Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Brownie Household Elf
Today we earned the Brownie Household Elf Badge. I used the Brownie Skill Building Badge insert in the Brownie Girl Guide to supplement our discussion.
I was able to ask lots of questions from the guide. Example: "If you use 1 gallon a minute in the shower, how much water would you use in 10 minutes?"
I brought an old jug of milk to give the girls a visual of exactly what 1 gallon looks like.
"Why do you think your freezer works more efficiently when it is full?"
"How many plastic bags do you think the world uses in a year?" How many do you think your family uses?"
"Why are hand-made, natural cleaners better for the environment and more cost efficient?"
We talked about conserving energy in our home. The girls supplied a long list of small things they can do to make a difference in the household energy bills. We talked about how important water is and how we can prevent using too much water. We also talked about recycling and why re-using things can be so important and how that too saves energy.
The girls actively participated in classifying how fast these items degrade in our landfill:
Newspaper - 6 weeks (PINK)
Apple Core - 2 months (YELLOW)
Plastic Bags - 10-20 years (GREEN)
Aluminum Cans - 80-200 years (BLUE)
Glass Bottles - 1 million years (ORANGE)
Plastic Bottles - NEVER! (PURPLE)
I printed 6 pieces of paper with each item on one sheet of paper. I also printed one sheet with all the time categories listed "6weeks, 2 months, 10-20 years, 80-200 years , 1 million years and NEVER". I placed a colored dot next to each time category. I then taped all 7 sheets of paper on the wall. Each girl was given a pink dot and asked to place on the item they thought would take 6 weeks to degrade in the landfill. Then they got another color dot, etc. Surprisingly my troop overwhelmingly thought an apple core would degrade in 6 weeks and that glass bottles would NEVER degrade. This was an eye-opening activity for them.
They also created a reminder for their mirror: I created a clever saving that hopefully they could remember over time. "Don’t be in rush, turn of the water when you brush!"
I passed out neon on index cards and the girls wrote down the saying on a card and decorated it with stickers. They were asked to tape it to their mirror at home where they brush their teeth.
Finally they made a Draft Stopper Snake from a soft, knee-high sock.
1 knee-high (about $1.00)
1 pound bag of pinto beans ($1.00)
hot glue gun
We funneled pinto beans into the sock and then the girls stuffed the sock with poly fill. (This works best if you funnel a small amount of beans, then stiff with a hand-full of poly-fill and repeat until sock is fully filled). They secured the sock with a tight rubber band and finished off the tail spiral wrapping a few pipe-cleaners up the tail. We secured a snake ribbon tongue with a simple safety pin and hot glued googly eyes to complete the stopper. Their draft stopper is ready for use in a window or near a door where cool air might escape.
Finally I ended our meeting encouraging each girl to work hard on conserving in their own home this week and gently reminding other family members to help. I asked them to make a mental note of what they do and we will share at our next meeting.