Museum's "Sustainable Sundays" Turns Kids Positively Green

Many parents are concerned that their children may not experience natural history.


"If we don't do anything about our environment, there will be no good land left," says Cynthia Watts, 47, of Lakewood. "It is very important for kids to learn about simple things like recycling, in school and at home."


Fortunately for Cynthia and her two daughters, they are among the many families learning about sustainable living at the Natural History Museum on Sunday mornings. Combining fun and education, the second season of "Sustainable Sundays" began at the museum on January 24, bringing different organizations from across Los Angeles County to share the message of making the world a more sustainable place, especially for the younger generation.


On February 21, those attending were able to see events based on the theme "Waste Not, Want Not." Attendees learned about the different and fun ways to recycle, grow organic plants and clean the air from dangerous toxins. Kids touched and felt dirt, rocks, and fossils in an attempt to reconnect with the natural world. Organizations such as Heal the Bay, Breathe L.A., Children's Nature Institute and the Smart Gardening Program of L.A. provided games and brochures to help educate people about how easy it is to live a greener lifestyle.


The event attracted many like-minded individuals, such as Bette Simons who has been volunteering with the Children's Nature Institute for the past ten years and believes that everything can be recycled. She makes collages from knick-knacks and random items that she finds. Through her volunteer institute, she says she educates kids to "[not] get new things and "use what's in your home."  She also takes students on field trips and nature walks around the Santa Monica Mountains.


The program at Sustainable Sundays emphasized the need for clean beaches and water conservation in the Southern California area. Turning the water off while brushing teeth and cutting down shower time are some easy ways to save water.


The Smart Gardening Program of L.A. was also present at the event, educating listeners on how not to waste water or trash while growing a beautiful garden for your home. The organization has over ten learning centers in Los Angeles County where the public can attend a free smart-gardening workshop.


One of the most prominent messages of Sustainable Sundays is that starting a new eco-friendly lifestyle is not hard and that anyone, young and old, can do it.


 "You're not losing anythingif you adopt new habits," says Dan Witzling, a correspondent of Breathe LA. Breathe LA is an organization that started in 1903 due to the tuberculosis epidemic. The organization is focused on clean air and eliminating pollution, maintaining that global warming is not only affecting our environment, but our bodies as well.


Among the African Mammals in the museum, Breathe LA made several hands-on activity centers available to children in attendance. By building towers out of empty soda cans and pouring poppy seeds into their very own hand-made terrariums, the kids learned practical ways to put the fun into sustainable living. 


"Sustainable Sundays" will continue once a month until June 27. For more information on future sustainable events at the museum, check out the museum's website at