Mapping, Art, Kids, and Carbon?

A friend of mine recently came up with an idea that I thought has some merit, and maybe a group in your area would be interested in getting involved. She suggested that kids might gain a better appreciation of the issue of global warming if they set about to map their school grounds, their town, or their local park with an eye for carbon. For example, what if the 4th grade class in your town set out to map every tree and bush on the schools property, and did it by creating an artistic map talking about how these act as carbon sinks that can help slow climate change and hung it in the local library? What if they included on that map how the schools use of fossil fuels is contributing to global climate change and calculated the amount of CO2 released from the use of electricity and heating fuel for one school year? Would that help change the local thinking about adding things like solar panels and hybrid fleets to the school district? The best part about this idea is that it really doesn't have to be done in any huge, organized way. In fact, the idea is really that you make it an activity that people value and that children can do as an educational thing. Then let it happen in the little pockets where it might happen. Here's another possibility What if the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts took it on as a local project or if an Eagle Scout candidate decided to do carbon mapping of their town for their Eagle Project? It certainly would create grassroots awareness and activity, and the end result is that it would help to foster a "value" of the local environment and demonstrate its relationship to the bigger picture efforts of the fight against Global Warming within the local community. It would certainly get kids involved in a way that they can help make a difference, and with the devotion kids in my town show for art projects at the elementary levels in particular, it seems like this could be a fun art project with a real message.

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