Sesame Street recently kicked off its 40th anniversary season with an interesting twist. Every two years Sesame Street changes the message of their curriculum, and part of last week’s 40th season announcements included the fact that their two-year curriculum will be called “My World is Green and Growing.” How neat is that?
“Global warming and deforestation—those are really adult concepts, and it’s just too scary for children,” said Rosemarie Truglio, vice president of research and education at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street.
“The place we’re coming from is, ‘Let’s love and care for the Earth, because it’s so beautiful, and we appreciate its awe and wonder, and we’re going to respect it.’ ”
Sesame Street’s producers hope children who learn to love and respect nature will grow up to be advocates for our planet.
“When you love something,” Truglio said, “you want to take care of it.”
How true …
Five ways to raise green kids:
1. When recycling at home, ask your kids to help sort or fill your containers. They will inevitably ask what you are doing giving you the chance to explain the benefits of recycling.
2. When taking walks outside, to point out all the ways nature provides for us and the importance of each.
3. Show them the planet Earth in books and pictures and how it is ‘our home’.
4. Checkout Sesame Street’s “Being Green” DVD. They do a great job of mixing music, stories and games that is sure to engage your young ones in understanding the basic principles of caring for the world we live in and pass on to others.
5. Walk or bike with your kids as opposed to driving, when going to places close to home. They will notice and practice this habit as well when their time comes.
We now live in a global marketplace and economy where new challenges face business owners almost daily.
There is however perhaps no bigger challenge than the one facing us today in terms of realizing the effects our existing business practices and products will have on our employees, customers and supply chains for today and tomorrow.
Businesses who would like to go green should start with building a foundation of education and awareness around the benefits of being green with the company’s leaders and decision-makers.
Innovative businesses of all type and sizes worldwide are discovering ways of reshaping their organization in ways that improve financial performance and reduce their environmental footprint.
Going green is a simple term that encompasses many issues.
Gaining leadership approval and
buy-in is key to have a chance at success and starts with education and awareness that allow you to make better informed business decisions on the road toward sustainability.
Here’s a powerful quote from the Great Law of the Iroquois I think it sums up the organic nature adopting of Green Practices. “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation… even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.”
- Sustainability: This word is quickly becoming a part of mainstream vocabulary. Let’s keep it simple and go with this definition: Using methods, systems and materials that won’t deplete resources or harm natural cycles.
- Green building: Many new construction projects are now including new and innovative environmentally friendly building materials and architectural designs. In addition, sustainable land must be considered. Here’s the U.S. Green Building Council’s definition: A high performing home or business that’s energy and water efficient, has good indoor air quality, uses environmentally sustainable materials and also uses the building lot or site in a sustainable manner.
- Green products: We are becoming increasingly aware of the need to include green products in our efforts to go green. Here’s a definition I like to use: A product that is environmentally and socially responsible, along with being accountable to, and respectful of, the places and people that provide and use them.
- Green practices: Arguably the most important aspect of going green lies in our day-to-day routines — be it at home or work. Adopting green practices is the one area each and every one of us can participate in starting today. Practices also happen to have the largest overall environmental impact.
- Greenwashing: Greenwashing is a term that refers to the promotion of a product or service as being environmentally friendly without any basis in real fact.
There’s a lot to like about the convenience, portability and power we get out of today’s laptop and notebook computers. With millions used worldwide, it is important to consider sustainability factors, such as their build, design and life cycle.
With this in mind there are some computers that are greener and more environmentally friendly than others. The good news is that you can now make your purchasing decision based on selecting a notebook that meets established environmental standards.
Epeat® is an organization that evaluates electronic products for their sustainability and awards products a bronze, silver or gold status. Epeat® evaluates eco-friendly laptops in the following eight categories:
- 1. Reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials
- 2. Materials selection
- 3. Design for end of life
- 4. Product longevity/life cycle extension
- 5. Energy conservation
- 6. End of life management
- 7. Corporate performance
- 8. Packaging
Visit the Epeat website at www.epeat.net/PublicSearch.aspx to find notebooks that qualify.
Jeff Carey is the founder and owner of the Iowa Green Team, an Eastern Iowa-base company deidcated to growing Iowa’s green communities.