I didn’t know Friday (April 22, 2011) was Earth Day. If it weren’t for this week’s kindergarten class, I probably wouldn’t have known until I saw Google’s earthy logo that day. When I was in school, I remember briefly talking about Earth Day, and I think my class planted a tree in celebration. But the kindergarteners are celebrating all week long, and began by learning about “going green.”
That being said, they already knew a fair amount about the eco-friendly way of life. A few students pretty clearly articulated the purpose of “going green” was to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Anne Marie explained how a compost pile worked. Mynique described the recycling process (“you give them your old paper and they turn it into new paper again”). Everyone could point to the recycling bin at the front of the classroom. All in all, I was really impressed with how environmentally conscious all of the kids were.
Together we learned about other ways to protect the environment by reading Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli. One idea that Miss Fox had that I thought was particularly clever was a “toy swap:” each of her students brought an old toy or game that he or she was tired of and switched it with a classmate so each student ended up with a new toy without actually buying a new toy. When I was in kindergarten I think I would have loved that idea (my friends always seemed to have more exciting toys than I did). Indeed, the kids let out a collective “ooooh” when we read the few pages about the toy swap. Future class project, anyone? I think it would be a huge hit.
Whether it’s because of their parents, their teachers, or just a general change in culture, I’m pretty glad these little kids are aware of simple things to help the environment. I certainly wasn’t aware of all this stuff when I was 6. From writing on both sides of paper to bringing re-usable bags to the grocery store, everyone seemed to know the basics of living green.