Act now to help save the environment and win more than $36,000 in resources for local schools (ARA) - "Children are our future." It's a phrase heard so often, that it's easy to take for granted how powerful the sentiment truly is. Today's children are tomorrow's leaders. And just as we want to take simple steps to ensure a healthier planet for generations to come, children today are increasingly passionate about doing their part too.
Parents and children alike can take small, simple steps to lead more sustainable lifestyles that save energy, save water and reduce waste both at home and beyond. And P&G Future Friendly, along with the National Geographic Society, are challenging today's children to help lead the charge through an in-school conservation education program called Find Your Footprint.
Find Your Footprint helps kids identify -- and reduce -- their environmental footprint through a custom curriculum that focuses on water, waste and energy consumption. Kids can then put this education into action when their class participates in the Find Your Footprint Contest. The classroom with the best submission wins a state-of-art grand prize valued at over $36,000. The prize includes Promethean technologies (five ActivBoards and five sets of ActivExpression); plus $1,000 worth of National Geographic educational materials; and National Geographic Kids magazine subscriptions for every student in the class. All prizes will be presented during a special school ceremony next spring.
Program champion Dr. Mireya Mayor is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, author of the upcoming National Geographic book "Pink Boots and a Machete," and host of Nat Geo WILD's "Wild Nights with Mireya Mayor" on cable TV, as well as a mom of two daughters herself. Having spent years traveling to exotic locations researching rare species, Dr. Mayor understands firsthand the importance of empowering today's children to lead the charge for preserving our environment.
"Through my work, I've had the great fortune to explore and experience the beauty of our jungles and rainforests. I've also seen how our actions, big and small, can impact our local communities and our world," said Dr. Mayor. "Find Your Footprint is a wonderful opportunity to empower our children to be ambassadors for change, by helping them understand the link between their environmental footprint and their school, as well as the world around them."
To participate in the contest, classrooms will choose to focus on water, waste or energy, and identify their school's environmental footprint. From there, they'll work as a team to brainstorm and develop a unique, step-by-step plan to reduce energy, waste or water consumption at their school in an environmentally responsible way. Teachers and students alike are encouraged to push the boundaries of creativity, and think BIG for this project. Is it a photo essay? A video documentary? A feature television program? A mural? A digital poster? Only the most captivating submissions will make it through the first round of judging. From here, the top six finalists will have their entries posted on a special National Geographic Find Your Footprint website where the general public will vote for their favorite submission.
Students and parents can encourage their teachers to participate at www.nationalgeographic.com/findyourfootprint. Here they'll learn about the rules and guidelines, and access the Find Your Footprint Lesson Plan including teacher's guide, student guide and posters for the classroom. Submissions are due by Dec. 3 to be eligible for the grand prize.
While you encourage your local schools to participate in the contest, you can start living more sustainably at home today with these simple steps, courtesy of National Geographic and Future Friendly:
* Save energy - Keeping your fridge too cold wastes energy. Keep your fridge between 37 F and 40 F and freezers at 5 F.
* Save water - If your bathroom fixtures were installed before 1992, replacing your toilet with a more efficient one could save thousands of gallons of water every year, between 14,000 and 25,000 gallons for a family of four.
* Reduce waste - More than 80 percent of recyclable bottles end up in landfills each year. Reduce bottle waste and filter your tap water.