• Earth Day: KIDS Get Dirty, Get Better Grades!

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – That messy message is from a new National Wildlife Federation report which outlines how getting dirty outdoors benefits children – from behavior to health and grades. The timing coincides with Earth Day, with plenty of opportunities for youngsters to get their hands dirty in Washington this weekend.

    Meri Margaret Deoudes, who oversees the Federation’s “Be Out There” initiative, says it’s natural for most children to want to be messy, and there are good reasons to let them dig around – including stress reduction and exposure to bacteria which helps build their immune systems.

    “Some of the research is showing that there is something in dirt that actually triggers serotonin, which makes kids more happy, more relaxed. Also, some of the studies are showing that, that helps them perform better in school.”

    For young children, Deoudes says, there are tactile benefits to playing in the dirt. Encouraging them to make mud pies and create forts also counts as exercise, she says.

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  • Washington State Promotes Healthy, Sustainable Environment with Earth Day Activities

    Olympia, Wash. — Washington State residents are enthusiastically supporting Earth Day on April 22 by participating in activities designed to promote environmental and community health. This year, Washington residents have an additional opportunity to support Earth Day by participating in “Cash for Appliances Washington,” which helps consumers support a healthy sustainable environment by offering extra cash back for a new energy-efficient refrigerator or clothes washer. 

    Each year, Washington residents are called upon to make environmentally friendly decisions, specifically around Earth Day. Events are planned state-wide to support this initiative. The Washington Recreation and Park Association is calling for volunteers to hit the beaches for a huge beach cleanup effort on April 17, the day Gov. Christine Gregoire has proclaimed “Washington Coast Cleanup Day.” In addition, state park rangers at more than a dozen parks need volunteers to help with Community Partnership Month park cleanup events throughout April, to get ready for the spring and summer camping season.

    Cash for Appliances Washington is also a great way for consumers to support Earth Day. Older appliances can be a big energy drain; making the switch to an energy efficient model is an effective way to use less energy and tread more lightly on the earth. 

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