers they see, and then submit them to KSE so we can post them in our wildflower gallery!

Lastly, no discussion of spring is complete without bringing up spring cleaning. Adults and kids together can use the KSE Inspector Checklist to clean and inspect their homes to make them more energy-efficient, toxic-free, and Earth-friendly.

Spring is a great time to get outside to appreciate nature. With appreciation comes respect, and with that respect we can work together to create a happier and healthier Earth!

Do you have any other Earth-friendly ideas for the springtime? Share them in the comments, or email us at