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Environmentalism: Resources for kids, young adults, educators and parents

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Science, Technology and Business Division
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For Educators and Parents

For Kids and Young Adults For More Information

Photo:  close-up of  a very young baby whooping crane, with fuzz rather than feathers, standing in green grass.
A six-day-old whooping crane chick explores on his own in the safe environment of his pen. This chick is part of a program to preserve this endangered species and to prepare the birds to live in the wild. Photo: Kathleen O'Malley, USGS Website.

Photo:  boy in a Boy Scout uniform digging in the dirt, with a young pine tree nearby.Boy Scout planting a tree in Story County, Iowa. Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.


This guide provides a selection of print and electronic resources on environmentalism for children ages K-12. It also includes environmental education resources for educators and parents

For Educators and Parents:

Environmental Education Activities and Curriculum Resources

147 practical tips for teaching sustainability: connecting the environment, the economy, and society. William M. Timson and others. Madison, WI, Atwood Pub., c2006. 122 p.
   Bibliography: p. 115-119.
   GE70.A13 2006

Chase, Jayni. Blueprint for a green school. New York, Scholastic, c1995. 670 p.
   Bibliography: p. 657-660.
   GE70.C48 1995

Chiras, Daniel D. Ecokids: raising children who care for the earth. Gabriola Island, BC, New Society, c2005. 231 p.
   Bibliography: p. 215-221.
   GE70.C485 2005

Creating sustainable environments in our schools. Edited by Tony Shallcross and others. Stoke-on-Trent, Trentham, 2006. 206 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   LB2822.8.C74 2006

Environmental education and advocacy: changing perspectives of ecology and education. Edited by Edward A. Johnson and Michael J. Mappin. Cambridge, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005. 333 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE70.E5735 2005

Fields of green: restorying culture, environment, and education. Edited by Marcia McKenzie and others. Cresskill, NJ, Hampton Press, c2009. 374 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE70.F54 2009

Free-choice learning and the environment. Edited by John H. Falk, Joe E. Heimlich, and Susan Foutz. Lanham, AltaMira Press, c2009. 215 p.
   Bibliography: p. 181-206.
   GE70.F74 2009

Gardner, Robert, Phyllis J. Perry, and Salvatore Tocci. Ace your ecology and environmental science project: great science fair ideas. Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Publishers, c2010. 112 p.
   GE77.G36 2010

Inside-out: environmental science in the classroom and the field, grades 3-8. Robert W. Blake and others. Arlington, VA, National Science Teachers Association, c2010. 165 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE70.I575 2010

Roa, Michael L. Environmental science activities kit: ready-to-use lessons, labs, and worksheets for grades 7-12. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 2009. 486 p.
   Bibliography: p. 483-486.
   GE77.R63 2009

Sheehan, Kathryn, and Mary Waidner. Earth child 2000: earth science for young children: games, stories, activities, and experiments. New ed. with teacher’s guide. Tulsa, OK, Council Oak Books, c1998. 475 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE77.S53 1998

Smallwood, Carol. Recycling tips for teachers and librarians. Jefferson, NC, McFarland, c1995. 175 p.
   Bibliography: p. 169-170.
   TD794.5.S63 1995

Teaching green: the elementary years: hands-on learning in grades K-5. Edited by Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn. Gabriola Island, BC, New Society Publishers, c2005. 242 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE77.T43 2005

Wagner, Travis, and Robert Sanford. Environmental science: active learning laboratories and applied problem sets. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, c2010. 240 p.
   GE70.W34 2010

Wiland, Harry, and Dale Bell. Going to green: a standards-based environmental education curriculum for schools, colleges, and communities. White River Junction, VT, Chelsea Green Pub., c2009. 337 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE70.W53 2009


Environmental Science Fair Projects and Experiments

Fredericks, Anthony D. Nature experiments. New York, Sterling Pub., c2005. 128 p.
   GE77.F74 2005

Reilly, Kathleen M. Planet Earth: 25 environmental projects you can build yourself. White River Junction, VT, Nomad Press, c2008. 122 p.
   Bibliography: p. 120.
   GE77.R45 2008

Rybolt, Thomas R., and Robert C. Mebane. Environmental science fair projects: revised and expanded using the scientific method. Rev. and expanded [ed.]. Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Publishers, c2010. 160 p.
   Bibliography: p. 156-157.
   GE115.R93 2010

Suzuki, David T., and Kathy Vanderlinden. Eco-fun: great experiments, projects, and games for a greener earth. Vancouver, BC, Greystone Books, c2001. 127 p.
   GE77.S89 2001

Walker, Pam, and Elaine Wood. Environmental science experiments. New York, Facts on File, c2010. 153 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE77.W35 2010 <SciRR>


Selected Articles

Disinger, John F. K-12 education and the environment: perspectives, expectations, and practice. Journal of environmental education, v. 33, fall 2001: 4-11.

