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With all the everyday life lessons to keep track of (look both ways before crossing, wash your hands, etc.) it's hard to think about the big topics, such as refining your child's environmental consciousness. Sometimes taking matters into your own hands is the best way to set an example for your child.
Have you ever seen an environmental eyesore and said, "Somebody ought to do something about that"? Well, that's what Kelly Stettner said of the junk in the river near her home in Springfield, Vermont. Her husband's reply: "Well, you're somebody."
Stettner, the mother of a 1-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, says this poke in the ribs prompted her to form the Black River Action Team in 2000, a group of environmentally-conscious citizens who organize clean-ups of the river every year. "Everybody can be a Somebody, and that's the foundational philosophy of the BRAT," she says.
How can you show your child how to be a Somebody in your community? Stettner recommends finding out if an organization is already working on a specific river or stream in your area by going to the Environmental Protection Society's website. "These organizations are usually very happy to hear from interested people!"
If there isn't a clean-up effort already underway near you, here's a guide to starting a project from scratch.