Learn to identify native plants, remove invasive species that threaten them and harvest materials for crafting at the same time!
What do English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry, and Scotch Broom have in common? They are all plants from other countries that are taking over our yards, parks and forests. They make it impossible for native plants to get the water and sunlight they need and the only creatures that like them are rats!
This week, my daughter and I went for a walk in our local camas meadow, pulled some ivy that is threatening it, and are making a basket with the ivy for berry picking. Want to join us in any of these activities? My First Nations family members have traditionally made baskets with Western Red Cedar (known as Xpey in Hul'q'umi'num and XP in SENĆOŦEN), but Cedar trees aren't growing so well these days because of climate change, so we wanted to give them a break and use invasive plants instead.
We were inspired by this how-to video, but we are using ivy instead of trailing blackberry - its safer, easier and better for our ecosystem. Unlike blackberry, no tools or gloves are needed for working with Ivy!
For those of you missing the feeling of doing something physical that makes your local community better, talk to your family about getting outside to wack some of these weeds. I promise you will feel so much better :)
For more videos, photos and instructions, click on "Read More" below :)
Celebrate Earth Day every day with the Bee Game!
Play games guilt free - tell your parents its your homework for Sustainability!
Gladys and I celebrated Earth Day on April 22 by playing with this interactive Google Doodle. You guide your bee to pollinate flowers while learning fun facts about bees and our planet that they help to sustain. Did you know that bees pollinate 1 out of every 3 bites of food that you eat!?
Created by the Honeybee Conservancy and Doodler Gerben Steenks, who said:
"We hope people understand the importance of bees to the earth and humanity. For those who want to take action, anyone can have a positive impact by growing pollen-producing plants!"
This #EarthDay, as we stay at home, let’s take a moment to appreciate the smaller things in life that make a big difference – such as the hardworking bees, and the sweet things they do for us.
Beyond learning about sustainability challenges through playing and making educational games, one thing you can do is encourage your family and friends to avoid using pesticides on their lawns, especially to kill dandelions - pesticides are killing bees and dandelions are an important early spring food source for them.
Let’s 🐝 there for them!
If you would like to check out more sustainability games, email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the "Gaming for Sustainability" google classroom.
Running low on fresh veggies? Grow your own food from kitchen scraps!
Has your family eaten any carrots, lettuce, celery, green onions, bok choy, or leeks recently? Did you know that you can take the ends from any of these (and more!) veggies and instead of putting them in the compost, you can put them in a container, add water, put them on your window sill and they will regrow into more veggies you can eat for free?!
My daughter and I plopped these scallion bottoms (the white part of green onions) into a re-used plastic snack container with some soil in it a week ago and look at how much they have re-grown! (13-21 cm each plant)
We can now cut off the edible green part again and they will keep regrowing for a never-ending supply of free veggies. Now that is sustainable food security ;) especially since we had the opportunity to buy certified organic produce to regrow from.
We just started the lettuce, leeks, celery and bok choy 1 day ago and you can see that the middle of each has already started to pop up and regrow. We are going to try sweet potatoes, ginger, carrots, garlic, basil, lemongrass and mint next, with the instructions from this how-to video!
What you need:
containers from your family's recycling box
a stump / end from a veggie
Click on "read more" for instructions...
Update: look at how much our plants have grown!! Also Gladys made a heart for the window thanks to Ms. Mcrae's art challenge!
If you would like to learn more about growing food, join the Shoreline Gardens Google Classroom by emailing email@example.com
Each week, Ms. Menzies will be posting fun sustainability challenges with videos, games and action ideas that students are invited to try or not as they see fit.
For those who want to dive in deeper, there is a new Sustainability google classroom that you are welcome to join to share ideas and get mentorship on your passion projects to improve personal, family, community or even our whole world's ability to survive and thrive. Email Ms. Menzies and she will send you the details to join or ask your advisory teacher for the code.
If you already started a passion project earlier in the year and are a member of one of the 10 passion project google classrooms such as Shoreline Gardens, Gaming for Sustainability, Upcycle Art, Wastebusters, Bike Club, Sustainable Design, Zombie Apocalypse or Felting for the Future, check it for updates!
Ms. Menzies will continue to monitor and post resources to these google classrooms as well. If you want to join one of these google classrooms, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaches the Sustainability Exploratory class at Shoreline Middle School.
Sustainability = the ability to survive and thrive... over time!
In this class we learn how to keep healthy through ensuring we have access to clean air, water, food, shelter, medicine, community, education, materials, energy, governance...