Hungerford, Harold R., and Trudi R. Volk. Notes from Harold Hungerford and Trudi Volk: meeting the challenges facing the environmental education community. Journal of environmental education, v. 34, winter 2003: 4-6.

Jickling, Bob. Environmental education and environmental advocacy: revisited. Journal of environmental education, v. 34, winter 2003: 20-27.

Johnston, Julie. Transformative environmental education: stepping outside the curriculum box. Canadian journal of environmental education, v. 14, 2009: 149-157.

Sauvé, Lucie. Currents in environmental education: mapping a complex and pedagogical field. Canadian journal of environmental education, v. 10, 2005: 11-37.


For Kids and Young Adults:

Recycling for Kids (Elementary)

Barraclough, Sue. Reusing things. Mankato, MN, Sea-to-Sea, 2008. 30 p.
   Bibliography: p. 28.
   TD171.7.B37 2008

Chancellor, Deborah. Clothes and toys. New York, PowerKids Press, c2010. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 30.
   HD9975.A2C43 2010

Einspruch, Andrew. Reducing waste. Mankato, MN, Smart Apple Media, 2011. 32 p.
   TD793.9.E365 2011

Fix, Alexandra. Plastic. Chicago, Heinemann Library, c2008. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TD798.F55 2008

Miller, Connie Colwell. Garbage, waste, dumps, and you: the disgusting story behind what we leave behind. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2009. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TD792.M553 2009

Morris, Neil. Recycling. Irvine, CA, QED Pub., c2008. 24 p.
   TD792.M676 2008

A Planet choking on waste. Edited by Jared Keen. North Mankato, MN, Smart Apple Media, c2003. 56 p.
   Bibliography: p. 53.
   TD792.P58 2003

Torrisi, Cathy. Where does the garbage go? Waterbury, CT, Abrams, 2002. 24 p.
   TD792.T67 2002

Weber, Rebecca. Waste not: time to recycle. Minneapolis, MN, Compass Point Books, 2002. 24 p.
   Bibliography: p. 23.
   TD794.5.W383 2002


Green Living for Kids (Elementary)

Drohan, Michele, and Caroline M. Levchuck. When is it great to turn green? New York, Kidsbooks, c2001. 32 p.
   GE115.D78 2001

Einspruch, Andrew. Leaving a light footprint. Mankato, MN, Smart Apple Media, c2011. 32 p.
   GE195.7.E46 2011

Galko, Francine. Earth friends at school. Chicago, Heinemann Library, c2004. 32 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD171.7.G35 2004

Galko, Francine. Earth friends at the grocery store. Chicago, Heinemann Library, c2004. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 32.
   TD171.7.G3523 2004

Johnson, J. Angelique. The eco-family’s guide to living green. Mankato, MN, Picture Window Books, c2011. 24 p.
   Bibliography: p. 23.
   GE196.J65 2011

Johnson, J. Angelique. The eco-student’s guide to being green at school. Mankato, MN, Picture Window Books, c2011. 24 p.
   Bibliography: p. 23.
   GE195.5.J35 2011

Sheehan, Monica. Be green: don’t be blue, be green: how to help save our planet. Philadelphia, Running Press, c2008. 1 v. (unpaged)
   GE195.S475 2008

Walsh, Melanie. Ten things I can do to help my world. Cambridge, MA, Candlewick Press, c2008. 1 v.
   TD793.9.W35 2008


Recycling for Kids (Intermediate)

Silverman, Buffy. Recycling: reducing waste. Chicago, Heinemann Library, c2008. 48 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD792.S56 2008

Watson, Stephanie. Making good choices about recycling and reuse. New York, Rosen Central, 2010. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 59-61.
   TD794.5.W3828 2010

Wilcox, Charlotte. Earth-friendly waste management. Minneapolis, MN, Lerner, c2009. 72 p.
   Bibliography: p. 68-69.
   TD792.W548 2009


Green Living for Kids (Intermediate)

Chambers, Catherine. Go green! Lead the way. New York, Crabtree Pub., c2011. 24 p.
   Bibliography: p. 23.
   GE195.5.C53 2011

Claybourne, Anna. 100 things you should know about saving the earth. Broomall, PA, Mason Crest Publishers, 2009. 48 p.
   TD170.15.C53 2009

