Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meeting with the young and the seasoned...

It's been my privilege to get out into the community in recent days and work with two great groups who are trying to move in greener directions in the past two weeks (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures BOTH times!).

Week before last I went to Buck Mountain Church in Earlysville - a beautiful church nestled in the Blue Ridge, teeming with enthusiastic ladies (and one older gentleman), who listened to me speak about methods of going green and ways to sustain the effort. I told them Betty's story (which is almost 10 months old!) and we exchanged green recipes.

One thing I am quick to acknowledge is that many women in the 50+ age range are really the first generation of Better World Bettys. After all, Betty is modeled after women of that era who tended to the kitchen in ever-resouceful ways, canning in the fall, make your own bread, it takes a village of strong women sort of people! The Betty of this century is an apropos re-invention of the former, but with a broader, more global focus. (The earth as kitchen is the extended metaphor here)

Last week a fellow parent and I spoke to 50 third graders at Stone-Robinson Elementary School in the county. Our parent-led green group there has instituted school-wide and student-led recycling and increased overall awareness on reducing consumption as a school. This year I hope to pilot a program of inquiry/activities which could be expanded next year. Lots of work ahead!

Currently, though, if you are reading this and have an elementary-age student in the city or the county schools or are a teacher and would like me to come speak about protecting the earth/read my favorite earth-friendly picture books/roll around the floor pretending to be water that is choking on pollution/conduct a recycled-art workshop, just let me know! I am ready to roll.

Last week's presentation reminded me how much I miss working with kids. I really love working with them partly because I wish I was still one and they can sense that. But most of all, kids really appreciate when you CARE and LOVE them.

The talk was a springboard for environmental action, so the kids brainstormed in small groups, ways they can lower their school-print. My favorite contribution was a group who wrote all their ideas on ONE stickie note, their first piece of advice was "Use less paper by always using both sides!" Following their own words, nice!

I can't wait to get in there again to do some recycled art for the holidays!


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