Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Brownie Bakers & Kellogg GoGreen Team invites Girl Scout friends to participate in Earth Hour

Little Brownie Bakers and the Kellogg GoGreen team invites our Girl Scout friends to share our commitment to preserving our planet for future generations, by participating with us in Earth Hour on Saturday March 27 at 7:30 p.m. CST.  To learn more about the event, visit www.EarthHour.org.

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Story of Stuff

From: Amy Hilligoss

 

While it has been quietly inactive for the past year, the work of the green team has continued with the implementation of many of our suggestions in our own lives and workplaces.  Several of us now have recycling boxes under our desks.  I make regular trips to the MET to drop off my paper, glass, metal and plastics.  Some of us have even given reusable bags as gifts for holidays and birthdays to each other and our families and friends – how cool is that?  But, as we all know, that is not enough.  The planet isn’t getting healthier (and neither are we) simply because we put a cardboard box in the way of our feet.  So now what?

 

For those of you who have not yet seen it, this 20 minute video is an eye opener.  It is educational and helps you to just stop and think about the bigger picture.  So, I ask you to take a portion of your lunch break or an evening or weekend and just watch this quick piece.  http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Friday, March 5, 2010

Saving Energy on Twitter

There are many environmentally friendly resources on Twitter.  Need a place to start?  http://twitter.com/psoenergystar shares energy saving tips.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scrap House

There are two video clips about the Scrap House in San Francisco. http://greenplanetfilms.org/product_info.php?products_id=677 (from Celeste)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hang Me Out to Dry (From Urban Tulsa Weekly)

http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=
oid%3A28031

Posted on SEPTEMBER 9, 2009:

HANG ME OUT TO DRY
Back-to-basics laundry approach saves money and time

By Natasha Ball

When my clothes dryer went to the big laundry room in the sky early this
summer, my first reaction was to cry.

Second, I turned on my computer and opened Maytag.com. I'd just spent
nearly five years with a dryer (circa 1968), and I soon found all the
fancy features now available on this humble household appliance.

In fact, clothes dryers didn't need to be humble at all. Some models
come with that hip, brushed aluminum finish, for crying out loud. I
wanted to plunder our kid's college savings account and put one of those
bad boys in my living room. Why relegate it to the same place where I
store my old paint cans, rakes and sundry combustibles? It would have
been the prettiest thing I'd ever owned. I was ready to welcome it as a
full-rights member of the family.

Enter my ever-frugal, always-sensible husband.

"Um, honey? I don't see why we need to spend $1,200 on a new electric
dryer when we could find an outdoor clothes dryer at a garage sale for
next to nothing."

My response: Blink, blink. Me, hanging clothes to dry, outside? Where
birds could poop and bugs could mate on my freshly laundered "I Heart
Tulsa" shirt? Where the neighbors could look over the fence and see our
clothes without us in them and think we're some sort of European expats?

"Um, honey. You did not marry the kind of girl who stands outside all
day to hang your ten-year-old underwear and golf socks for all the world
to see. Now, tell me the password to our savings account so I can pay
the Maytag man."

Oops. I always lose those "discussions" in which I bring up my husband's
antique underwear.

A few weeks later, after making sure our homeowners' association
wouldn't have a conniption over our new lifestyle choice, hubs was in
the back yard filling a hole with cement. He had installed my
brand-spanking-new carousel line dryer. Our compromise was that I at
least get a pretty, new line dryer, not some stranger's seasoned one the
very next day. The cost: $51.48, including shipping, enough clothes pins
to hang a load of laundry and a cute, hanging cotton pouch to put them
in.

So, our adventures in line drying had saved us about $1,100 so far.

Now that a few billing cycles have passed since our switch to dry out
laundry granny style, we've begun to notice that we've reaped savings on
our utility bills, too.

Our electricity usage as shown on our 2008 July/August bill was 2,028
kilowatt hours (kWh for short). This year it had decreased 25 percent to
1,521 kWh. That irons out to a year-over-year savings of $104.80 (even
though the price of our kWh, which is configured according to the market
and individual usage, at that time last year was four cents more than it
was this year. This puts our adjusted savings at less than half the
amount of the savings we actually realized).

So, there are financial savings to be had by choosing to hang laundry to
dry rather than tossing it in the dryer. Then, come the other benefits.

