S: Seasons of Change
BC: This book was created by: Angela Banks | Picture References: Solar Panels retrieved from: http://carsonfree.synthasite.com/ Desk and Chair retrieved from: http://www.todaysclassroom.com/cdf5817br-dual-entry-sled-base-combination-chair-desk-with-book-basket/ Flush Sign retrieved from: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/22/hippies-hollywood-and-the-flush-factor/ Milk Recycling retrieved from: http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/SolidWaste/SchoolandKidsRecycleCorner/Pages/MilkJuiceCartonRecycling.aspx
FC: K-8 Green Giants
1: Hi, my name is Angela and this is my story about how my school helps to protect the Earth.
2: Or school is a‘green school. That means it is built with recycled materials, and doesn't use a lot of energy. We have a lot of big windows in the classrooms and hallways, and they let in a lot of natural light, so we don't have to use much energy. We also have Solar Panels that absorb sun light and turn it into useable power. The panels generate enough power to light the front office and keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Although in Florida it doesn't get very cold.
4: Even our sinks and bathrooms are earth friendly.!We have low-flow and timed sinks. You push the knob down to turn the water on, and it turns off by itself after a few seconds. It's cool, but it's kind of a problem when you have really dirty hands. Then we have to keep pushing it and the knob ends up dirty too! In our classrooms the faucet isn't timed, but the water flow is very light. | The toilet is the coolest. You can flush it two different ways. If you go 1 (which is liquid waste) you pull the handle up. If you go 2 (solid waste) you push the handle down. This saves a whole bunch of water. My teacher has to keep reminding us which way to flush because we are so used to just flushing down. She can tell the difference in the flushes by their sound. When you flush down it uses more water pressure so it's a lot louder.
6: Clean and Cool
7: The entire school, except the front office, has tile floors. My teacher says that it helps keep the building cooler in the summer time, and keeps germs from spreading so quickly. I think it's just easier to clean. We do have big rugs in our classrooms to sit on, but some of them look super gross. Our chairs and desks are made of recycled material too. We don't have the regular desks with the hollow inside like some schools do. Our desks only have the flat surface and ‘L-shaped legs. Our chairs have metal baskets underneath them, so that's where we keep our textbooks and pencil cases. This furniture uses less material than traditional school furniture.
9: All this stuff is good, but our principal says we can do better. We got green recycling buckets for our classrooms. We decorated them and made them really pretty, and at the end of the day our teachers let us take the full bucket and dump it in the big bins. They keep the big bins in the cafeteria so we can recycle our water bottles and soda cans at lunch time. We also just started another project where we can recycle our milk containers. This is my favorite, because if we don't finish drinking our milk, we can pour it out in a green bucket and watch it swirl down the tube! My teacher says that it's not for fun, and we have to drink all of our milk, but we do it sometimes anyway. After we pour out the milk, we can then put it in the milk carton recycling bin.
10: Our school also has two gardens. The first one is very special, because it was built for and dedicated to a student that died. She was really sick, but no one knew because she was always nice and never acted sick. Our second garden is a butterfly garden. It is so cute! The teachers put a little fence around it and painted the wood to look like crayons. My teacher told us that in early spring, the mother butterflies will come and lay their eggs in our garden; where there are a lot of plants for the caterpillars to eat when they hatch (we learned in kindergarten that caterpillars turn into butterflies!). When those butterflies are ready, they will fly away, and next year, come back to lay their eggs, and the cycle continues.
11: Butterfly Garden
12: Rain Rain....Stay | Also outside the school, at the end of each hallway, we have rain bins. These are fat cylinders that collect the rain water as it runs off the roof of the building. We use that water for our gardens. There is some kind of fancy system that has tubes connected from the bins to our garden. The Green Team leader has it set on a timer so twice a day, our gardens get watered –even when we're not in school!
13: I also learned that we use coconut hair (I didn't know coconuts grew hair) instead of soil to grow our plants in. We did it for the first time last year and our beans grew really huge.! They were overflowing the baskets and hanging all the way down to the ground. Over a long holiday weekend, the pumps stopped working and our beans dried up and died. We were really upset, but the lead teacher fixed it, and we are going to try it again this year. I can't wait!
15: Our school does a lot to help protect the earth, and we are still learning about more ways to help. There are so many things you can do at home that are very easy, like recycling and turning off lights when you're not in a room. You can also not let the water run for long periods of time. For example, fill up the sink to wash dishes instead of running the water to wash all of them. These are really easy to do. Some people are even more dedicated, and make their own compost piles (I think it's really gross), and grow their own vegetables at home. My mom grows herbs and tomatoes – those are pretty easy and taste really good!
16: These Are The Moments I Live For
17: The more you laugh, the longer you live. | Well, I hoped you enjoyed my story and got some really good ideas on how you and your family can help protect the Earth too. It is, after all, the only home we have.