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February 22, 2014

Girl Scouts in Action: Helping the Environment

There’s a famous proverb that says, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Zenobia Barlow wrote, “Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.”

Our children are probably more aware of the importance of helping the environment than some adults. For example, the 100th Anniversary Take Action Project, which is part of the Girl Scouts Forever Green program, was created after the organization’s research determined that a staggering number of girls believe that helping to protect the environment is a critical concern.

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For about two years, troops of Girl Scouts across the world participated in thousands of projects designed to help the environment. The three primary objectives: Reduce Waste, Earth Hour, and Rain Gardens. According to a report released by the Girl Scouts of the USA in January, the program was a huge success.

The Girl Scout Troops achieved the following environmental feats:

*** 639 million kilowatts of energy saved

*** 226 million gallons of water conserved

*** 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide eliminated

*** 120 million pounds of waste eradicated

*** 409,940 aluminum cans recycled

*** 123,753 native plants/trees planted

*** 2,462 wildlife fed and sheltered by rain gardens

The Alcoa Foundation provided a two-year, $1.5 million grant to expand the GSFG program globally to 12 countries. Additionally, the group sponsored 700 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides within World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to “twin” together on environmental projects both locally and globally.

alcoa and the girls scouts

“Although our girls might be famous for wearing the color green, it’s clear that they are enthusiastic about ‘going green’ and working to preserve our natural resources,” said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the USA Girl Scouts, and added that the organization promotes leadership for girls; making a difference environmentally is a perfect goal that recognizes the girls’ desire to protect the environment.

The Boy Scouts of America have also identified helping the environment as a priority; read more here.

Posted by Mark Contorno.

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