What comes to your mind when you think of clean air? Nature? Driving with the windows down? Maybe being inside with the AC on? The quality of the environment and the air all around is genuinely something that affects us all. So finding ways to lessen our carbon footprint, keep our air clean and conserve energy are important lessons for us all. We invite you to learn from our recent HALO workshops centered around "What does clean air mean to me?"
Just a few topics shared that are important to our HALO kids:
- Keeping your lungs and body healthy
- Safety for animals
- Indoor air quality
- Protection of our ozone layer
This led us into a deeper conversation about what's keeping our air from being clean. Things like the extreme usage of fossil fuels, wildfires, industrialization and factories, and the currently untapped potential of recycling are just a few factors that we are all, unfortunately, contributing to. So what can any of us do?
Our kids are optimistic and shared small steps we can all take into our lives to make such an impact. Things like:
- Turning off the lights in rooms you are not using
- Combining washer loads and drying your clothes outside/naturally
- Or starting your garden so you may not need to go to the supermarket as often
And then, there are some things that can help with a special thanks to technology, like our partnership with Rensair.
To help with clean air quality, HALO has a Rensair air purifier at all domestic locations, made possible by generous supporters. This gives us peace of mind and helps our kids feel extra safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed us to safely adapt our programming to continue serving children in the greatest need. Each unit is hospital-grade quality and creates a strong airflow that cleans the air throughout a shared space. It traps common forms of air pollution like smoke, vehicle emission particulates and mold spores. We love that they are simple to use and our kids like them too!
At HALO, we always find a way to give our kids an opportunity to express their thoughts and what they are learning with the power of art. Check out these workshops below that you can do at home too!
So for our first project, we made beautiful coasters, supplies generously donated by Crafting Brighter Futures, with each of the colors representing a different pollutant in our air. These were made using permanent markers on white ceramic tiles, followed by dropping rubbing alcohol droplets on top of them to disperse the color, then adding a thin strip of corkboard on the bottom to keep them from scratching or breaking.
A week later, we focused on the benefits of gardening and house plants. Our kids created their very own potted plant using plastic water bottles. First, they cut them in half and created small holes in the bottom for aeration. Then, they used brushes and acrylic paint to decorate their pot. After the paint dried, the kids added potting soil and planted an aloe plant as their first houseplant to own.
Each of these workshops served as a great lesson to talk about the importance of clean air. And the kids loved having something to take with them. If you decide to try one of these lessons at home, be sure to share them with us on social media.