Environmental Education: Worms Eat My Garbage

Earthworm photo: Earthworm composting is a great way to teach your kids about nature even if you live in the heart of the city

My neighbour just came home with a worm composter the other day. For those of you unfamiliar with these, they’re small(ish) containers designed to contain your vegetable waste, worms and a mixture of starter material so that you can compost that waste instead of throwing it out. The containers are designed to allow for aeration and maximize the survival of the worms and the efficiency of composting. Great idea.

This strikes me as a great way to stimulate an appreciation for the environment in apartment or condo-dwelling kids. The containers can be kept outside on a deck or balcony and you could let your child help you to set up the composter as well as (depending on their age) adding vegetable waste and ultimately harvesting the composted soil. Even if they just watch what you’re doing you can tell them why you’re doing it and what’s happening so they understand the process, and something tells me that just seeing the worms wriggling so close to home will keep them attentive.

These are becoming so popular here that there’s currently quite a wait to get your hands on the required hardware. That said, with a bit of research I’m sure you could build one pretty easily and get on the road to reducing volume in our landfills while improving your garden or flowerbeds.

I called the organization that distributes these worm composters to learn more and they suggested that people not in the area, or that don’t want to wait for a composter to become available can build their own, and that a great guide is a book called “Worms Eat My Garbage.” For anyone interested, I’ve included a link to the book discounted on Amazon in the middle of this post.

Nature’s Curiosities – Sensitive Plants Make For Curious Kids

Sensitive plant pic: Let your children explore nature in the house with these sensitive plants and seeds.

A comment was left to a post made earlier this week about exposing your children to plants, animals and the joys of exploring nature. The commenter directed me to TickleMePlant.com, a site that sells Sensitive Plant (or touch-me-not) seeds for parents and kids to grow together in the home year round.

What’s so special about these plants? The leaves react to your child’s touch. Touch the leaves and they will fold together for a time and eventually reopen.

I personally remember these plants from when I was a child on a family trip to the west indies. They blew me away and made enough of an impact that I can remember them vividly even today.

You can find more information about these plants on the TickleMePlant.com website, or on Wikipedia