Saturday, April 18, 2015

DISNEY GO GREEN : A Family Guide To A Sustainable Lifestyle


With Fun Arts And Crafts Activities As Well as Tips and Tricks, DISNEY GO GREEN Shows How To Live A More Sustainable Lifestyle

Many children are interested in sustainability and learning how their actions impact the planet.  Now everyone can join Mickey and friends in living greener with DISNEY GO GREEN: A Family Guide To A Sustainable Lifestyle (Edda USA; $12.95/hardcover).  The book explains how to create a more sustainable lifestyle in a simple, understandable way by exploring the Three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and discussing our ecological footprint – a measure of how much we take from the earth’s resources to produce the things we use.  DISNEY GO GREEN includes interesting facts and great tips for sustainable living, and has lots of fun activities to try at home and school.

The purpose of the craft activities is to show children how to be artistic using items found in nature or reusing items, to reduce the impact on the planet.  For instance, instead of going to the store to buy paint, children can make their own watercolors by boiling plants in water to release their natural dyes.  Here are a few options:

red onion peels: crimson red & burgundy
pokeberries: deep red
orange pekoe tea: brown
black walnuts: black
Queen Anne’s Lace: green
marigolds: green
blueberries: blue
cayenne pepper: rust red
yellow onion peels: yellow & tan
coffee beans: brown & tan
dandelions: mossy greens

Some suggestions for other projects that reuse materials are:
·     turn an orange juice carton into a bird feeder
·     use different tube-shaped materials to make a marble run
·     notch old paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make Lincoln log structures

DISNEY GO GREEN also emphasizes making better food choices to reduce our ecological footprint.  This includes planting container gardens and composting.  There are also recipes for using locally grown ingredients.  Here’s one for apples picked from a local orchard:

Easy applesauce
Peel, quarter, and core apples to remove the seeds.  Cut into small chunks, place in a saucepan, and pour enough water to barely cover the apples. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice and as much raw sugar as you would like, but not too much.  Simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat.  When cooled, mash up your sauce with a fork and pour into a sterilized glass jar.

In the book, readers are reminded, “Sometimes making green choices takes us out of our comfort zone.  It takes us away from the things we usually do and what’s comfortable to us.  At these times, it’s good to remember that we’re doing what’s best for us, and what’s best for the environment.”  For children looking for fun activities and great advice about sustainability, DISNEY GO GREEN is the perfect resource.

My Thoughts

The Mickey & Friends Go Green book is a great way to have fun with your family and teach them how to live a sustainable life style at the same time. Their favorite characters walk them through pages of fun activities suitable for all the changing seasons. 

The book begins by explaining to kids why we need to go green, and how it will effect their lives in the future. This is handled very well. It's not scary or too complex for small kids to understand, but gets the point across. It explains the circle of life, the importance of being active, and how to make good choices. It goes on to explain how recycling works, and how to reduce and reuse items.  These are only a few of the topics mentioned. The second half of the book gives you craft ideas for each of the four seasons. Make soil paint in the spring, watercolors in the summer,  play dough in the fall, and birdseed mosaics out of ice in the winter.

This is a great book that touches on a lot of important topics, but it is very long. You can't sit down and read this is one sitting, and if your kids are very young, a lot of it will be over their heads. I would recommend it to kids around 8-12. Smaller kids will enjoy some of the crafts, but most will lose interest if you try to read it to them. Overall, a great book with a lot of fun ideas.