Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sprouts of Hope: Recycling in Cambridge

Spreading the Word About Recycling

By Lilly

The Sprouts of Hope had the opportunity to participate in some fun events in Cambridge —the Mayfair and Fresh Pond Day. The MayFair is a festival that happens every year in Harvard Square on the 1st of May, and it is always a very exciting and fun event. At the MayFair, we worked with Meryl Brott, who oversees recycling for the city, as volunteers for The Department of Public Works.

Our job was to walk around the MayFair and survey people about what they know about recycling in Cambridge. Meryl also had set up a booth where people could come and ask questions about recycling and composting, and take free posters, information packets and stickers.

Surveying people was hard work, but it was also a lot of fun! It was interesting to see how many people were unaware of certain things they can recycle. For example, many people did not know that they can recycle hard plastics like broken laundry baskets in their curbside recycling, and they were very interested when we told them that they could.

We did a similar thing a week later on Fresh Pond Day — and we are going to help Meryl again in early June at the Riverfest. Risa, Eliza and I set up a table very similar to the one we had at the MayFair. We also set up a compost bin to catch people’s interest by showing them what it looks like. Many people came to us with questions about composting, recycling and rain barrels.

It was a very fun experience and we were able to help a lot of people get answers to their questions.

Sprouts of Hope: Earth Day

Becoming Friends With the Earth

By Maya

On Earth Day, April 22nd, I volunteered at the Boston Children’s Museum. Early that morning I took the T into South Station with Kelly Sullivan, another member of the Roots & Shoots New England Youth Leadership Council. We were going there to do activities with kids about helping take care of the Earth.

When we got to the museum, we headed up to the second floor family room. Kellan Hays, who is the media and program coordinator for Roots & Shoots Northeast, and two Roots & Shoots interns, Fiona and Katie, who were also volunteering, were already there.

We had three tables, and on them we set out an animal matching game, a recycle scavenger hunt, and a wishing tree for the Earth. For the animal matching game kids paired up pictures of baby animals with the mama animal. After they did that they could flip the cards over and learn a cool fact about the animal. One little girl had me read and explain every single card for her!

For the scavenger hunt kids took lists and ran around the room looking for different materials, checking off the ones that could be recycled and those that could not. Then, they could do a recycling word scramble.

The tree for Earth was my favorite activity. Kids took different cut outs—a bird, a star or a leaf, and they wrote messages about the Earth on them. They said what they love about the Earth, what they do to help the Earth, or what they could do to help the Earth. By the end of the day the tree was barely visible. The notes and drawings were all very cute and inspiring!

Everyone seemed to greatly enjoy the activities, including me. I can definitely say the day was a success and I am looking forward to doing this again next year.