APRIL 20-24, 2015The EEAC’s environmental theme for the year is Making Peace with the Natural World – The Power of Plants. The United Nations has declared this year, the International Year of Soils, so in connection with these themes, for Earth Week we are raising awareness about the importance of soil - how little of it there is on the earth for growing our food, and how we can improve the quality of our soil in the garden by recycling some of our food and paper waste to create compost using worms, a process called vermi-composting.We will also have a coin drive in support of SOIL, a non-profit that is transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. Through the use of ecological sanitation, SOIL provides access to safe, dignified sanitation for people and then turns that human waste into rich, hygienic, organic compost which is then used to enrich Haiti’s badly-depleted soils, creating jobs in the process. Our goal is to raise at least $2,300 which will support a community-shared toilet for 6 months during the upcoming Hurricane season. The class that raises the most funds in each elementary school will receive an in-class visit from some of their favorite live, endangered rainforest animals from Education Through Nature, an organization that focuses on raising awareness and educating about deforestation and the importance of our rainforests to the world ecosystem.
Earth Week activities planned for our students and parents:
• A worm composting assembly and demonstration for all elementary grade levels, culminating in the school receiving their very own worm bin
• Help Haitian families improve the soil they have while also providing much needed sanitation by participating in your student’s class coin drive
• Walk to School Wednesday, April 22nd
• Try the new “California Thursdays” menu in the cafeteria
• Watch videos in the tech lab related to soil, worm composting and SOIL in elementary schools (also provided below for parents)
• Explore new library books about soil, worms and worm composting
• Drop off used clothing in our green USAgain recycling bins (remember, no textiles should go to the landfill!)
• Donate used ink cartridges and small electronics to our Green Hippo bin inside the office
After learning about soil, worms and worm composting in school, your kids may come home and want to share information about these topics. Below are resources you and your student can explore.
Worm composting is a simple, natural method for converting fruit and vegetable scraps from your yard and kitchen into rich nutrients. All you need is a container filled with moistened bedding, worms and food scraps. The worms, with help form micro-organisms, convert the bedding and food waste into compost within a few weeks. Worm composting is so simple that it can be done virtually anywhere: schools, offices, kitchens, or homes.
The resulting compost is an excellent soil amendment that can be used to make potting soil for houseplants or as a fertilizer for your garden. Worm compost is also a rich source of nitrogen, making it an excellent organic fertilizer. Finally, worm tea (liquid that is produced during the composting process) is an excellent organic fertilizer and contains many essential minerals and nutrients that plants need in order to grow.
· Smart Gardening Website
· Smart Gardening: Composting Workshop Part 1
· Smart Gardening: Composting Workshop Part 2
· Videos of apple as earth demo- used to show how much topsoil the earth has
• UN International Year of Soils – 2015
Video LINKS for ELEMENTARY Students (WILL BE shown in Tech lab)
· Vermi the Worm (grades K – 3)
· TED Ed about Worms (grades 4-5)http://ed.ted.com/lessons/vermicomposting-how-worms-can-reduce-our-waste-matthew-ross%20--%20for%204-5?
· Teen in Community Garden – vermi-composting (all grades)
Video Links to SOIL – the Haitian organization we will support with our coin drive
• Video for students to watch about SOIL
• Brief video about the eco-sanitation toilet and how compost is made from human waste
• BBC coverage of the non-profit – 8 minutes
• Ten minute documentary with great narration and overview of the problem and solution