Read about the History of Earth Day by CLICKING HERE

While it is true that our earth is in a constant cycle of cooling and warming, the production of carbon dioxide gases, mostly from our burning of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas) is adding billions of additional tons of CO2 into our atmosphere and causing increasing temperatures through the greenhouse effect.

One area of real concern is the melting of the Arctic in the far north, and Antarctica down south, ice sheets. Although these areas are remote and distant from the places where we live, these areas play a crucial part of the entire Earth weather system. What we do in the densely-populated mid-latitudes brings changes to the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets and these changes impact weather and climate everywhere on Earth.

First: CLICK HERE to visit a website on the differences between the Artic (North Pole) and Antarctica (South Pole). Read the home page, Compare the Poles, to learn that there are some very distinct differences between what is found at the North Pole and what can be found at the South Pole.

Next: Open Google Docs. Write the title, Earth Day on the top of your page and in the title box, along with with your name and class period. Then type the answers, with corresponding numbers, to the following questions. Use complete sentences for answers requiring more than just a name or number.

1. Why would it be impossible for a polar bear to have a birthday party and invite penguins as guests to the party. Hint: The answer is not that the polar bear would eat the penguins. Give up? CLICK HERE and read about the Arctic and Antarctic wildlife.
2. We live thousands of miles from the poles so why does increased melting of the North and South Poles matter to us? CLICK HERE to go to a site that lists and describes some of the consequences of global warming. Make a list of, at least, four of the challenges that our warming planet will present to us.
3. Write down, at least, TEN THINGS (A through J) you can do RIGHT NOW to help preserve the earth's environment. Here are some suggestions, you can use all of these, some of these or write all your own.

A. Encourage your parents to enroll in the BLUE SKY wind power program with Rocky Mountain Power (the company we buy our electricity) This program costs a bit more but allows the power company to purchase wind power for the amount of power your family uses.

B. Don't always get a ride in a car when you need to go to school, the store or a friend's house; walk, ride your bike or skateboard.

C. Encourage your parents to not use pesticides, weed killers or chemical fertilizers on your yard or in and around your house. Instead, use less harsh organic methods to keep bugs and rodents out of your house. For example, you can just vacuum up most harmful pests. Remove shrubs and other items up against the house to take away homes for bugs and pests.

D. Use reusable drinking bottles and recycle plastics, papers and metals by collecting them at home and taking to city's collection areas

E. Plant a garden and/or buy local foods (foods that come from far away places require transportation)

F. Turn off lights, or don't turn them on at all. Use natural lighting whenever possible.

G. Take shorter showers and replace shower nozzles with water saving nozzels.

H. Replace lawn with xeriscape and natural materials like rock. This saves water and eliminates need for fertilizers and toxic chemical weed control.

I. Use natural weed control methods (dig out weeds, eliminate areas where weeds could grow, put in thick areas of rock and do not trap moisture that will make weeds grow)

J. Take reusable bags to the grocery store so you won't need plastic bags.

4. What is the earth's estimated population, right now? CLICK HERE to go to an interesting site - The World Clock.
5. According to the United Nations Report, what is the estimated population of people on the earth in the year 2050.
6. Why should we be concerned about global warming/climate change. In other words, what types of changes to our world's environment should we expect as temperatures rise? CLICK HERE to read more or search online yourself.

7. Why are trees so important to our lives? CLICK HERE

Have some more time? Here are some extra things to do to learn more about our world:

- Go to the official Earth Day website CLICK HERE and pledge your act of green.

Return to CMS Home Page