Ideas for Earth Day brought to you by
The Environmental Working Group
Peace Corps - Ukraine
20 Things YOU Can Do for Earth Day
How to Organize a Clean-Up
Make Art from Trash
Lesson plans: “A Wise Use of Paper”
“Ecology and the Web of Life”
Quiz: “Earth Day Every Day“
1. Be a part of Earth Day Network’s “BILLION ACTS OF GREEN” Make a statement NOW at:
And check out the Earth Day Network home site:
2. Nominate someone for the EWG ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD! The application is in this booklet.
3. Organize a community clean-up! A guide is included in this booklet.
4. Teach a great Earth Day Lesson in your class or English Club! Two lesson plans are included in this
booklet, and for more great lesson plans, check out the Environmental Working Group web site:
5. Do a fun ‘Trash-Art’ project with your class, a group in your town, or your English Club! A guide to
this activity is included in this booklet.
6. Plant some flowers or trees at your school or organization! Ask for donations of seeds or cuttings.
7. Save energy! Remember to unplug all electrical equipment when it is not in use in your apartment
and office or school to stop using that ‘phantom energy’!
8. Save energy! Don’t use hot water today! Take a cold shower (or no shower) and do your laundry in
cold water.
9. Sign on to the EWG website to get updates on what we are doing for the environment in Ukraine
10. Reduce waste! Reuse your plastic water bottles and yogurt tubs to grow plants.
11. Organize some volunteer “artists” and create chalk pavement drawings celebrating Earth Day
12. Reduce waste! STOP buying bottled water and get a water filter!
13. Donate your excess jars and bottles to your local Baba for reuse!
14. Save energy! Buy energy efficient lightbulbs and convince your school/organization to do so!
15. Make sure you repair water leaks and seal windows to stop wasting water and energy.
16. Reduce waste! Reuse old shirts and socks for house rags!
17. Compost your food waste! How? Find a local family with a pig ... or find instructions online at
18. Find a way to recycle in your town! EWG is working on resource lists, but there ARE recycling
programs out there. So find them: talk to your neighbors or local council
about recycling centers, or organize one in your town! ( And let EWG know,
so we can add to the list!)
19. Get your students involved in the Environmental Camp iKNOW.
Contact Peter Thompson for more information: [email protected]
20. Encourage others to be conscientious about the environment!
With these and all the other great suggestions from EWG ...
you can make it Earth Day — every day!
How to organize a Clean-up Project
1. Decide that you WANT to do a trash pickup.
2. Talk it up! Tell your students and co-workers your idea to spur their interest. Get a core group
of people to help in the organization and execution of the project.
3. Pick a date! Remember Ukrainian holidays, time of year, weather, and other potential local
events that might conflict with your clean-up. There will always be something going on, but
choose the best day with the help of your group.
4. Pick a spot! (park, river bank, forest, beach, etc). Visit the site yourself prior to planning the
5. Write a plan with the group. Include the proposed date, time, location and participants. Also
include potential supplies or support needed: trash bags, rubber gloves, trailer or other means of
trash removal. Don’t be afraid to ask for more than you think you’ll get – they can always say no!
6. Look for a small sponsor; this gets other organizations and/or companies involved in the
project and increases awareness. They could help with snacks, prizes, supplies, and publicity.
7. Go visit the town administration and get their support. This is crucial: the action will be more
sustainable if they support it. Present your proposal and ask for their input. Have them provide
something – media support, gloves, trash bags or maybe even ice cream for the kiddos!
8. Secure a plan for trash removal. This is essential.
9. Take pictures before the trash pick up, and then after.... This will be GREAT to show the results!
Take pictures DURING the day too – people love having their picture taken.
10. Once the date is set, advertise! Go to schools and make announcements. If you are in a small
town, get everyone involved. If you are in a big town, consider just inviting your school or a few
classes. Think of creative and engaging ways to advertise the trash clean-up: a short play, funny
posters, etc.
11. Ask other PCVs for help.
12. Have all supplies, giveaways, and certificates ready to go before the big day.
13. Planning the day: things to remember:
a. Split the kids up into teams with adult leaders.
b. Define what trash is! Sticks, rocks and leaves are not necessarily trash. Orange and banana
peels are ‘organic’ but also litter if in the wrong places. Decide if you want to pick these up.
c. Make it fun – plan games, give out prizes, make up creative awards. Trash pick-up games
could include: scavenger hunts, 3-legged trash races, cleanest area awards etc. Have team
competitions. Set time limits. Plan volleyball, basketball, or other sports after the event. This
isn’t mandatory, but just something fun.
