Posts Tagged 'eco-friendly living'

Celebrate Earth Day with a DIY Mosaic Earth!

Join us on April 19-20 for our weekend-long Earth Day celebration

Experts will teach guests how to celebrate Earth Day every day by bringing green practices into their daily lives, and will demonstrate how human action can positively or negatively impact the environment and animals like those in the care of the National Aquarium. In addition to fun interactive activities and educational workshops taking place throughout the Aquarium, our celebration will also include some eco-friendly DIY crafts!

Can’t wait until this weekend to make some fun crafts? Try creating this mosaic earth decoration:

What you will need:

  • Recycled CD
  • Piece of yarn (for hanging your creation)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Tape
  • Blue, green, white and brown paper – use cut-outs from recycled magazines, tissue paper or construction paper

Instructions:

  1.  Begin with the blue (for the ocean) – use the glue stick to make sections of the CD sticky where you want the “ocean”, then place the blue paper onto the glue.  Overlap the edges.  When the ocean is completed, repeat these steps with the green and brown for the “land”.  Lastly, add a few of the white paper to represent clouds.
  2. Flip the completed earth over and trim the excess paper from around the edges.
  3. Fold the yarn into a loop and tape it to the back of your Earth for hanging.
  4. Hang it and enjoy!

Earth Day Mosaic

Do you have a favorite DIY craft? Share it with us in the comments section!

Thoughtful Thursdays: Eco-Friendly Ways to Beat the Heat!

With temperatures rising, it’s tempting to turn up the air conditioning to stay cool. We have some better ideas that won’t hurt your wallet and will help keep our environment healthy:

  • Go to the local farmers market - Fresh food is always good, but it is especially refreshing when it’s hot out and you want to stay cool. Go to your local farmers market and get fresh veggies and fruit. It will be a fun outing and you’ll be supporting your local markets.
  • Plant some trees - Planting trees near your house is not only good for the environment, but they provide shade to keep your house cool. This could lower your electric bill and help save the environment at the same time!
  • Go somewhere with air conditioning - When it gets too hot to bear, take advantage of a place with air conditioning so you don’t have to run your air at home. A library or grocery store will keep you cool and you’ll be able to do some shopping or relax with a good book.
  • Make some BBQ! - Invite over family and friends and grill out instead of using your oven. Using the grill will save you on your energy cost and also keep the heat of cooking outside and not in your kitchen.
  • Drink the right water - Drinking water is refreshing when it’s hot and you’re thirsty, but using plastic bottled water is bad for the environment. Get some re-usable water bottles, fill them up with tap or filtered water, and stick them in the fridge or freezer. You’ll have a nice, cool drink waiting for you when it gets too hot, and it will also be environmentally friendly!

Got an favorite eco-friendly ways to beat the heat? Share them with us in the comments section! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Celebrate the 4th of July by Showing Your Red, White, Blue and…Green!

Blog-Header-FamiliesExpertU

Whether it’s the heart-racing explosion of fireworks or sharing good food with good friends on the beach, the 4th of July is a great time to have fun with family and friends!

Here are some helpful hints to make your Independence Day celebration eco-friendly: 

Friendlier Fireworks

Although they look spectacular, fireworks spew a “who’s who” of nasty chemicals. From gunpowder, to toxic pollutants and heavy metals, the debris that rains down from exploded fireworks contains lead, barium, cadmium, lithium, potassium nitrate and occasionally arsenic.

To help improve air quality for your family and still enjoy the festivities, avoid setting off your own personal displays, and check out your local area’s show. Some communities are now choosing green alternatives to toxic propellants (like compressed air). You may even want to encourage your local firework show to consider using these more environmentally friendly fireworks methods!

Skip the Sparkle

Adopting a new tradition around the 4th of July may be just what you’re looking for. A greener option to sparklers is for kids to make their own colorful confetti out of recycled paper and then throw it with wild abandon! This is also a safer option for little fingers as the pretty spark that sparklers create burns at over 1800 degrees F which can melt metal or glass – ouch!

Beach Etiquette

As excited as we may be to run straight into the crashing waves when we reach the beach, it is wise to use the wooden boardwalks that lead out to the sand. These walkovers are important to maintain the fragile dunes that are safe havens for specialized plants and animals. These valuable dunes also help protect waterfront properties from high waves.

Classic picnics are just right for a 4th of July beach day. To leave the beach as beautiful as it was when you found it, pack everything in (and out) in a handy basket or backpack and bring metal cutlery, sturdy plastic plates and cups from home. We all have the know-how to prevent the large amount of paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons that end up in the trash each year (enough to circle the equator 300 times).

Sharing the sand with our animal ocean neighbors is simple by giving them personal space and not approaching or touching them.

Any trash you see should find its way into a trashcan or recycling container (even if you need to carry it a while until you can find a trashcan).

Whether it’s new, innovative firework technologies or an old fashioned family picnic, many of the choices we make around Independence Day can make a difference to ocean health. Together, even small choices like these will make a big impact!

Happy Fourth of July!

Blog-Header-HeatherDoggett


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