Hewitt, Sally. Waste and recycling. New York, Crabtree Pub., c2009. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TD792.H49 2009

Hewitt, Sally. Your local environment. New York, Crabtree Pub., c2009. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   GE195.7.H49 2009

Jankeliowitch, Anne. 50 ways to save the earth. New York, Abrams Books for Young Readers, c2008. 139 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD171.7.J36 2008

Marshall, Natalia. Save the planet: 52 brilliant ideas for rescuing our world. Oxford, UK, Infinite Ideas Co., 2007. 242 p.
   TD171.7.M373 2007

McKay, Kim. True green kids: 100 things you can do to save the planet. Washington, National Geographic, 2008.
143 p.
   GE195.7.M42 2008

Orme, Helen. Living green. New York, Bearport Pub., c2009. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 32.
   TD171.7.O76 2009

Recycle this book: 100 top children’s book authors tell you how to go green. Edited by Dan Gutman. New York, Yearling, c2009. 267 p.
   Bibliography: p. 259-263.
   TD 171.7.R43 2009

Yarrow, Joanna. 1,001 ways to save the earth. San Francisco, CA, Chronicle Books, 2007. 384 p.
   TD171.7.Y37 2007


Recycling for Young Adults

Bodden, Valerie. The war on waste. Mankato, MN, Creative Education, c2011. 48 p.
   Bibliography: p. 46-47.
   TD792.B63 2011

Hall, Eleanor J. Recycling. Farmington Hills, MI, KidHaven Press; Detroit, Thomson/Gale, c2005. 48 p.
   Bibliography: p. 42.
   TD794.5.B65 2005

Parker, Russ. Waste management crisis. New York, Rosen Central, 2009. 32 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD792.P369 2009

Parks, Peggy J. Garbage and recycling. Yankton, SD, Erickson Press, 2008. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 59-61.
   TD792.P375 2008

Pennybacker, Mindy. Do one green thing: saving the earth through simple, everyday choices. New York, St. Martin’s Griffin, c2010. 270 p.
   Bibliography: p. 240-253.
   GE195.5.P46 2010

Rogers, Heather. Gone tomorrow: the hidden life of garbage. New York, New Press; Distributed by W. W. Norton & Company, 2005. 288 p.
   HD4483.R64 2005


Green Living for Young Adults

Beavan, Colin. No impact man: the adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. 274 p.
   TD171.7.B43 2009

Bjornlund, Lydia. Going green. Detroit, Lucent Books, c2009. 120 p.
   Bibliography: p. 111-113.
   GE195.5.B56 2009;

Consumable goods. Chicago, World Book, c2009. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 62.
   TD171.7.C68 2009

Do it yourself: a handbook for changing our world. Edited by the Trapese Collective. London, Ann Arbor, MI, Pluto Press, 2007. 306 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE195.D6 2007

Dorfman, Josh. The lazy environmentalist: your guide to easy, stylish, green living. New York, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007. 271 p.
   TD171.7.D67 2007

Dorfman, Josh. The lazy environmentalist on a budget: save money, save time, save the planet. New York, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, c2009. 221 p.
   TD171.7.D672 2009

Endangered earth. New York, The Rosen Pub. Group, 2008. 133 p.
   Bibliography: p. 128.
   GE195.7.E54 2008

Fine, Doug. Farewell, my Subaru: an epic adventure in local living. New York, Villard, 2008. 210 p.
   GE198.N45F56 2008

Green living: the E magazine handbook for living lightly on the earth. By the editors of E: the environmental magazine. New York, Plume, c2005. 320 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD171.7.G734 2005

The Green movement. Debra A. Miller, book editor. Detroit, Greenhaven Press, c2010. 219 p.
   Bibliography: p. 202-207.
   GE195.G738 2010

Hill, Julia Butterfly, and Jessica Hurley. One makes the difference: inspiring actions that change our world. San Francisco, CA, HarperSanFrancisco, c2002. 198 p.
   GE195.7.H55 2002

Hirschmann, Kris. Going green. Yankton, SD, Erickson Press, 2008. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 58-59.
   TD171.7.H57 2008

Kostigen, Thomas M. You are here: exposing the vital link between what we do and what that does to our planet. New York, HarperOne, c2008. 256 p.
   Bibliography: p. 213-243.
   GF75.K674 2008

McCartney, Christine, and Samantha Booth. The earth handbook: everyday extraordinary. Glasgow, Saraband, c2009. 400 p.
   TD171.7.M374 2009

McDilda, Diane Gow. The everything green living book: easy ways to conserve energy, protect your family’s health, and help save the environment. Avon, MA, Adams Media, c2007. 303 p.
   Bibliography: p. 279-280.
   TD171.7.M375 2007

McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart. Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. New York, North Point Press, 2002. 193 p.
   Bibliography: p. 187-192.
   TD794.5.M395 2002

Morgan, Erinn. Going green: step-by-step instruction for living a budget-conscious, earth-friendly lifestyle in eight weeks or less. Boston, Course Technology, c2009. 218 p.
   GE195.7.M67 2009

Rogers, Elizabeth, and Thomas M. Kostigen. The green book: the everyday guide to saving the planet one simple step at a time. New York, Three Rivers Press, c2007. 201 p.
   Bibliography: p. 147-197.
   TD171.7.R64 2007

Sivertsen, Linda, and Tosh Sivertsen. Generation green: the ultimate teen guide to living an eco-friendly life. New York, Simon Pulse, 2008. 248 p.
   Bibliography: p. 244-248.
   GE195.7.S57 2008

Trask, Crissy. It’s easy being green: a handbook for earth-friendly living. Salt Lake City, Gibbs Smith, c2006. 168 p.
   Bibliography: p. 162-163.
   TD171.7.T73 2006 <SciRR>

Vartan, Starre. The Eco Chick guide to life: how to be fabulously green. New York, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008. 254 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TD171.7.V37 2008


Environmental Activism for Kids and Young Adults

Gleason, Carrie. Environmental activist. New York, Crabtree Pub. Co., c2010. 32 p.
   GE80.G54 2010

The Ten minute activist: easy ways to take back the planet. Edited by M. Ryan Hess. New York, Nation Books, c2007. 278 p.
   TD171.7.M57 2007 <SciRR>

Vaughn, Jacqueline. Environmental activism: a reference handbook. Santa Barbara, CA, ABC-CLIO, c2003. 329 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GE195.S88 2003 <SciRR>;


Environmental Crafts for Kids and Young Adults

Altar, Anna. What can you do with an old red shoe? A green activity book about re-use. New York, Henry Holt, c2009. 32 p.
   TT157.A46 2009

Bull, Jane. Make it! Don’t throw it away--create something amazing! New York, DK Pub., 2011. 63 p.
   TT160.B862 2011

Civardi, Anne. Bowls and boxes. Mankato, MN, Sea-to-Sea Publications, 2010. 32 p.
   TT157.C476 2010

Conner, Nikki. Cardboard boxes. Brookfield, CT, Copper Beech Books, 1996. 1 v. (unpaged)
   TT870.5.C66 1996

Diehn, Gwen, Terry Krautwurst, and Bobbe Needham. Nature smart: awesome projects to make with mother nature’s help. New York, Main Street, c2003. 398 p.
   TT160.D392 2003

Irvin, Christine M. Cardboard tube mania. New York, Children’s Press, c2002. 31 p.
   TT870.I74 2002

Irvin, Christine M. Egg carton mania. New York, Children’s Press, c2002. 32 p.
   TT870.I7424 2002

Irvin, Christine M. Milk carton mania. New York, Children’s Press, 2002. 32 p.
   TT870.5.I775 2002

Irvin, Christine M. Paper cup mania. New York, Children’s Press, c2002. 32 p.
   TT870.I7495 2002

Irvin, Christine M. Paper plate mania. New York, Children’s Press, c2002. 31 p.
   TT870.I75 2002

Jones, Jen. Cool crafts with cardboard and wrapping paper: green projects for resourceful kids. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2011. 32 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TT870.5.J66 2011

Lampe, Tracie. Upcycled accessories: 25 projects using repurposed plastic. Cincinnati, OH, North Light Books, 2010. 127 p.
   TT297.L27 2010

Look what you can make with plastic-foam trays. Edited by Kelly Milner Halls. Honesdale, PA, Boyds Mills Press, 2003. 48 p.
   TT297.L67 2003

Martin, Laura C. Recycled crafts box: sock puppets, cardboard castles, bottle bugs & 37 more earth-friendly projects & activities you can create. North Adams, MA, Storey Kids, c2003. 88 p.
   TT160.M2642 2003

Shoup, Kate. Rubbish! Reuse your refuse. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley Pub., c2008. 131 p.
   TT157.S44 2008

Sirrine, Carol. Cool crafts with old CDs: green projects for resourceful kids. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2010.
32 p.    Bibliography: p. 31.
   TT297.S48 2010

Sirrine, Carol. Cool crafts with old jeans: green projects for resourceful kids. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2010. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TT157.S5285 2010

Sirrine, Carol. Cool crafts with old T-shirts: green projects for resourceful kids. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2010. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TT157.S5284 2010