(continued on next page)
... cont: How to organize a Clean-up Project
d. Make it short – the whole event should be no longer than 4 hours. If you want to do a
bigger project, spread it over a few days.
e. Designate a spot for full trash bags. Separate by team if necessary.
f. After the event, have a short recap of lessons learned or impressions. Have the kids express
how they felt, what they saw, who’s responsible, and their ideas for the future
14. Evaluate the day. This can be done by the PCV with or without student help, but
the progress should be shown to the administration and sponsors to encourage future
cooperation. Also, share pictures or stories with the PC Ukraine Environmental Working Group
and other PCVs.
Safety First! ... Keep It Safe and Sanitary
F Have a first aid kit on hand for any small injuries or cuts.
F Glass: unbroken bottles are fine to pick up but tell kids to be careful. For broken
glass, use your judgment. If the kids are young, have adults/PCVs pick up all of the
glass. If the kids are older, emphasize safety and caution. Double up on bags to reduce
ripping and tearing.
F Needles: don’t let the kids touch them! Report all needles to adults/team leaders and
have a special container (plastic or glass) to collect the needles.
F Have water and cups for drinking – if it’s hot, keep the kids hydrated!
F Remind the kids not to overfill the bags – keep to 2/3 full. Bags will break if they are
too full or too cheap.
F Figure out a hand washing station – you can use soap and water (if available) or hand
sanitizer. Don’t send the kids home with dirty hands!
Supply List ... Keep It Cheap (except on the bags)
• Strong plastic bags ... kitchen-size bags are best.
DO NOT go cheap on the bags, as they will break if too full or of bad quality! • Drinking water and cups
• Enough RUBBER gloves for all participants
• Medical kit with hand sanitizer
Remember to look for sponsors and donors –
this is a project you can easily do without grant money!!
art from TRASH
Studying about the effect people have on the environment and how
to beautify communities includes learning about the effects of trash.
Trash itself is commonly considered harmful, but it also can be used
to create art. This classroom activity can be a stand-alone art project or
incorporated into a lesson about the environment, Earth Day, or other
related social studies or science units.
Collecting the Supplies
Collecting the trash for the art work can be a family
assignment. Students should be instructed to bring in a day’s worth of
trash from home. All trash should be clean and not previously used for detergents, household
chemicals or other potentially dangerous substances. It can include not only kitchen trash but
also anything else that might need to be thrown away including broken or damaged toys,
puzzles or games that are missing pieces or even torn clothing. Corks, styrofoam peanuts,
step 1Prepare bottles
yogurt containers, sticks for ice cream, match boxes, flower and candy
First clean wrappers,
the inside of the bottle
with water. Then, make a mark with the c
the bottle, at the height that you want to cut. If you need, use the marker to m
wrapping paper, toilet paper rolls or anything safe and colorful. Even broken electronics can
step 2Paste the pieces
glue on the edge
of thecan
fabric be
of the zipper (must be on the edg
be used for art supplies, but first consider the age of the studentsTake
zipper can be moved later). Take glue on the edge of the bottle too. Wait ab
provided for disassembling machines.
step 3Finish!
And it's finished!You can use it as a piggy bank, as a container of things (or
container) or merely decorative (which is very nice =])I hope you've enjoye
Guidelines for the Art Work
Other than tape, glue or other appropriate adhesives, students should be limited to whatever
trash has been provided. The individual contributions should be combined, whether in a
small group or entire class, so that there is a greater variety available. Students should then be
encouraged to use their imaginations.Build, stack, glue onto a base or stick things together with
glue. Use paint, or just leave it all au natural!
Provide some examples, whether a slideshow of professional trash art sculptures or a few
teacher- or student-created samples. This will be helpful for students who are not sure where
to start. Younger children might stick with what they can easily envision, such as building
a robot or creating a house for toys. Other students could create a two-dimensional picture,
collage, or a 3-D sculpture. Abstract thinkers could find ways to create shadow images from the
Extending the Activity to Other Subjects
Though primarily an art project, trash art can be extended to other subjects. Students could
divide the trash into different categories and make connections to environmental concerns.
They could discuss what the local park or playground would look like if the collection of trash
was there. The class could take measurements such as size and weight of the initial collection
and the finished art works. More advanced students might analyze the different types of trash,
such as biodegradable, plastics or metals, and determine how long it will take for each one to
decompose in a landfill.
Lesson Plan:
“A Wise Use Of Paper”
Adapted from A-Way With Waste: A Waste Management Curriculum for Schools, 2nd ed., by Dept of Ecology, State of Washington
SUBJECT AREAS: Social science, math
CONCEPT: Production and reduction of waste materials
OBJECTIVE: To make students, teacher, and school staff aware that they are the
first links in the paper recycling process. They will understand that reusing and
recycling paper is a way of conserving resources, protecting the environment, and
reducing energy use.
