Abby’s Blog: A Greener World Starts with Kids Who Care

Every year, millions of kids learn what it means to be green through the Keep America Beautiful educational classroom programs and by volunteering in the annual Great American Cleanup event. Keep America Beautiful teaches kids not to litter, how to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and a program called “Beautification”. Beautification involves graffiti prevention and removal, planting community gardens, building parks and greenspaces and cleaning up litter and illegal dump sites.

My mom and dad taught me about going green by reading me books like “I Can Save The Earth!” – one of my favorite books.  This book tells the story of Max the Little Monster who wastes electricity and water and won’t even give away his old toys even when he doesn’t play with them anymore. One night there is a blackout (that’s when all of the power goes out) and Max goes outside and notices how beautiful the earth is. Max learns to love the earth and not litter or waste electricity and even recycles his old toys to his friends.

I think kids can do something everyday to make our world a cleaner, greener place. What can you do today?

posted by Abby, age 6

Abby’s Blog: Volunteer for the Annual Bioneers by the Bay

Being held in Downtown New Bedford on October 22-25, this year’s Annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change needs your help. Theya re looking for volunteers.  Volunteering is a fun and worthwhile experience that is a great way to give back. When you volunteer for one day, you then receive one day’s free admission to the conference, a $100 value. 

They  need volunteers to help with everything from greeting people to helping out with our farmers’ market, but most of all they need passionate individuals and groups.

Click HERE to register to volunteer.

Posted by Abby, age 6

Barbara’s Bakery Concludes Dr. Kress Award Environmental Program For Kids

BarbarasBakery Puffins 150dpiBarbara’s Bakery, health food pioneer, has concluded their “How I Changed the World” Kress Award program, an initiative which was run in conjunction with the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) member stores.

Children ages 7-17 were invited to write in describing how their actions helped changed the world/environment around them in 75 words or less and include a photo. Named after Dr. Stephen Kress, the director of Project Puffin, and created to honor young environmentalists, this Barbara’s Bakery program awarded seven winners the following:

  • Grand Prize: $1,000 educational grant, a one year supply of cereal, one Adopt-A-Puffin, and a three feet tall stuffed Plush Puffin
  • 2nd Place Prize (three awarded): $500 educational grant
  • 3rd Place Prize (three awarded): $250 educational grant

Each winner also received the Dr. Kress Award plaque and a tote of Barbara’s Puffin stuff (T-shirt, beanie puffin, etc.). Judges include, among others, Dr. Kress himself and Evan Hirsch, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Information about the program and contest winners can be viewed on the PuffinsCereal.com site: http://www.puffinscereal.com/contest_winners/index.html. The page will be up until October 15, 2009.

Abby’s Blog – Kids Helping the Earth: Wild Maine Blueberries

This is the time of year, at least where I live, where all the best local fruits and even veggies can be had. Yesterday my mom came home with 2 quarts of organic Maine wild blueberries. If you haven’t had these then you’ve really never had blueberries. Maine Wild Blueberries are tiny, I mean really, really tiny (like the size of a pomegranate seed). They have so much flavor and they are super sweet. They are awesome in pancakes and muffins, they are also really good in blueberry pie, in waffles or french toast, mixed with cottage cheese, sprinkled over vanilla ice cream or yogurt, or even eaten out of a bowl.

Here’s some tips if you are going to go pick them:

Choose only the berries that are completely blue with no hint of red, blueberries don’t ripen after they have been picked and avoid any blueberries that are soft, moldy, or watery. A container that is stained or leaking are signs of berries that are past their prime. Once you get home, do not wash them until you eat them (this is true of strawberries too!) Water makes them go bad faster. Store them in a hard plastic container with a sealed top and you could keep them in your fridge for up to 2 weeks or a year in your freezer!

If you’ve never had them, go hunting.  This website has a long list by areas of Maine to go picking.

