Here are some suggestions for facilitating a tree planting program focused on children transplanting trees or plants into pots.
1. For each tree or plant, give out printed instructions describing where to plant, how to care for the plant, and when to transplant it. Make sure the name of the tree is printed on the instructions.
2. Do the planting on tables covered with a washable tablecloth if possible. (Adults have a hard time bending over for long periods of time, and it's easier for younger children to stand at a table.)
3. The plants may be root bound, making it difficult for the children to remove the tree from the pot. Have some sharp wooden sticks that will fit into the tiny holes of the pots to loosen up the roots. Make sure you do this ahead of time. Then squeeze the sides to loosen it up and make it easy to remove the plant without injuring it.
4. If you're using potting soil, place the bag inside a larger bag so that the soil doesn't get all over the place.
5. Make sure you have reusable cloth towels handy for wiping up spills and dirty hands. Wash them and use them over and over again to prevent waste. If you have no choice but to use disposable towels, purchase paper towels made of recycled content.
6. Explain why we plant trees. We plant trees to make our world more beautiful, to create oxygen from carbon dioxide, and to replace trees that have been destroyed.
7. Explain the importance of conserving trees by reducing, reusing, recycling and purchasing recycled products as often as possible. For example, take your own bags to the store when shopping, use scrap paper whenever possible, and pack a waste-free lunch. When you go out to eat, take a reusable container with you so you can take home the leftovers. Elicit ideas from the students if possible.
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