Abby’s Blog: We Add Up

WE ADD UP is a global campaign using organic cotton t-shirts that literally “counts you in” to help solve the climate crisis. Every shirt is printed by hand with a unique number. YOUR number is your position in our sequential global count of people who are taking steps to do their part. As the count grows, we demonstrate to the world that “WE ADD UP.” On the back of each shirt is a word or phrase that describes an action almost anyone can take to reduce their carbon footprint – the contribution their lifestyle makes to greenhouse gases – such as, Unplug, Lights Off, Carpool, Hybrid, Bike, Buy Local, and 27 others. You choose which action you are committed to doing and get counted in.

Here’s a picture of my family in our WE ADD UP tshirts. My mom has Local and an Organic, my dad has Shower Together, but our kids tees say: No one can do everything. Everyone can do something. And, WE ADD UP.

Their goal is to get millions of people around the world starting conversations on the streets. When you wear a We Add Up tee, you will notice complete strangers asking, “What does that number mean?” True change happens through education and it is our goal to give each of you a tool to be that educator and ambassador of change.

WE ADD UP also offers its products as a fundraiser for schools and non-profit groups. Groups receive 15% of all sales and are eligible for cash prizes. Contact them for more information. I think it is time to say goodbye to candles and wrapping paper.

posted by Abby age 6 3/4

Abby’s Blog: Disney’s Friends for Change, Project Green

I pledged Disney’s Friends for Change. This green movement for kids is lead  by favorite Disney teen stars that stress environmental issues in the campaign, encouraging us to take action. As part of the initiative, kids will have the ability to choose how Disney will invest one million dollars in environmental programs to save water, save animals, stop pollution, and save the earth.

Kids can pick a number of different ways to pledge

Load ‘er up – only let you parents run a full dishwahser load

Pool it — organize a car pool to shcool

Get pugged and unplug it — unplug cell phones or plug them into a power strip

Note this – buy only recycled paper notebooks

Water saver — when waiting for water to heat up, catch it to water plants

Flush not — don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket

The Big Clean — join a group to clean up a local beach or other area

It’s in the Bag – use reusable shopping bags

Skip it – skip one car trip per week

I pledged to use reusable shoping bags, help clean our local beaches and still do the rest just becuase it is good for our planet. But joing teh movement.

posted by Abby age 6 3/4

Abby’s Blog: Being a Kid, Building a Wind Turbine

My mom found this cool website called KidWind.org and they had a whole “How-to” build a wind turbine for a classroom or science project, and I thought it was cool. I thought I’d share, cause everyone should know how.

Before building a wind turbine for a project, we recommend that you have a working knowledge of wind energy concepts, so that when you test your turbine, you have a basic idea of which variables to test. Please take a look at our “learn about wind” section. This section has tons of information on wind turbine design, blade design, electricity and power output, wind meteorology, and much more.

Building your own wind turbine from scratch is not a simple task! You first need to make a list of the parts and materials that go into making a wind turbine. We have compiled this list to help you get started. Many of these materials are available at the Kidwind shop, but creative, unique designs are always encouraged!

Electrical Materials: You might need to do some basic soldering to connect wires to motors. The multimeters and alligator clips are used to hook up the measuring devices. Understanding the electrical output can be confusing, but you can learn more about it here >>.

Building Materials: This list depends on what types of windmills you are going to build. If you are all going to build similar models then you can keep it simple. If you are looking for lots of variability then you can open things up.

  • A Hub to attach your blades to your generator
  • Balsa wood, PVC pipe and fittings, dowels, plastic cardboard, fabric, building “junk”
  • Gears, pulleys, tinker toys, k’nex, legos
  • Construction tools hammers, small saws, scissors, exacto knifes, glue guns, PVC cutters
  • Safety goggles

Other testing materials: (not required but sure are neat!)

Don’t forget that you can find most of these materials in the KidWind Shop. Check out the Science Fair Kit and the Gears and Motors Kit if you want the basic materials to build your own turbine.

posted by Abby, age 6 1/2

Abby’s Blog: Girl Scout Cookie Time

Though my area doesn’t have an active Daisy Troop for first graders from Narragansett this year, I am still excited to say that it is Girl Scout Cookie time. This is the main fundraiser for the Girl Scouts and is what makes troops, activities, camping, education and fun activites for young girls happen. You can even but them online this year. To stock up on Girl Scout cookies near you, go here.

posted by Abby, age 6 1/2

Abby’s Blog: Yummy and Organic Hot Chocolate for Winter Time!

My family and I have been doing lots of skiing this winter – even my little brother Max gets to ski this year because he is finally big enough.  When we are done playing outside in the snow, we love to come in for some yummy hot chocolate.   Mom likes to buy organic snacks and stuff for us and for hot chocolate, she sometimes buys Boulevards.  It is super yummy and good for us!

Posted by: Abby age 6

Abby’s Blog: Box Tops for Education

The Narragansett Elementary school, we’re I attend first grade and Max is in pre-school, collects Box Tops for Education. You’ve seen them, they look like little coupons in pink and orange and can be found on everything from cereal and granola bar boxes to kleenex and toilet paper. If you aren’t cutting them out then you probably recycle them with the rest of your cardboard but do you know they are worth ten cents for every one you send to your local school? That money get used for things like supplies for art, books and music. Our school has an annual competition, and the classroom who raises the most money with box tops gets a prize at the end of the year.

It may not seem like much but it adds up fast and it helps schools raise money for things they need thousands of dollars every year with the program. So before you recycle, clip that ten cents and give it to your local school kid. You could be funding their next art class!

posted by Abby, Age 6 1/2

Abby’s Blog: Options for Batteries in Kid’s Toys

Coming off the holidays, I received a lot of great new toys. My mom got me a lot of kid-power stuff like a scooter and ice skates, but others brought Max and I a lot of battery-required toys like motorized cars, games, and related stuff.

We need batteries. My mom has said enough with them and that her kids (meaning us) are personally contributing to the e-waste problem that no one can solve. She touted these points:

  • Americans purchase 5 billion batteries each year
  • Those 5 billion batteries leave behind 146,000 tons of battery waste each year
  • Ok, point taken Mom but what are we to do? Shocker of a suggestion, solar rechargeable batteries (yes, sometimes this gets old.)

    The Ultralast solar charger will charge 4 AA batteries in driect solar sunlight in about 2 days in the northeast in the summer months, but this time of year we’re looking at about 4 days. But at just $35 for the pack its not a bad alternative and if you figure a four pack of batteries runs about $4 and is bad for the earth you might be able to justify the cost.

    posted by Abby, age 6 1/2