Thursday, March 11, 2010

Give a Hoot, Dammit!

Happy water bottle free day! I checked my classes for plastic water bottles, and I'm happy to report not a one. But then as I left the building to bask in the gorgeous sunshine melting the mounds of snow, armies of bottles and bags emerged from hibernation from under their chilly blankets all around the schoolyard. I'm still shocked that people just toss crap cavalierly on the ground, but I was raised with that guy on the left there...

I didn't realize he had a name, Woodsy Owl; that's besides the point.  He reminded me every time I turned on cartoons to, "Give a hoot; don't pollute!"  And I wanted him to like me because he was really cool, so I never ever polluted.  And it stuck with me for life.  I can also recite bits of the preamble of the US Constitution thanks to this series we watched while we were staying tuned for station identification.

It's all the power of repetition.  I think most people really want to be good and do nice things, but we forget the right thing to do really easily.  We need reminders - anchor charts! - surrounding us.  What better place than mixed in with our entertainment?  But someone important has to be willing to use tax dollars to pay for the time slots.  The childhood edu-ads for the generation I'm teaching now focused on how to safely dispose of hypodermic needles found in a playground.  I've never seen a needle in a playground, but maybe that's because children everywhere are giving them top priority.  Way to go, kids.  Now lets get back to general litter.  

At school, we're going to put posters on every garbage can telling people what can and cannot go in there - mainly just styrofoam, mixed packaging (junk food bags), and meats and dairy.  But we'll also leave eco-tips in each classroom where everyone can see them.  I'll add "don't litter" to the list of reminders.  We'll see if it makes a difference by the next big thaw.  


Ruth said...

I am astounded by the number of adult litterers and spring is the worst time of year for discovery. Hopefully the message kids get at school is stronger than the examples some see at home.

Marie said...

My 5-year-old and I carry a plastic bag on our walks this time of year - it's like an Easter egg hunt, but without all the calories!