On a sunny day in Oklahoma, a full load of lightweight, wet laundry can
be dry in 10 minutes flat. And though hanging laundry in the summer
makes for one sweaty C-Dawg, it's actually been a nice, peaceful way to
spend increments of about seven minutes outside, away from all that
beckons from inside my dwelling.

Plus, line-dried laundry smells good. I can't describe exactly how, but
it's along the lines of a cotton field with notes of a newborn baby's
head. Seriously, it's that good and sweet-smelling. Plus, there's
nothing quite like crispness of line-dried bed sheets at the end of a
long day. Not only will you sleep like a baby, but you'll smell (kind
of) like one, too.

After being convinced that I'd discovered the greatest thing since
sliced bread, I hopped on Facebook to gauge my friends' responses to my
self-induction into the culture of line drying.

I used the word "culture" up there because that's fully what I mean. Get
a load of the Web sites out there on line drying -- LaundryList.org,
LineDryIt.com, Right2Dry.org and LineDry.com are my favorites to catch a
glimpse of this growing subculture.

Just as the level of Web space occupied by line drying surprised me, so
did the responses to what I thought was a measly little status update
about how laundry set out to dry on a sunny day could beat the speed of
an electric or gas dryer without breaking a sweat.

My buds left a total of 25 comments -- more comments than I had ever
gotten on any other Facebook status update, needless to say. They
chattered about everything from the pros and cons of the different types
of line dryers out there, where to find traditional t-post dryers in
Tulsa, how to prevent crunchy towels and how to use in-the-sun line
drying as a stain fighter.

The first comment: "So, Mom was right? Dang." At the end of the day,
don't we find that she almost always was? Maybe not about lead paint or
putting babies to sleep on their bellies or mayonnaise hair treatments,
but still.

My favorite comment of all: "Hanging stuff up? Like, on a line dryer?
You mean, how my mom used to do?"

That second one wasn't from Facebook, actually. That was Stan Whiteford
over in communications at AEP/PSO during a phone interview last week.

After coming to terms with what I'd said about the size of the impact of
my status update on my little corner of Facebook, he pointed out that
not only does conservation happen in terms of dollars and cents when
power users choose to line dry, but also when it comes to the
environment.

"There are money savings from not using an electricity- or gas-powered
dryer, sure, but heating and cooling the home makes up the largest of
the home energy bill," Whiteford said. "What you'll save from having to
take out of your pocketbook by line drying will pale in comparison to
what could be saved from both your wallet and your carbon footprint by
keeping the thermostat down this winter.

"And then there's this: When you don't use an indoor dryer, you're not
putting the heat that machine generates and that needs to be cooled back
down into your house. You'll use less air conditioning that way, so
there are some additional savings, both financial and environmental, to
be had there."

Before skipping down the street to the line dryer store, check with your
homeowner's association to make sure the stuffy people next door won't
have any ground to stand on when they pipe up at the next meeting about
how unsightly your clean laundry looks from their "outdoor living
space."

Next, hit the line drying sites I mentioned above for tips on how to
best line dry your duds. The pointy shoulder look achieved by hanging
t-shirts and collared shirts on the line by the shoulder seams doesn't
look good on anybody.

Can pizza boxes be recycled? The REAL answer!

Can pizza boxes be recycled? The REAL answer!

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, August 28, 2009

Raising Green Kids

I just discovered www.MomGoesGreen.com through a Twitter link to this article:  10 Simple Ways to Raise Green Kids … I’m thinking our Girl Scouts young and old will find some useful info and projects here!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Greenfest 2009 - June 26/27 - Tulsa

Tulsa GREENFEST 2009 looks interesting … especially the kidzone (thinking Girl Scouts) … http://tulsaloop.com/2009/06/greenfest-2009/ and see http://www.okgreenfest.com/index.htm for complete information.

 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DITTY BAG FROM PLASTIC JUG

Ditty bags are great for carrying toiletries. Here is one to make out of a plastic jug.

 

Materials:

 

a.. Plastic gallon bleach jug, cut off top where it begins to curve in toward spout.

b.. Length of 10 inch wide fabric, cotton/poly is good - enough to go around circumference of jug, plus seam allowance.

c.. Twice length of sturdy cording, circumference of jug, plus a foot or so.