MATERIALS: Three boxes; a weight scale
KEYWORDS: “reduction”
BACKGROUND: We use and throw away enormous amounts of paper. About 30% ( by weight) of
household waste is paper, making it the largest single component of household rubbish. Annually,
each person in the United States uses 580 pounds of paper ... the product of approximately two trees!
That adds up to 440 million trees a year used to make paper. Americans consume more paper per
year per person than any other nation in the world. It is estimated that paper products use 35-50% of
the world’s annual commercial wood harvest.
Some paper can be reused or recycled, thus saving money and natural resources. Each ton of paper
that is recycled replaces and preserves 13-20 harvestable 500-pound trees. Making paper from
recycled paper uses 30 - 55% less energy than making paper directly from trees.
1. Have students collect for a week, the classroom paper they would normally throw away in a week.
2. Weigh the paper. Divide the total by the number of students to see how much each student
generated on average. Divide the collected discarded paper into two boxes:
A. paper we can still use
B. paper we have used completely
3. When practical, use paper from box “A” for classroom work and assignments.
4. Put this now fully-used paper into a third box and weigh it. How much paper was reused?
5. Discuss with students where paper comes from. Illustrate on the blackboard the paper process
(e.g., trees ... logging ... truck transportation ... processing and production ... wholesale warehouse ...
store ... you). Emphasize the use of energy at every step of this process. Ask what has happened to
the cost of energy in the last five years? Discuss the environmental effects of logging and paper
production, the effects on streams, fish, air, and water quality.
6. Discuss what happens to paper when thrown away. What would be the result if the whole school
used two sides of the paper instead of just one? Money saved? Amount of paper used? Pollution
reduced? Energy conserved?
7. Referring to the fully-used paper, ask: Can this paper be recycled into new paper or cardboard?
What things are made from recycled paper? (New paper, toilet paper, paper towels, building
materials, and packaging such as cereal boxes.) How can you tell if something has been made from
recycled paper? (Look for the recycling logo on the package. In the case of cereal
boxes, if the cardboard is gray, it was most likely made from recycled paper.)
Note: 80% of recycled paper is used in packaging.
FOLLOW-UP: Investigate other waste products that schools throw away and how
these wastes might be reduced.
Age group: 5-7th forms
Materials needed: Cards for time line (see below), cards with animals/plants written on
them, ball of yarn
Introduction: Metaphor for the earth’s history!
- Draw a timeline on the board – at one end write “01 January” (01 ñ÷íÿ) and at
the other end “31 December” (31 ãóäíÿ)
- In chronological order, hand out the following cards to students and have them
read the card and place it on the board
January 1st – the earth forms (01 ñ÷íÿ – çåìëÿ ôîìóâàëàñÿ)
February 21st – first life forms appear (21 ëòîãî – ç’ÿâèëèñü
ïåø ñòîòè)
October 25th - Complex organisms, including those with shells
and hard parts, evolve (25 æîâòíÿ – ç’ÿâèëèñü êîìïëåêñí
îãàíçìè ç îáîëîíêàìè òâåäèìè ÷àñòêàìè)
December 7th – Reptiles evolve (7 ãóäíÿ – ç’ÿâèëèñü åïòèë¿)
December 25th – Dinosaurs become extinct (25 ãóäíÿ –
Äèíîçàâè ïî÷èíàëè ãèíóòè)
December 31st, 11 p.m. – Homo sapiens appear (31 ãóäíÿ, 23.00
– ç’ÿâèëèñü ëäè)
December 31st, 11:58:45 p.m. – Most recent ice age “ended” (31
ãóäíÿ, 23.58:45 – ëüîäÿíà åïîõà çàêí÷èëàñü)
December 31st, 11:59:30 p.m.- Written history begins (31 ãóäíÿ,
23.59:30 –ïî÷àëàñü íàïèñàíà ñòîÿ ëäñòâà)
3/100th of a second before midnight – Columbus lands in the West
Indies (çà 3/100 ñåêóíä äî ïâíî÷ – Êîëóìá âäêèâ Àìåèêó)
1/1000th of a second before midnight – You were born (çà 1/1000
ñåêóíä äî ïâíî÷ – òè íàîäèâñÿ!)
- Remind the kids that there are a lot of people that live on the earth but the earth
existed long before our existence! (Íàãàäàé äòÿì, ùî ó ñâò æèâóòü áàãàòî
ëäåé, àëå íàøà çåìëÿ ñíóº çàäîâãî äî íàøîãî ñíóâàííÿ.)
