What young people are doing for Earth Day

For kids: The Monitor asked how young people and teachers would celebrate Earth Day. Here are some of your responses.

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    Grow green: Kids in Arvada, Colo., decorate paper cups before planting grass seed in them.
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We asked young readers and teachers to tell us how they're celebrating Earth Day 2008. Here are some responses:

Trashless lunch, green rewards

The Environmental Club at my school really rises to the occasion during Earth Month. Every day throughout April, there is a trashless lunch contest where students using reusable Tupperware containers and reusable lunch bags are rewarded with raffle tickets toward Earth-themed prizes.

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This year, the club is planning to start a garden in the courtyard where people eat lunch or hang out during the warm-weather months. The garden will feature different flowers and plants, each sponsored by a different homeroom.

On Earth Day, the school will hold a special prayer service honoring all creation and blessing the plants on the school grounds.

Johanna Ohm, Coxsackie, N.Y.

Eleventh grade

Back to nature

On Earth Day, our second-grade class is going to a local nature preserve to learn about plants, animals, and their environment. We are an inner-city school where many of the students have limited opportunities to leave the city and have real-life experiences discovering nature.

Prior to our field trip, students are growing plants in our classroom. Students will give the plants to their mothers on Mother's Day and then plant them in their yards.

Theresa Goodridge, Hamtramck, Mich.

Second-grade teacher

Recycling batteries, rescuing wetlands

My class cares about and loves our environment and wetlands. Wetlands are important. They break down and filter waste. So to save our wetlands and to celebrate Earth Day, my class is putting buckets around our school to collect household batteries. During April and May, we will collect the batteries and then take them to the recycling center.

Batteries are dangerous for wetlands because the batteries are solid, and they contain chemicals the wetlands can't break down. So when batteries end up in the wetlands, it chokes them and can make the water toxic.

Bogs are wetlands, too, and are home to birds such as herons. The chemicals can be harmful to them. That is why my class is collecting batteries for Earth Day.

Dustin Ward, Boone, N.C.

Sixth grade

Here are a few resources on the environment you might enjoy:

Earth Day links: At www.earthday.gov/kids, you'll find links to games and sites that tell more about how to help the environment.

The Water Family online game: The Wessex Water company in Britain has an online game about water efficiency. To see how much water you can save, visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/waterefficiency/sub_kids.aspx?id=1549.

"Michael Recycle," by Ellie Bethel and Alexandra Colombo, is a new picture book about a green-caped superhero. Michael's mission: to help folks in a trash-filled town clean up their acts.

Save the planet: "You Can Save the Planet: 50 Ways You Can Make a Difference," by Jacquie Wines, is a practical guide for how kids can make our world a better place.

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