By: Patrick Mazuca
St. Patrick’s Day is ALL about the green. But today I would like to chat about a different kind of “going green.” I am sure you have all heard about the importance of reducing your carbon foot-print. Protecting the earth is IMPORTANT! It’s the only one we have, so take a look at how we can take our camp experience and make sure that we are being wise in the way we treat the environment. I promise you, these are EASY tips that anyone can do, especially SUMMER CAMPERS!
Re-usable Water Bottles
The U.S. alone uses about 17.6 million barrels of oil to produce plastic bottles. That would be enough oil to fuel more than one million vehicles each year. These bottles then have to be transported over hundreds of miles which consumes energy and releases pollutants. At the end of all this we are left with billions of empty bottles of which only 16% are recycled. The other 84% will end up in landfills or littering our streets where they can make their way to our rivers, lakes or oceans through the storm drain system.
Reusable water bottles can save you money as well. The average tap water in California costs about $1.60 per thousand gallons while the average bottled water costs about $0.90 per gallon-that means you are paying over 560 times more for a product that is virtually free! Plus, I have noticed that kids who have a plastic bottle with them, are more likely to keep themselves hydrated as well!
Touch Don’t Take!
When encouraging your child to explore nature make sure you teach them the importance of TOUCH DON’T TAKE. Though we want our kids to experience hands on learning, when in nature it is important to assure that they understand that nature is made up of living (and a few non-living) things. If we harm this living thing, we are harming nature, and not making the earth a better place to live. Also, we should never take a rock, leaf or stick out of nature. Who knows, it might be an animals home!
This is the easiest way to help your camp and campers go green, teach nature, and allow your kids hands on learning experience. Planting a camp garden is not only fun, but is healthy for the earth and can even be delicious. This past summer, my campers and I planted carrots while discussing how we should treat the earth and why plants are important. It was really a great memory. Plus, this summer maybe we will be able to eat the results!
Well that’s it for now. Enjoy these great tips and let us know how you and your camp is going green this summer!