Activity: The Web of Life!!
- Ask the kids to think of animals or organisms that they know. (ßêèõ
îñëèí ÷è òâàèí âè çíàºòå?)
- What’s an ecosystem – pose this question to students. Have them give
their own answers and then share with them your version. (Ñïèòàéòå
äòåé, ùî òàêå åêîñèñòåìà).
An ecosystem is all the organisms that live together and interact
with each other in the same habitat.
Åêîñèñòåìà – âñ îãàíçìè æèâóòü àçîì âçàºìîäòü îäèí ç
îäíèì ó ìñö ñíóâàííÿ.
- Write the word ecosystem on the board and draw inputs (ùî âõîäèòü äî
åêîñèñòåìè) and outputs (ÿê åçóëüòàòè äÿëüíîñò åêîñèñòåìè) for
example – sun and water input energy into an ecosystem and different
animals migrate into the ecosystem; outputs include food production, air
production (plants), and animals which leave the system.
- Web of Life (Ïàâóòèíà æèòòÿ) –
Before class, write out the names of different animals, plants, and
other organisms on small pieces of paper and have each child
chose a piece of paper from a bag or jar. (Êîæíà äèòèíà ìàº
ëèñòî÷îê, íà ÿêîìó íàïèñàíî íàçâó ÿêî¿ñü òâàèíè àáî
Have the kids stand in a circle and then read the word on their
piece of paper. Then the teacher will start the game. (Âñ äòè
ñòàòü â êîëî, ÷èòàòü ñëîâà çàïèñàí íà ëèñòî÷êó é â÷èòåëü
(continued on next page)
The teacher reads the animal/plant written on their paper and
chooses another animal/plant and explains how they interact.
For example, the teacher has the word “apple tree” and says – “I
am an apple tree and birds live on me.” Then the teacher takes
the ball of yarn and, holding on to the loose end, tosses the ball to
the student holding the word “bird” – thus they are connected.
Then the student holding “bird” chooses another plant/animal
and makes a sentence about how they are connected. Play
continues until all children have made a sentence and are holding
a section of the yarn.
Â÷èòåëü êàæå: «ß ÿáëóíÿ ïòàõè æèâóòü íà ìåí.» Òîä
âí, íå âäïóñêà÷è íèòêè, êèäຠíèòêó ëäèí, ÿêà ìàº
íàçâó «ïòàõà». Ïîòì ëäèíà «ïòàõà» âèáèຠíøó
ëäèíó êàæå ÿê âîíè ñïîëó÷àòüñÿ. Ãà ïîäîâæóºòüñÿ
äî òîãî ÷àñó, êîëè âñ òèìàòü íèòêó.
The teacher then instructs 5 or 6 children to tug on their yarn and
asks the group who felt it…Why did they did so many other
people feel it when one person tugged the yarn? Who are they
connected with?
Õàé 5 àáî 6 äòåé ñìèêàòü íèòêè â÷èòåëü ïèòຠ«Õòî
âä÷óâàâ íèòêè? îìó? Ç êèì âè ç’ºäíàí?»
The teacher then tells the students that there has been a
catastrophe (fire, pollution, trash in the river, air pollution,
etc…). Those students who are directly impacted by the
catastrophe must drop their yarn because they cannot survive
(ex: pollution in the water – fish, ducks, mosquitoes, flies, etc
cannot survive and thus drop their yarn). All those students that
are connected to those that dropped their yarn must also drop the
yarn and soon, all the yarn is on the floor – all were impacted.
Ñêàæè, ùî ÿêàñü âåëèêà êàòàñòîôà ÷è ïîáëåìà
(ïîæåæà, çàáóäíåííÿ, ñìòòÿ â ÷ö, çàáóäíåííÿ
ïîâòÿ) ç’ÿâèëàñü â âàøé åêîñèñòåì äåÿê
òâàèíè/îñëèíè ïîìåëè àáî ïøëè ç öº¿ åêîñèñòåìè –
ò ó÷í âäïóñòàòü íèòêè. (í-ä çàáóäíåííÿ âîäè – èáè,
êà÷êè, êîìà, òà ìóõè íå ìîæóòü æèòè òîáòî âîíè
âäïóñêàòü íèòêè). Ïîòì, ÿêùî ëäèíà, ç ÿêî ó÷åíü
ñïîëó÷àºòüñÿ âäïóñàêàëà íèòêè, òîä òîé ó÷åíü òàêîæ
ïîâèíåí âäïóñêàòè íèòêó. Âñ íø, ÿê ñïîëó÷åí ç öèì
ó÷íàì òàêîæ ïîâèíí êèíóòè íèòêó. Ñêîî âñ íèòêè
ëåæàòü íà ïäëîç ÷ååç òå, ùî âñ ïîêèäàëè íèòêó.
