healthy home

Lessons for Students – and the Rest of Us

by Tom Damm

children's healthOctober is Children’s Health Month, an ideal time to check out EPA’s Student Curriculum: Recipes for Healthy Kids and a Healthy Environment.

This nine-lesson program is available to teachers to help students (ages 9-13) appreciate and explore the environments in which they live and play.  Each 45-minute lesson provides basic information on a particular topic and offers ways for students and their families to reduce their environmental risks.

So, you think you’re smarter than a 9-13 year old?  Here’s what you’re up against on water issues:

The “Keeping All of Our Waterways Clean“ lesson helps children understand the importance of water in their lives and describes the life cycle of freshwater.  It also discusses how to keep trash from getting in storm drains and polluting waterways.

After learning the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define rainwater runoff, drainage pollution, freshwater, saltwater and potable;
  • Name three different types of waterways;
  • Explain three ways to stop drainage pollution; and
  • Explain how keeping our waterways clean benefits the entire community.

And then there’s the “Healthy Water Inside” lesson.  It focuses on water safety and conservation, and teaches how to avoid mold and mildew at home.

Our water wizards will be able to:

  • Define mold, mildew and fluoride;
  • List three ways to stop mold and mildew from growing;
  • Explain how water is treated; and
  • Explain some ways to conserve water at home.

Want to go to the head of the class?  Check out the materials in all nine lessons and test your knowledge on issues of concern to all of us – from climate change to household hazards.  And if you’re a scout leader or an instructor in another setting, use the lessons to help your kids become more environmentally savvy.

 

About the Author: Tom Damm has been with EPA since 2002 and now serves as communications coordinator for the region’s Water Protection Division.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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How the 3R’s Can Make a Healthier Home

By Lina Younes

I don’t know about you, but it takes me forever to put away all the holiday decorations once the festivities are over. While all my family members are eager to put up the Christmas tree and decorations right after Thanksgiving, I just don’t find the same number of enthusiastic helpers available at the beginning of the new year. When I finally came around to putting the decorations away, I realized that I had to do more to remove the clutter and start the overall process of having a healthier home environment.

When I embarked on this project to get some order at home, I decided to break it down by room because otherwise the task seemed overwhelming. I enlisted my youngest to help me clean up the toy room first to recycle or donate many of those objects that were just sitting neglected in a pile.

Then, I decided to apply the same rule in the kitchen. What were the items that we used the most? What are those items that are more seasonal or can be stored for use at a later date? What items can be donated to Good Will? As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, reducing clutter is a great way to implementing Integrated Pest Management practices and keep the pests away.

Then, I tackled my youngest daughter’s room. She had definitely outgrown many clothes that were still in perfectly good condition. There were some good coats and jackets that will definitely keep a child warm this winter. Then I went through my closet to find some things that I have been holding on for years. Those items definitely could be used by someone else so they were classified under “items to be donated” as well.

While organizing, I found several old cell phones in drawers. You can either donate them to some non-profit organizations or recycle them.  There are precious metals and plastics in those phones that can be recycled and turned into new products. That way they don’t end up in a landfill.

So, do you have any plans to make your home healthier? We would like to hear from you. If you want to take a glimpse as how you can protect the air quality in your home, visit our virtual house for some tips.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as EPA’s Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.