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Sandy is enjoying a day at the beach with her grandfather when much to her chagrin she discovers a pile of garbage. As she cleans up the mess she is suddenly joined by the very peculiar "Garbage Lady". The "Garbage Lady" turns out to be a friend who teaches Sandy all about her ecological footprint. Determined to help the Earth, Sandy challenges her family to rethink, reuse, reduce and recycle. As Sandy's footprint shrinks, the book encourages the reader to think about their own ecological footprint with twelve tips for taking action.
This book challenges students to think about their relationship with the environment and examine their own impact on the natural world. Thus, this story would make a great introduction to a unit on the 4 R's. Students could measure and quantify their footprint with activities such as timing their showers, counting the number of plastic bottles they use, or measuring the amount of paper used in the classroom. A class could also organize events that demonstrate the 4 R's in action such as a school book swap, a toy/clothing drive for an organization such as the Salvation Army, or the promotion of litter-less lunches.
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