Going green is not something that only adults are passionate about. Kids are concerned about our environmental impact, too. Children across the Eastern Shore have been getting involved with local organizations to help save the Earth. Whether living in one of the shore’s historic towns, larger cities, or coastal communities, local children who call our watersheds their backyards have been learning about our bays.
“There are many things that I can do and other children can do too; even though they don’t believe they can do it,” said Megan, a 4th grader at Delmar Elementary School as she was interviewed by a Maryland Coastal Bays Program representative, recently. Megan was questioned about ways she could help mitigate some of the impacts of climate change.
Megan hopes to encourage other children to take part in helping protect our planet from climate change, greenhouse gases, and other environmental issues.
“There are many things you can do around the house to help our environment, like recycling and reusing things instead of putting plastics and other materials into landfills that could cause greenhouse gases. There are lots of things,” Megan said.
Some helpful activities may require some assistance from adults and others might require only some encouragement, all adults should try their hardest to get children interested in eco-friendly practices. Some beneficial practices that children can do themselves include:
- Recycle and reuse: Make the most out of products at your house. Recycle everything possible or reuse an item. Many items around your house can be repurposed or used for something else, not just its original task.
- Improve the outdoors: Plant native flowers. Use rainwater to water flowers instead of water from a hose. Scoop up your pet’s poop and properly dispose of it instead of letting it wash into local waterways.
- Give to a worthy cause: Have extra toys or clothes? Donate those items to local charities where kids can use them. Have parents help you sell your old toys and clothes to a consignment shop. Then, donate the money made from your consignments to a local eco-friendly nonprofit organization. Donate your time by volunteering and helping a local green organization.
- Cut down on waste: Only use what you really need. Don’t create excess waste by being greedy. Refer to #1, and recycle and reuse.
- Spread the word: Tell other’s about your excitement about helping the earth.
Megan said, “You can make other people aware of climate change issues. Then they can tell other people. And then we can get everyone, maybe even a whole country to stand up against it. Then we can really make a difference.”
If your children are interested in living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, visit the UMES Paul S. Sarbanes Coastal Ecology Center at Assateague Island to see how you can help. More than 130 gifted and talented young students are currently involved in a three-month Climate Science Issues Investigation Program.
The program is based upon exciting nature-related science projects and lectures. Many field trips are paired with presentations about our local eco-systems and the effect people have on them. In June, Maryland Coastal Bays Program Director, Dave Wilson, spoke to the children about bay-friendly subjects followed by a six-hour, in-the-field meeting with other local experts. Children in the Coastal Bays Program class even got to use an anemometer to measure wind velocity on Assateague Island.
If you or your children are interested in the Climate Science Issues Investigation Program, visit the Maryland Coastal Bays Program website for more information. Children’s activities are offered on a regular basis at the Coastal Ecology Center at Assateague Island. Regularly scheduled park activities are available seasonally and education programs for schools are held throughout the year.
The Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Assateague Coastal Trust, and Grow Berlin Green are always looking for children and adults to volunteer their time helping with eco-friendly activities. To learn more about getting your children involved in green practices, visit the websites below for more information.
Let’s help Megan with her goal of helping our environment and saving the earth by creating awareness about eco-friendly practices.
Eco-Friendly Organizations and Programs on the Shore:
- Maryland Coastal Bays Program
- Coastal Ecology Center at Assateague Island
- Assateague Island Visitors Center
- Grow Berlin Green
- Assateague Coastal Trust
- Coast Kids
Photos from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program Facebook page.