Water Campaign Friendships

Two years ago, Aquatic Society of Omaha from Nebraska and St. Roza from Uganda joined our 2017 Water Campaign. These two teams met each other through the Campaign as partner teams and learned about methods to improve water quality and water conservation efforts. During the Campaign, the two teams communicated a common interest in water conservation, food security, and improving sustainable agricultural efforts. Since first meeting each other, Aquatic Society of Omaha and St. Roza have collaborated on several environmentally focused projects and have kept in contact in future Campaigns. We’re happy to see our Campaign teams get along so well!

Continued Collaboration

These veteran Grades of Green Campaign teams have continued to participate in environmental efforts together- most recently in the Pollination Project. Aquatic Society of Omaha and St. Roza are committed to learning about modern agricultural practices in order to improve agricultural efforts, learn about water dynamics in soil, and improve sustainable resource usage. Both Aquatic Society of Omaha and St. Roza are working to improve awareness and solutions for water issues by researching the impact of water scarcity and by working on food growing units. By improving food growing aspects in incremental steps, the teams are improving water and quality by incorporating water testing and soil testing kits into food growing units while taking action on other agricultural measure. Other innovations include adding nets to the bottom of food growing units to prevent pests from attacking food roots and adding enriched soils to these kits.

Join the Water Campaign!

Want to join teams like Aquatic Society of Omaha and St. Roza in fighting water issues around the world? Feel free to join us in our next Water Campaign here!

Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a great partner team to collaborate too!

Finding Facts Amidst Fiction

With the amount of information available in the world today, how do we know what claims made about the environment are trustworthy? While some scientific articles, ads, and headlines make claims that seem too good to be true, others make outlandish claims to draw readers in. Fake news published in articles, blogs, and ads have been distributed by organizations and individuals who have interests that benefit from dissuading people from believing in real scientific studies. In recent years, fake news has reached more people than ever before due to social media sharing and information bubbles.

To fight scientific misinformation in the classroom, Andy Zucker and Penny Noyce have developed a “Resisting Scientific Misinformation” curriculum for science teachers who educate 6th – 12th grade students. It’s a free online curriculum program aims to help young students distinguish scientific ‘misinformation’ from reality.

Learn more about it here: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/02/lessons-on-telling-scientific-fact-from-fiction/

Here are the top 4 ways to fight scientific misinformation in the classroom and beyond:

– Ensure that your news is credible by reading through some citation sources and checking in to see if the piece is an opinion piece or from a blog written by a non-professional. Opinion pieces allow people to state their opinion rather than absolute facts.

– Be aware of claims based on personal stories, people using their status to assert that their opinion is correct, and the phrase “the science is uncertain.”

– Check out these news related tips to see how fake news works and how to be aware of sources that use “truth-stretching” methods. This will help you determine more accurate news sources for what you want to learn!

– Download the Resisting Scientific Misinformation Teacher Guide here at https://tumblehomebooks.org/services/resisting-scientific-misinformation/

Is It That Big of a Problem?

Grades of Green students have been making efforts to reduce waste in their communities during this year’s Waste Campaign. Students are cleaning up litter, reducing their plastic emissions, and diverting food waste. But what’s the big deal with waste?

Waste Affects Us All!

Pollution from single-use plastics, micro-plastics, landfill dumped food, and litter all go in our environment. This pollution can have harmful and unintended side-effects on a variety of things. Animals can choke on larger plastic pieces. Microplastics can be found in many fish and in sea salts used to season food in virtually every ocean. Landfill dumped food can leak nitrogen and phosphates into nearby water ways- damaging wildlife and creating oxygen depriving algae blooms.

In addition, the emissions created by creating many of these unnecessary materials can harm the world as well. Increased carbon emissions are reducing the nutritiousness of rice around the world, a staple crop that feeds much of the world’s developing populations.

What Can We Do?

Grades of Green’s students have been brave enough to start by addressing waste issues within their communities. By reducing plastic usage, cleaning up litter, and diverting food waste towards composting bins, students are not only helping themselves, but helping their communities learn about easy ways to reduce the harmful habits that ultimately harm us. In addition to taking direct action, students have also contacted their legislators to bring this to the attention of decision makers!

Know a brave student who can make a difference too? Have them join us in our next Campaign!

New Year, New Habits

Want to make 2019 the most eco-friendly one yet? Follow these tips and try any of these activities for this year! Get your friends to join you in one of these activities so you can all go green together!

Green Year’s Resolutions

– Bring your own bags and containers to stores and restaurants for shopping and leftovers. Also, don’t forget your bags and containers at home!

– Take the time to recycle at home and at work.

– Don’t litter. By buying less and using less, you can drastically reduced your impact and litter from using packaging material.

– Time your showers. Try to set a record, but don’t forget to clean behind your ears.

– Try to drive even less year this year! Plan some social events with a carpool, with a bike, or with public transportation. This is a great way for kids to learn about using public transportation, it’s a great way for you to stay healthy, and it’s a good way to get together with friends and try new things.

– Plant something! Not only are plants therapeutic, but you can eat things like your own green onions and root vegetables.

– Don’t flush things that aren’t toilet paper or waste down the toilet. Clogging from these kind of materials can create infrastructural damage that reduces a city’s ability to dump water safely back into the environment.

– Try going vegetarian for a day or for a week. Many people around the world eat vegetarian dishes to celebrate an event! Try learning vegetarian recipes from people around the world!

The entire Grades of Green staff wishes you a happy new year! Let’s make this the greenest year yet!