 

Procedure:

 

a.. Using a paper punch, make holes around top (the cut off end) of jug. spaced about 1/2 inch apart.

b.. Sew both short ends of fabric together to make a cylinder

c.. Fold a hem bottom of fabric, and using cord threaded in large size needle, attach fabric to jug.

d.. Fold & sew a hem top of fabric wide - leaving a 1 inch space open

e.. Run cord thru top hem so the top can be pulled shut

f.. Tie the cord ends in a square knot (reef knot).

 

Besides recycling the plastic jug, this is an easy "craft" or gadget for even Girl Scout Brownies to do. And the plastic is great on wet sink counters, and even from protecting other things in the girl's pack if something spills. If your bathrooms have hooks for towels the ditty bag can be hung on the hook too.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I found a Greenie ... KBEZ!

I happened to be on the KBEZ site tonight and found a link to their "Green Channel" ... I love seeing green!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Festival Earth - April 25, 2009

Festival Earth

What is Festival Earth?

A festival created to highlight local environmental and sustainability issues; a resource for Tulsans who want to change behavior by adopting a more sustainable lifestyle and a means to encourage people to have a long-term involvement with their environment Festival Earth invites you to become part of the ever-expanding green marketplace! This is an exceptional opportunity for your products and services to be embraced by individuals seeking out Tulsa's green alternatives. Help us give them the tools to enjoy a healthier way of life... please join us in hosting this 'party for a purpose' to further Tulsa's efforts in responsible economic growth and environmental stewardship.

Location: Centennial Park at 6th & Peoria

Date/Time: Saturday, April 25, 12-5pm

How can you participate?

Farmers/Growers... you are invited to participate in our Farmer's Market at no cost to you!

Businesses... you are invited to setup a booth along 'Green Street' for $200!

Non-Profit Organizations... you are invited to setup a booth along 'Green Street' for $100!

How do you register?
By contacting Kelly Fiddner, Event Manager, at 918.496.9336 or kfiddner@rendabroadcasting.com.

 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Earth Hour 2009 - What Will You Be Doing?

Cuddling up with your loved ones and admiring the stars in the night sky or organising a treasure hunt in the dark? At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, people from all corners of the world will turn off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour - and cast their vote for action on climate change. Anybody can participate and join together with millions of people across the globe celebrating Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is about taking simple steps everyday that collectively reduce carbon emissions - from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

Here are 10 different ways to spend Earth Hour and reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Attend a local Earth Hour event or organise your own by throwing an Earth Hour street party with your neighbours
2. Gather family & friends for a night picnic in your local park and look at the stars
3. Enjoy a family dinner by candlelight
4. Organise a treasure hunt in the dark
5. Take the dog for a night walk
6. Have a candle-lit bath
7. Sit in the dark and share stories
8. Organise a family night playing board games
9. Share a romantic night in with your loved one
10. Upload your 'on the night' photos and videos to flickr and YouTube respectively, and then add them to the Earth Hour flickr group and the global YouTube Group.

Earth Hour Executive Director, Andy Ridley, is encouraging people to participate in whatever way they choose and to think beyond the hour.

"There are no hard and fast rules surrounding participation in Earth Hour. We only ask that you flick that switch and have fun doing whatever you choose to do during that time.

Make Earth Hour work for you. Families with young children should feel free to turn their lights off earlier than 8:30 p.m. and for those having too much fun in the dark during the hour, don't feel you have to limit yourself to one hour and switch back on at 9:30 p.m."

To find out more about Earth Hour, visit the official website www.earthhour.org, sign up and join millions of people in more than 1,400 cities and towns in 80 countries throughout the world by turning off your lights for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yellow Pages Goes Green

Think about all those Yellow and/or White Pages that get delivered to your place every year. Do they end up going into the recycle bin? If you are like me, I rarely use a phone book. I go online or use my cell phone.

This site gives you the opportunity to opt-out of the delivery and in doing so, you'll save lots of trees!

http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/stop-yellow-pages/

Yellow Pages Goes Green electronically tells phone book distributors to avoid consumers who have found less polluting ways to locate phone numbers and addresses. The online service is free and takes only a minute to join.
You can access online phone books at www.yellowpages.com and www.anywho.com.

Recycle existing phone books by finding the location nearest you at www.Earth911.com.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Volunteer Conference SWAPS!

