Okay, so we’ve talked about environmental learning online. But what if you’re looking for something more hands-on for you and your kids to do? The good news is that there’s a lot to choose from, but you’ll need to find them first. Here are some ways to track down green learning opportunities near you—or create them yourself if you feel so inclined . . .
- Take a class—There are lots of places where you can learn about the environment, so ask around. Check with your city, local college campuses, and environmental organizations to find lectures, classes, and activities you can go to. You can also encourage your city and schools to invite environmental experts to speak about their specialties and conservation.
- Hit up the library—There are hundreds of environmental books at your local library. Make a day of it and take your kids to go see what the librarian has up his or her sleeve. One of my favorite collections is the DK Eyewitness books. They have great information, beautiful pictures, and hands-on experiments that kids love.
- Go on a field trip—Kids (and adults) love outings and adventures, so look around for educational opportunities in your home town. Visit science museums, wildlife preserves, farms, gardens, or any other green destination you can think of. For a high school biology class, my classmates and I toured the local sewage plant and learned all about decomposition, water purification, and the ways our city uses organic waste. Gross but fascinating.
- Start a project—Visit classroomearth.org/node/22510 or neefusa.org/programs/index.htm to get some ideas of environmental projects that you and your kids can try. Or create your own.
- Take a hike—What better way to get motivated to help out your environment than by spending time in your environment? If you’re a city dweller, you might have to take a drive before you can take a hike, but regardless of where you live, spend some time in nature. Take pictures, write down questions, and then do some research or visit epa.gov/epahome/whereyoulive.htm to learn more about your environment.