Debrief! What did this activity show us? (Ùî ìè äçíàëèñÿ
çàâäÿêè öé ã?)
Group Work: Split the class into groups of 3-4 and have each
group think of 5 -7 environmental problems in the world. Ask
them if these problems are connected at all and how they interact.
Finally ask them how they can help! Have each group share their
ideas and thoughts.
 ìàëåíüêèõ ãóïàõ, ó÷í ïèäóìàòü 5 – 7 ïîáëåì
åêîëîã¿ â íàøîìó ñâò. Â÷èòåëü ïèòຠ¿õ ÷è ïîáëåìè
ïîâ’ÿçàí ìæ ñîáî ÿê âîíè âçàºìîäòü. Âåøò,
â÷èòåëü ïèòຠó÷íâ, ÿê âîíè ìîæóòü äîïîìîãòè
Ideas for animals/plants
Air (ïîâòÿ)
Ant (ìóàõêà)
Bacteria (áàêòåÿ)
Bear (âåäìäü)
Beaver (áîáå)
Bee (áäæîëà)
Berry (ÿãîäà)
Bird (ïòàõà)
Bush (êóù)
Butterfly (ìåòåëèê)
Caterpillar (ãóñíü)
Eagle (îåë)
Elk (ëîñü)
Fish (èáà)
Flower (êâòêà)
Fly (ìóõà)
Fox (ëèñèöÿ)
Grass (òàâà)
Insect (êîìàõà)
Lake (îçåî)
Mouse (ìèøà)
Mushroom (ãèá)
Owl (ñîâà)
Parrot (ïàïóãà)
Plant (îñëèà)
Rabbit (çàºöü)
Squirrel (áëêà)
Tree (äååâî)
Wolf (âîâê)
Reading Comprehension Activity
Name _______________________________________________ I) Read the essay
Date _____________
Earth Day, Every Day!
Earth Day is on April 22nd every year. Earth Day is a day to remember to take care of our planet,
Earth. We can take care of our planet by keeping it clean. We can keep Earth clean by following the
rule of “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Reduce means use less. We can reduce our use of resources like water
or gasoline. Reuse means use again, rather than throw things away. We can reuse many things, such
as jars, plastic bags, and boxes. Recycle means to make something new from something old. We
can keep Earth clean by recycling materials such as aluminum, paper, and plastic. If we take these
materials to a recycling center, they can be used again in a different way.
On Earth Day, we remind ourselves and everyone on earth that we must do these things. We
must do these things every day, not just on Earth Day. We must all do our part, and we can make a
difference. On April 22nd, remind everyone you know that Earth Day is every day!
II) Answer the following questions about Earth Day. (Circle the correct answer)
1. What is the purpose of this essay?
a. to entertain
b. to inform
c. to test your knowledge
d. none of the above
2. In which month is Earth Day celebrated?
a. February
b. March
c. April
d. May
3. On Earth Day we remind people to...
a. recycle paper
b. recycle cans
c. reuse materials
d. all of the above
4. Why does the writer think that Earth Day should be every day?
a. People want to play in clean parks every day.
b. People should take care of the planet every day.
c. People like to read the newspaper every day.
e. None of the above.
III) Match the words with their meanings. (Draw a line between the word and its meaning)
recycle to use something over again
reuse to use a material and make it into something else
reduce to use less of something
Announcing: A new Environmental Award...
Sponsored by the Earth Day Network ( and
Peace Corps Environmental Working Group (
to recognize the efforts that people, schools, and organizations
are making to help protect the environment in Ukraine.
Do you know an individual or organization that is doing something
amazing to help the environment in Ukraine?
• setting up a recycling program
• introducing new environmental training into their school
• organizing community clean-ups for environmental awareness
• improving the water quality in their town
Take a moment to nominate them for this Environmental Award and win the
recognition they deserve! There will be prizes for First, Second and Third places.
Winners will receive certificates and media recognition.
Application deadline: 14 May 2010
Winners will be announced: 21 May 2010
Please send application to [email protected]
APPLICATION PROCESS: ( in English, please)
In an email or on a separate sheet of paper, please provide the following information and essay:
Your Name ____________________________________________________________________________
Your E-mail ___________________________________________________________________________
Your phone number ____________________________________________________________________
I am nominating:
c Individual
c Organization
Name of nominee: _____________________________________________________________________
In 500 words or less, please describe why you are nominating them for this Environmental Award.
Send application and photos via email to [email protected]