During our Green Team session at the Annual Volunteer Conference, these swaps were shared and oohed and aahed over, so we wanted to post them where others could see and get the information for more. Several Web sites were shared where these came from (album below):
www.shrinkydinks.com
www.craftideas.com
www.girlscouts.org/swaps
www.gsswaps.net
www.scoutingweb.com
www.scoutmom.net
SWAPS from Volunteer Conference

Water Survey

 

Create Your Own Landfill

Create your own troop’s landfill by burying the following items: an apple, a tin can, a gum wrapper, a nylon stocking, a piece of wood, a Styrofoam cup, a tissue, a piece of notebook paper and a plastic garbage bag. Dig them up in three months, six months and after 1 year to see how they have decomposed (protect your hands by wearing gloves).

Me and My Water Usage

Supplies:

  • One roll of pennies
  • One empty glass or coffee cup

Each Girl Scouts must monitor her own or her families water usage for one day. Give each Girl Scout a roll of pennies and ask her to put an empty cup beside the most used faucet at home. Each time water is used the designated amount of pennies must be put in the cup:

  • Hand washing = 2 pennies
  • Tooth brushing = 3 pennies
  • Drink one small glass of water = 1 penny
  • Drink one small glass of water with (3) ice cubes = 4 pennies
  • One toilet flush = 10 pennies
  • Shower = 25 pennies
  • Bath = 15 pennies
  • One load of laundry = 50 pennies
  • Water your pet(s) = 5 pennies (for every 2 small animals)

De-briefing Questions/Points:

  1. Where did you use most of your pennies?
  2. What surprised you the most?
  3. What used the least amount of water?
  4. How can you use less water?
  5. How many pennies did you use in one day? Was it you or your whole family?

MORAL DILEMMAS

GSUSA publication Contemporary Issues Series, Earth Matters: A Challenge for Environmental Action (1990)

Moral Dilemmas provide girls with an opportunity to experience and practice making moral choices – some of the most difficult choices girls will ever have to make. Moral dilemmas are situations that can involve a choice between two or more alternatives.

The following are some sample moral dilemmas. After each dilemma is presented, the girls are asked to answer the discussion questions and share their reasoning. Girls can grow through the use of moral dilemmas as they discover strengths and flaws in their reasoning.

  1. A troop is planning to conduct a large event at Camp Wannago. They are discussing how to serve lunch to 150 people. A local store has offered to donate disposable plastic plates and cups along with plastic forks. One of the girls offers to recruit dishwashers so they can use the camp’s plates and glassware, while another feels they should purchase paper cups and plates and only serve finger foods. What would you do and why? What impact will each choice have on the environment?
  2. A troop of 10 girls and two leaders is planning a field trip from its meeting place to downtown. It is a five-minute trip by automobile or a five-minute walk to the bus stop and a ten-minute bus trip. What would you do? What impact will each choice have on the environment?
  3. Brenda is doing the family shopping while her mother is home with the baby. Her mom said that she could keep any change from the money she was given but that she must come home with everything on the list. She has the following choices:
  • Toothpaste in a pump or in a tube. The tube is cheaper, but the pump is really neat.
  • An energy efficient light bulb that costs more or a standard light bulb.
  • A detergent that contains phosphates and claims super cleaning power or a phosphate-free detergent that costs slightly more.
  • Disposable diapers or reusable cloth diapers.
  • Cola in plastic bottles or a more expensive cola in aluminum cans that can be recycled and includes a refund of the deposit.

Which choices will have a positive impact on the environment? What would you do?

  1. Jenny’s family is moving. They cannot take their female cat with them. Jenny’s dad wants to let the cat loose in the country. Her mother wants to take it to an animal shelter. Jenny is undecided. She knows that animals are put to sleep after a two-week stay in the shelter if no one adopts them. But she has also seen mangy-looking cats in the county park. What would you do? What impact will each choice have on the environment?
  2. Talena has the opportunity to spend four hours planting trees in the neighborhood park or four hours selling baked goods to earn money to send to the Children’s rainforest, a movement that buys and preserves tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. What should she do? Why?

Girl Scout leaders may develop their own dilemmas for use with Girl Scouts. These tips will help them develop moral dilemmas:

  1. Build a dilemma so it contains realistic choices.
  2. Use real life problems whenever possible. Make the dilemma relevant to the girls by using Girl Scout situations when possible.
  3. Focus on the choice to be made and not the detailed evidence of the case. The dilemma should be written so that it is simple, interesting and short. Extra details should be left out.
  4. Construct a focus question that poses the choice to be made.
  5. Provide a situation that presents a genuine conflict and choice of action. If the right answer or the answer that is accepted by the Girl scout leader is obvious, then it is not a dilemma.
  6. Ask questions about the choice, the reasons for the choice and the alternatives to the choice.