Have fun!

posted by Abby, age 6

Abby’s Blog: Kids Helping the Earth – Moving and Donating

This is the week we move. My parents sold our house on Middlebridge to prepare for our move into the new house.  We are temporarily moving into a condo my parents own until our house is finished so my mom was insistent that we clean out our toys and determine what we had either outgrown, didn’t like, was broken and what we just didn’t play with anymore. Let me tell you this is a lot of work.

My mom and I started with organizing all my toys (and my brothers). All of our toys come with a lot of pieces and my mom thought that if we made piles and found all the pieces then we’d know what toys were in good shape and what toys were broken or had missing parts. This meant we had to find stuff in my room, Max’s room, my doll room and our playroom. This took FOREVER and was so BORING. But I did find two Barbie shoes and Sleeping Beauty’s crown. Once the pile of broken toys was assembled we then took all my favorite toys and put them in my toy chest so they could move with us to the condo. This part was easy, except when my mom kept saying “We can’t take everything.” I did decide to take my Bitty Baby and most of her clothes; my Barbie princesses and Thumbelina; my walkie talkies; my dress up collection; my Dash game; and of course my animals.

Once we did that, mom started packing. I consider myself lucky that I didn’t end up in the boxes. My mom was pretty insistent that I donate some toys that I had gotten too big for or that I just didn’t play with. When we were all done I had a bunch of boxes and baskets that were getting packed away but I also had three big bags of toys that are going to the Salvation Army.

Going through your toys is a good way to help reduce and reuse. I take good care of my things so when I donate them other kids get things that are brand new to them.  And same thing for me, over the years I’ve gotten hand me downs that have ranged from a kitchen set to a bike, and now I get to share them with someone else. You can do this too!

Posted by Abby age 6

Abby’s Blog: Kids Helping the Earth – Using Fallen Trees

This week a tree fell in our yard. It was a huge oak tree. It landed on the playset my parents got for my third birthday. It also crushed two Adirondack chairs that were my mom’s.  My mom and dad walked around the tree and were trying to understand what happened and why; they also tried to figure out the clean up. So I suggested maybe we could make something from the tree. My mom smiled and said she was wondering the same thing. So we did some research.

We had a local carpenter come look at the tree and he determined that it was an oak tree that was approximately 180 years old. He said the wood was useable if we had it cut in lengths and the milled on the grain (we have a local company that called Liberty Cedar that will do this for my parents). The wood could then be used for building shelves, cabinets or furniture.

I just thought this was a great way to save tree that otherwise would have been chipped and sent to the decay pile. I’ve learned a lot about trees and the forest as my parents have been building the house, and I know using a fallen tree is the best way to give it a good life.

Posted by Abby: Age 6

Abby’s Blog: Kids Helping the Earth – Farmers’ Markets

Every Saturday, from May through October, my mom and I head out for the Farmer’s Market held at local Casey Farm. My mom has a pattern. Seven Stars has the longest line so head over to Zephyr Organic — they have great veggies and fruit, and this time of year, if we get there by 9:15 we still have a chance of getting some berries….last month strawberries, today raspberries, in two weeks blueberries. Then we cross the grass to hit up Casey Farm for things like eggs, tomatoes and kalorabi. The next line over is sometimes a stop for sausages, pork chops and even bacon. Then we go to Olga’s for our weekly wheat loaf and our treat which ranges from lemon pound cake to chocolate strawberry scones. Today we even went to Susanna’s Berry Farm for homemade ice cream and brought hometheir vanilla bean, dark chocolate andtoasted coconut ice creams. Sometime we stop and get cheese, maple syrup or jam but it ds if we need it. My mom also goes to Matunuck Oyster Co for littlenecks and oysters. There are lots of other stops too, but my favorite part is helping my mom pick it all out and knowing the great meals she will cook all week which always kick off with our Sunday breakfast.

In RI, for your local farms, check out Farm Fresh.

posted by Abby, age 6