Monday, April 19, 2010

Proof a Five-Year-Old is Smarter Than Most of Us When it Comes to Ecology

This week O's teacher sent home some worksheets and activities for the kids to do around Earth Day. Not homework, really, but activities to make them think about the planet and our effects on it. Which of course made me smile.

So there is a "blank" picture of the Earth, and the activity asks to draw things that are beautiful about the earth. So he drew flowers, water. :)

Then it says, flip over, and on the back, draw something showing one problem Earth has. He drew a dumpster, and "garbage". He said he drew an old TV that someone threw away, and a banana peel.

So I figured it would make sense to take the opportunity to explain the difference between those two types of "garbage". I explained that a banana peel is a fruit, so it comes from the Earth - it's a natural product that will simply decompose back into the soil, and the Earth will use those nutrients to grow other things.

I then explained the old TV, on the other hand, was man-made, with plastic and glass and metal. And those pieces don't break down into the Earth. So that becomes the waste we don't know what to do with, and why we have a problem.

So he looked at me, and said, "so why do we throw our banana peels in the garbage?"

(Dramatic pause as the adult realizes she'd better step up. Now.)

I attempt explanation. Well, we don't have anywhere to put them. The right thing to do is compost that stuff. That means we can collect it in a composter under the sink, and then transfer it to the garden. We're going to make our garden this weekend...would you like us to start doing that?


Okay, deal.
I'll report on how it goes.


Helen/H1202 said...

Love it! BTW, you can get a HIGHLY discounted composter from Westchester County each spring right about now. Got mine last year. Usually around $200 online and the county sells them for $50 to residents. See URL at for info and call. I drove to a farm up north and picked it up.

pve design said...

A garden is such a great activity for all ages to learn how we can benefit from our planet! I look forward to seeing O's garden and my banana peel is now in the compost!