Moral dilemmas can stimulate girls to view complex environmental issues in more general and flexible ways. The ability to view issues from all perspectives is critically important in preparing girls to make the difficult decisions that accompany adulthood.

Paper Chasers

Making note pads or note cards out of scrap paper is easier than you think!

Gummed Notepads: You can use any scrap paper that has printing on only one side. Cut to your desired size making sure top edges are smooth and even. Put something heavy on top to weight them down tightly. You may use special padding compound or Elmer’s glue to lightly coat the top edges. Allow to dry thoroughly and tear pads apart to desired thickness. If you have scrap cardboard you can even add a cardboard bottom sheet to make the pad sturdier (and can use the cardboard over and over again.)

Notepad options: No glue or padding compound? No problem!

  • You can also make thinner pads by stapling paper together (but remember that staples are not reusable, so if possible, think of something that can either be reused or recycled).
  • Punch 2-3 holds in one side of the paper. Use ribbon, string, raffia, yarn (use your imagination here) to tie the pages together.

Note cards: All kinds of paper items can be recycled into handmade paper and note cards. If you have a paper mold and deckle, you’re in business! If not, you don’t have to buy a kit. You can make your own and reclaim various things like wood, screens, and fabric. Various instructions can be found online. Here is one place to start: www.pioneerthinking.com/makingpaper.html

  • Make cards by pouring a larger amount of your paper mixture into the mold.
    • Add a liner with a thin sheet of paper and use a ribbon as a binding for an elegant touch. (Tip: Use several thin sheets to create a booklet).
    • Create a natural “cut out” by placing a cookie cutter (large, open designs work the best) in the mould when pouring or straining the paper mixture … this will give you a window effect, plus a paper shape (if you pour inside the cookie cutter as well).
    • Create a watermark effect by placing objects on the screen, or using rubber stamps or cookie cutters with backs/designs to press into the pulp while it is still wet.
  • Recycle holiday cards and envelopes into your own “new” cards.
    • Cut out and decorative elements from the card designs. Use the “discarded” portions of cards and envelopes for your handmade cards and paper. Use the cut outs to decorate your new cards.
    • Even bows and Christmas paper can be added to the mix. Paper mixes into the pulp easier when it is torn (versus cut). Bows and other elements that do not mix should be cut or shredded into VERY small pieces and used sparingly.
    • Add texture by using plants … those poinsettias are perfect! How about pine needles?
  • Even packaging from a variety of products can make a nice card. And if it’s from a gift you received, what better way to say thank you?

RECYCLE SORT GAME

Preparation: Create a “trash” bag full of items that can be sorted into recyclable, reusable, reducible and throw away groups. Make sure all items are clean and safe – no sharp edges, free of food residue, etc. Be sure to include a good assortment of recyclable items such as number 1 and 2 plastic bottles, metal and aluminum cans, paper and glass containers. Also add in items that cannot be recycled but that could be repurposed, reused or donated. Have enough items for each girl to have two or more if possible. Set up a sorting system for the girls to use in this game, either recycling bins, a garbage can and a donation box, or simply indicate those locations with signs, boxes or other collection devices. There should be seven categories for sorting: Plastics, Metal, Glass, Paper, Donate, Reuse and Trash.

Game Play: The object of the game is to reduce the “trash” category to be as small as possible. Have each girl remove one item from the bag and determine where it should be located. Troop members can assist her by coaching her choice. Encourage girls to be creative in their sorting and include more reusing and donating. After the original trash bag is emptied refill it with the new “trash” and show the girls how much they saved from going to the landfill. Talk about alternatives to the items that were put into the trash bag, such as reusable cups instead of Styrofoam and composting food instead of throwing it away.

Projects for a Healthy Planet by Levine & Grafton ... A GREAT BOOK!

