Going Green: Encouraging Children to be Stewards of the Environment

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Go Green: Raising Children to be Stewards of the Environment

It’s almost Earth Day! This international holiday, which dates back to 1970, occurs annually on April 22. This year it happens to fall right smack in the middle of Spring break for Huntington area schools. If you will be sticking close to home during vacation, there are lots of ways to celebrate this holiday locally and encourage your children to think about things we can all do to help preserve our planet. Hopefully many of you have already begun to involve your children in daily activities to help take care of the environment and nurture a love of the outdoors - whether it be through gardening, collecting items for recycling, taking part in community clean-up events, or visiting our many parks, beaches, nature preserves, and museums to foster an appreciation for the one home we can’t live without.

Being ‘Green’ can also save your family money - for example, through encouraging your kids to turn off lights and unplug electronic devices when they’re not in use. I know my daughter is a real stickler for turning off the water while brushing her teeth, and you have to admire how she keeps us all in line. Perhaps you are already trying to reduce the number of trips you take by car, and getting in the habit of calling a friend or two to carpool when you’re both going to the same place? Or making an effort to eat more locally-produced, unprocessed foods? Remember, no action is too small. With that in mind, how else will you celebrate Earth day this year, and get your children to start thinking about lessening their impact on the environment not just for one day, but each and every day? Feel free to share your ideas and plans so we can all join in and benefit. Here are a few fun events around our area beginning this weekend to get you started - don't hesitate to add your own!

Tiny Tots: Let's Discover Nature Hour - “Precipitation Observation”, Thursday, April 14, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Caleb Smith State Park Preserve.        
The Let's Discover Nature Hour is a special time for both parent and child to discover the wonders of their natural world together.  Each program's theme will use nature explorations and hands-on activities as a springboard for learning.  Program is held on Thursdays from 10am-11am. Pre-registration is required (registrations are accepted by phone up to two weeks in advance of each program date). For more information: (631) 265-1054

National Park Week, April 16 - 24th, celebrates America's 394 National parks with special programs, events, and free admission (!) to all fee based parks. Our nearest National parks are Sagamore Hill and Fire Island National Seashore. For more information: http://www.nps.gov/npweek/
2011 Family Earth Day Expo, Saturday, April 16th, 9-1:00 p.m., Huntington Town Hall Parking Lot, 100 Main Street.
Supervisor Frank Petrone, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and the Town of Huntington will be celebrating Earth Day 2011 with the following events and sponsors: The “Plug-in to E-Cycling Event” sponsored by Covanta; the “latest addition to the Town's comprehensive and expansive recycling program, giving residents and businesses the opportunity to dispose of obsolete e-waste items such as cell phones, pagers, radios, stereos, computers, laptops, fax machines and televisions.” bring your old unwanted outdated documents for on-site shredding and disposal. The “Green Showcase” will offer multiple demonstrations including “residential solar energy, green cleaning, composting, organic gardening and fun activities for the kids along with raffles and give-aways. The first 150 families that bring ten used plastic grocery bags for recycling will be given a free reusable grocery bag compliments of Wild by Nature.”
For additional information call 351-3171 or visit http://town.huntington.ny.us/eventdetails.cfm?eventID=1536

Seal Walk, Saturday, April 16, 11:00 AM, Montauk Point State Park.
A State Park naturalist will lead visitors on a 2-3 hours leisurely beach walk to an area where up to four species of seals can be observed. $5 for Adults; $3 Children under 18.
For more information: (631) 668-5000.

Bringing Earth Day Home, Sunday, April 17,1–3:30 p.m., Sweetbriar Nature Center.
Celebrate the natural world and our place in it. Learn the top 10 things you can do to be a good neighbor to native wildlife. Explore the stories of 10 native creatures you can probably find in your own backyard or very close by–Box Turtle, Spicebush Butterfly, American Crow, Screech Owl, Grey Squirrel, Virginia Opossum, Garter Snake, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Blue jay, Red Tailed Hawk. Take a nature walk, and make a craft to celebrate the earth!
Where:Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, NY.
Cost:$5/person for members and $6/person for non-members.
More Info: www.sweetbriarnc.org/events or phone (631) 979-6344.

Sasha Abraham lives in Huntington Station with her husband, two children, and a dog named Gingerale.

Carol April 13, 2011 at 04:58 PM
That is the best picture! We try to explain our choices of products and decisions about activities, etc. We can see our kids have started to internalize our ecological values. It is gratifying to see them think green at such a young age.
Sasha Abraham April 13, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Thanks, Carol! I think kids of all ages really pick up on our actions and have an innate desire to do their part to help, it's great you're starting the dialogue at such a young age.
Summer April 14, 2011 at 08:40 PM
We try to make sure we always do the little things to live a green lifestyle since we know they really do add up to make a huge difference and will help our little ones develop green habits. One great example of this is with our son's lunch. We always pack waste free lunches for him and now his daycare has caught on and is promoting waste free lunches throughout the entire center which is huge! You should check out www.wastefreelunches.org to learn more about waste free lunches and what a difference your kids can make.


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