Sustaining the Environment
Resources to help:
Girl Scouts Forever Green—Reduce Waste
Goal: To reduce the number of discarded single-use plastic bottles and bags and increase aluminum recycling rates.
When: February, March, or April
How: Use reusable water bottles and bags, and recycle aluminum cans throughout the month.
Girl Scouts Forever Green— Earth Hour
Goal: To encourage sustainable behavior change, reduce carbon dioxide footprints, and save energy and money.
How: Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR®qualified, or other energy-efficient, bulbs and participate in the symbolic Earth Hour event by turning off lights from 8:30–9:30 pm on the last Saturday in March. (In 2012, Earth Hour will take place on March 31.) However - You can practice these steps and conservation all year long!
Girl Scouts Forever Green—Rain Gardens
Goal: To increase green space and wildlife habitats, and improve water quality through infiltration, which reduces water-borne pollutants running into streams, rivers and other water supplies.
When: February, March, or April
How: Plant and maintain rain gardens at schools, homes, and other sites.
Girl Scouts and the community at large are invited to take the online Girl Scouts Forever Green Pledge. Those who make the pledge commit to a year of taking daily actions to protect the environment.
Ideas for Service Projects to Sustain the Environment:
Forever Green – Secure the Call
Looking for a Forever Green project that your troop can do in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts? Troops across the United States are teaming up with Secure the Call to host cell phone drives in their communities. Secure the Call is a nationally-serving non-profit organization that collects unwanted cell phones and converts them to 911 emergency phones for the elderly and victims of domestic violence. Cell phones contain both inert substances and toxic materials which can persist for up to 10,000 years in the environment if not properly discarded. By keeping these phones out of local landfills, girl scouts can provide valuable protection to the environment as well as, a great service to those who may not otherwise have a way to contact 911 in an emergency. From Daisies to Seniors, all ages can get involved by asking friends, family, and neighbors to donate their unwanted cell phones, organizing a drive at their local school, church, or synagogue, or collecting phones at their parents’ office building. The possibilities are endless!
Secure the call can provide you with all the materials and information you need to get started. Contact Karen at Secure the Call Karen@securethecall.org or (301) 485-6488) or your local council for ways your troop can help.
National Park Week - April 21 – 29
Looking for something fun, free, and fantastic to do with family and friends? Head out to America's national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not an exam.
And the best news? During National Park Week, April 21-29, ALL 397 of your national parks offers free admission, all week long!
You can plan your visit by what you want to do, or where you want to go ... or you can browse the event calendar and check out the special programs offered that week. April 21 is Volunteer Day, so if you want to roll up your sleeves and pitch in with a project, look for a park where you can help out. On April 28, National Junior Ranger Day, parks will invite young visitors to "explore, learn, protect" and be sworn in as Junior Rangers.
Also, don't forget to check out www.nationalparkweek.org. There you can share your national park photos, videos, and tips. While you're there, learn all about the ways you can help support your national parks all year round. Picture yourself in a national park during National Park Week!
PS: If you can't visit in April, how about June 9? That's the next day they waive entrance fees, to celebrate Get Outdoors Day.
Texas and Oklahoma lost thousands of trees last year from the drought and wildfires. Spring is the ideal time for Girl Scouts to help replenish the Earth and plant tress. Plant a tree in honor of Juliette Low, or for each member of your troop or maybe in honor of the woman who was your troop leader. The Arbor Day Foundation web site has lots of great information on where to find free or discounted trees and planting guides. Check it out at http://www.arborday.org
Did you know that the average American has a “water footprint” of 32,911 glasses of water a day? Find out how you can reduce your “water footprint” and save water (plus there is a connection to tree planting at this website!)
100 Days of Service Sponsor