CELERY SUCK UP

Materials:

  • Fresh celery with leaves
  • Knife
  • 2 glasses
  • Apple juice
  • Water
  • Red and blue food coloring (to represent pollution)

What to do

  1. Cut off the bottom from 2 pieces of celery.
  2. Fill 1 glass halfway apple juice. Add 3 drops of red food coloring.
  3. Fill the other glass halfway with water. Add 3 drops of blue food coloring.
  4. Gently place one piece of celery in each glass and let it stand for several hours. The food coloring will show how far the "polluted" water traveled up the celery stalk.
  5. Take the celery out of the apple juice, rinse it off, cut off and set aside the bottom end. Carefully cut the rest into slices.
  6. Have everyone taste the celery. Can you taste the apple juice?
  7. Now take the celery out of the water, rinse it off and carefully cut it into slices. Can you taste a difference?

Discussion
So what happened? Plants take water from the soil through their roots and stems. This water contains moisture and minerals that a plant needs to grow. If the water is polluted, the plant could absorb the pollution. Any living thing – birds, fish, animals, or people – that eat plants that have a polluted water source are also taking in these pollutants. Even though the celery soaked up the apple juice, you could not taste it. And you can't taste if any pollutants make their way into your food either.

Did you know?
About 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water, but only 1% is available for drinking water. Rain washes pollutants such as pesticides, artificial fertilizers, chemicals from industry and toxic wastes into rivers, lake and oceans, where they can contaminate the water supply. Any living thing that gets water from a polluted source is also affected. It only takes a tiny amount of pollutants to make a huge amount of water unsafe to drink.

FRIENDLY OIL SPILL

Materials

  • Stale, unbuttered, unsalted popcorn
  • Small plastic pail
  • Stopwatch or watch with a second hand

What to do

  1. Find a small pond or lake where you can perform this experiment.
  2. Fill the pail with popcorn.
  3. Find a safe place to stand on the shore, or stand on a bridge if there is one available. Throw the popcorn into the water.
  4. Time the popcorn to see how long it takes to spread out.
  5. Take notes about what the popcorn becomes attached to.
  6. If possible, follow the spill to see where it goes and what it touches.

Discussion
So what happened? Throwing popcorn into water is a safe way to show the impact of oil spills on the environment. (The popcorn will easily decompose and not pollute the water.) Imagine that the popcorn is really oil. Did you see how fast the "slick" spread through the water and how many plants, rocks and objects it touched? What effect do you think a real oil spill might have had on plants, fish and animals that live in and on the water? In an oil spill, wave action causes oil to coat plants, shorelines, birds, animals and anything else the oil touches. The short-term effects are easy to see. The black tarlike oil covers everything and causes lots of marine life to die. Animals that eat the oil-coated plants and animals also become contaminated or poisoned.

Did you know?
On average, less than 10% of the oil in any spill can be cleaned up. If you think that's bad, just consider this: The amount of oil dumped into the ground every three weeks by people changing their own car oil is about 11 million gallons. This is equal to the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska.

NO EXCUSES SOAP

Materials

  • Soap flakes (or left over slivers of soap)
  • Microwavable bowl or old pot for cooking
  • Glycerin (available at drug stores)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cinnamon or paprika (optional)
  • Food coloring
  • Old muffin tins, old molds or small plastic containers

What to do

  1. Put 1 cup of soap flakes in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of glycerin and 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol to the soap flakes and stir. Gently add 1/8 cup of water to the mixture and stir. (You can vary the amounts of glycerin and rubbing alcohol to make the soap more opaque or softer.)
  3. For a rust-colored soap that smells like cinnamon, you can add about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon to the mixture. If you want a spicy soap with a coral color, add about 1 tablespoon of paprika. If you'd like just a colored soap, you can add a drop of natural food coloring.
  4. Microwave the soap mixture until it comes to a boil. You can do the same on the stove over low heat and slowly bring it to a boil.
  5. As soon as the mixture has boiled, put it in a safe place to cool. Stir the mixture occasionally while it is cooling.
  6. When the mixture is cool and clear but still liquid, pour it into molds and allow to set until firm. This may take several hours.
  7. Turn the molds upside down and take out the soaps. If the soap sticks, run a knife around the edge of the mold and pry the soap out. If you wish, you may wrap the soaps in tissue paper until you are ready to use them.

Discussion
So what happened? In this experiment, the glycerin (which is an oil) combined with the soap flakes (which are alkaline, or not acidic) to produce the soap. This is a very mild and non-irritating soap because it contains no lye (which is harsh and dry your skin) and contains only natural ingredients. The soap you buy in stores is not required by law to list its ingredients. Most soaps are made from a combination of animal and vegetable fats, but it can contain substances that harm both you and the environment.