Sirrine, Carol. Cool crafts with old wrappers, cans, and bottles: green projects for resourceful kids. Mankato, MN, Capstone Press, c2010. 32 p.
   Bibliography: p. 31.
   TT157.S52843 2010

Smith, Heather, and Joe Rhatigan. Earth-friendly crafts for kids: 50 awesome things to make with recycled stuff. New York, Lark Books, c2002. 144 p.
   T160.S56 2002

Wasinger, Susan. Eco craft: recycle-recraft-restyle. New York, Lark Books, 2009. 128 p.
   T157.W3567 2009


For More Information:

Internet Resources

Earth Times
   Provides daily information about environmental issues. Provided by Media Foundation.

Eco Friendly Kids
   Features advice on how to “go green” at home and school. Includes puzzles, quizzes, and activities.

   Offers guidance and information on the benefits associated with implementing the eco-schools programme. Provided by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

The Edible Schoolyard
   Offers information on edible school gardens as well as lesson plans that can be used along with the garden. Provided by The Edible Schoolyard New Orleans.

   Offers environmental resources for teachers, professionals, and K-12 students. Provided by the North American Association for Environmental Education.

The Encyclopedia of Earth
   Includes information about the earth, its environment, and its relation to society. Content contributed by scholars, educators, experts, and other professionals. Provided by the Environmental Information Coalition and National Council for Science and the Environment.

Environmental Kids Club
   Offers interactive games and activities for young kids. It also includes resources for middle school and high school students as well as resources for teachers at the “teaching center.” Provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Global Stewards
   Provides environmental tips for living a sustainable lifestyle as well as information on sustainable solutions to everyday matters such as food, transportation, clothing, energy, business, and more.

Project Learning Tree
   Offers teachers curriculum resources for children ages three through grade twelve. Also provides family activities and information on green schools and how to become a green school.
   Offers resources to implement a waste free lunch program, tips for parents, case studies and research, strategies for reducing waste, and comparisons between a waste free lunch and a typical school lunch.


Related Journals

Journals that often contain articles on environmental education.

Canadian Journal of Environmental Education
E: the Environmental Magazine TD171.7.E13
Environmental Education Research Not in LC
Green Teacher
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education (IJESE)
Journal of Education and Environment: JEE GE1.J64a
Journal of Environmental Education S946.E54
Natural Inquirer
NE Journal of Environmental Education
World Watch HC79.E5W674

Other journals that often contain articles relevant to environmental issues.

Audubon QL671.A82
Discover Q1.D57
E: the Environmental Magazine TD171.7.E13
Earth QE1.G56
National Geographic G1.N27
National Wildlife S964.U6N35
Science Activities Q181.A1S29
Science and Children LB1585.S34
Science Scope Not in LC
   Some free articles available at
Science Teacher Q181.S38


Library of Congress Resources

Science Reference Section

Science Subject Guide -- Environmental Sciences
   Lists the many guides, resource lists, and Webcasts that have been produced or sponsored by the Science Reference Section on environmental topics.

Examples include:

  • Can you really build a house with straw? - Everyday Mysteries
  • Earth Day – 40 years and counting - Inside Adams, Science, Technology and Business Divison Blog
  • Environmental Science Projects - Science Tracer Bullet
  • Green Roofs - Science Tracer Bullet
  • Human Impacts on the Biosphere - A Guide to Selected Resources - Science Reference Guide
  • Nature Study, Nature Writing: Past and Present - Science Reference Guide
  • Rachel Carson: Selected Reading List - Science Reference Guide
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Quick Guide to Resources - Science Reference Guide

Other Library of Congress Resources

Ecology and the American Environment - American Memory
   Describes some of the important steps taken by American ecologists in studying the natural environment. The plant communities, ecological zones, and environments they researched are documented in visual form in the American Environmental Photographs Collection.

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920 - American Memory

Explorations in American Environmental History - Teachers
   These lessons introduce students to historical perspectives of nature and the environment, drawing on the American Memory collections, other digital resources, readings, and writing exercises. Students examine materials in a variety of formats to understand the contexts of America's concern for the environment.

Nature and the Environment - Teachers
   Study man-made and natural disasters, the origins of the American conservation movement, and view Landsat photographs, valued for aesthetics more than their contributions to geography. Use maps to trace the growth and unique features of the National Parks. Learn about nature writers and visual artists. See especially “Lesson Plans” and “For Students”.

Talkin’Bout My Green Generation - The Wise Guide

Guide Compiled by Ally Frueh, SRS Intern, July 2011.

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