SAVE A TREE

Materials

  • Old newspapers
  • Cedar or other wood chips, or crushed pine cones
  • Twine or string
  • Old plastic wading pool or large washtub
  • Water
  • Salt

What to do

  1. Find a nice dry place outside to work. Place about 20 to 30 large sheets of newspaper together.
  2. Add 1 cup of shavings or crushed pine cones between every 8 pages.
  3. Tightly roll each section and tie loosely at each end.
  4. Fill the pool with water and enough chips, pine cones, or other nice smelling woods to cover about half of the water's surface. Add about 3 cups of salt to the water (this will make the logs burn red).
  5. Place your logs in the water, turning them several times to cover with water. Leave the logs in the pool for 1 week, turning them at least once per day.
  6. When the week is up, remove the logs and place them in a safe area to dry. When your logs have dried completely, they are ready to burn.

Discussion
So what happened? You have just saved a tree and made a recycled product. During the soaking process, the roll absorbed the water solution, which will make it burn longer after it has dried out.

Did you know?
Every day there are about 72 million newspapers sold in the US and Canada. And over 70% of these papers are just thrown away. This means that about 80,000 trees are thrown into dumps each day. Paper and paperboard make up almost 1/3 of all landfill wastes. By recycling paper, we not only save trees but also reduce pollution and landfills.

TEA FOR TWO

Materials

  • Paper towels
  • Bowl or dish
  • Used tea bag
  • Scissors
  • Small flower or vegetable seeds (Note: Not all seeds will sprout, so if you can, try this experiment with 2 or 3 tea bags with a seed, each in its own bowl.)

What to do

  1. Fold the paper towel into quarters, wet it completely, and place it in the middle of the bowl.
  2. Flatten the tea bag and lay it in the center of the paper towel.
  3. Cut a hole in the top of the tea bag. Then wet the tea bag.
  4. Plant a seed in the wet tea bag.
  5. Place the bowl in a sunny window. Add a little water to the tea bag each day.
  6. When your seedling has grown enough (about 1 week to sprout and 3-4 weeks to grow), you may wish to replant it (tea bag and all) in the garden or in a pot with soil.

Discussion
So what happened? The tea bag provided the nutrients and the moisture that the seedling needed to grow. This is a great way to recycle tea bags that don't end up in the compost or trash.

Did you know?
Plants are amazing. Some plants can grow in salt water, some in sandy soils, and some in no soil at all. With the increase in pollution of our lands and water supplies, it may be necessary in the future to develop plants that adapt to harsher environments and are more resistant to pollutants.

Some different types of plants help each other by repelling insects and warding off diseases. Some good "buddies" include: garlic, which keeps many insects away from flowers and other plants; onions and chives which prevent rust on carrots planted near them; mint which keeps butterflies away from cabbage; and French marigolds which are thought to help tomatoes and beans. Give your plant a buddy!

T-Shirt & Book Swap

Have your troop carry out a T-Shirt and book swap as a way to reuse items that are still useful, but that you don’t want anymore. Carry out the swap in creative ways such as a dirty Santa exchange or grab bag and trade.

Council Resources (Volunteers can check these out) ...

  • Linking Girls to the Land video
  • Trees for the 21st Century
  • Water Drop Patch Project and Kit
  • Your World, Your Choices Kit

Don’t forget to check into community groups! The Tulsa County Conservation District as well as similar groups throughout the state have great environmental information. This is a great place to start for information about Leave No Trace (minimizing our environmental impact) or a Storm Sewer in a Suitcase (to show how pollutants get into the water).

Deck the Halls with ... Greener Holidays!

· Use cereal boxes or shoe boxes instead of purchasing new ones

· Make homemade ornaments using last year’s wrapping paper scraps for your Christmas tree

· String popcorn instead of tinsel or fake snow

· Send an e-card or make a phone call instead of buying cards

· Try reusable plates or break out the fine china instead of disposable tableware

· Buy used gifts like books or DVDs

· Make centerpieces or home decor from pine cones or other natural greenery

· Send leftovers home with friends or family rather than tossing them in the trash

· Save money AND be creative by making your own gifts:

o Turn vegetable cans into candle holders

o Revamp an old picture frame and add personal photos

o Use glass bottles for vases, hand soap or homemade goods like salad dressing or oil