Do you have a green thumb? If someone asks you that, they’re not wondering if your thumb is actually the color green. They’re wondering if you’re good with plants. Can you make “green” things like plants flourish?

In today’s world, the color green is often associated with the Earth and its environment. So many of Earth’s living things — from plants to trees to the grass in your front lawn — are green. That’s why the movement to protect our environment — called environmentalism — is often referred to as the “green” movement or “going green.”

The overall goal of environmentalism is to protect and conserve the Earth’s environment. Everything we do has an impact on the environment — either good or bad. The environmentalists encourage us to pursue actions that will help rather than harm the environment.

Environmentalism can take many forms and concentrate on numerous issues. For example, attempts to reduce pollution and strategies to increase recycling of reusable materials are just two common forms of environmentalism in action.

As more and more people are made aware of the effects of their actions on the environment, they seek ways to reduce the negative effects of these actions. “Going green” has become a popular saying as people take steps to help preserve the Earth for future generations.

These actions may be as simple as using a reusable grocery bag instead of paper or plastic bags. Or they may be more complex, such as purchasing a hybrid car to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.

“Going green” takes on new importance each year on Earth Day. As we celebrate the Earth and its natural resources, it’s appropriate to think about what choices we can make to have a positive impact on the environment and reduce the negative impacts.

If you need some encouragement to “go green,” consider some of these interesting facts:

  • The size of the world’s tropical rainforests decline by 1.5 acres every second because of land development.
  • This reduction in the size of rainforests leads to the destruction of over 130 plant, animal and insect species every day — that’s about 50,000 species per year that become extinct!
  • Approximately 36 of the 50 United States expect some type of water shortage by 2013.
  • Recycling saves energy: experts say 20 cans can be made out of recycled material with the same amount of energy it takes to make one can from new material.
  • A television set can run for about 3 hours on the energy saved by recycling just one aluminum can.


54 Join the Discussion

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    • We like that guess about the next Wonder of the Day® Wonder, Rahul! We can’t wait to visit Wonderopolis tomorrow to see if we will all be learning some cool new facts about grocery stores! :-)

  1. No! :( I was wrong. Today’s wonder of the day is not about being sick. However, I loved today’s wonder! :D I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about libraries.

    I won’t be leaving another comment on Wonderopolis until Saturday, April 28, 2012 because I have school once again.

    Goodbye, Wonderopolis until Saturday, April 28, 2012! :)


    • It makes us super happy that you leave us comments on the weekends, TJ! Thanks for sharing what you think tomorrow’s Wonder will be about! We hope you have the BEST WEEK ever and have lots of FUN learning and WONDERing at school! :-)

  2. Hello wonderopolis!
    sorry I haven’t been on for a long time…
    But now I’m back!
    Going green………….I watched the video
    but I still don’t get it.
    But I did understand what she said about using water bottles and a regular bag!
    I’ll be on tomorrow too!
    Moa Fahlstdt

    • It’s awesome to hear from you again, Moa! We’re glad you’re back! Thanks for sharing some facts from the video. “Going green” means being concerned about the environment and trying your best to do things to protect it! :-)

  3. Good morning Wonderopolis,
    It’s good to recycle. In 2nd grade I did a reuse, reduce, refuse, and recycle unit of inquiry. We all had to make a project about how to reuse, reduse, refuse or recycle. I did recycle, and I wrote about how to recycle paper. It was a lot of fun. I also have a lot of wonders and love your site!!!!
    Yours truly,

    • Thanks SO MUCH for sharing about your project, SP! We bet it showed a lot of people cool ways to help the environment by recycling paper! We also think it’s AWESOME that you have Wonder ideas to share! Did you know you can tell us what you are WONDERing about any time you like by clicking on the “nominate” button at the top of every page in Wonderopolis? It’s really easy and LOTS of FUN! We can’t wait to hear what you are WONDERing about! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know you liked today’s Wonder of the Day®, Kayla! We’re so glad to hear it!

      To make the smiley faces, you put a “:” (colon), a “-” (small dash) and a “)” (ending parenthesis) together without any spaces. So, : + – + ) = :-) !

  4. Last year I was in school in earth day and 2 grades went to the park to clean it and we filled 3 whole black bags and recycled everything and even the bags.

    • We think it ROCKS that you and your schoolmates helped the environment by cleaning the park AND recycling what you guys picked up, “Wonder!” Thanks so much for sharing that story with us today! :-)

  5. I go green every year. I’m Jewish, so I celebrate this holiday called Tu’bish Vat. It celebrates the trees in Israel. When that holiday comes, my family and I go to our neighborhood park and pick up trash.

    I think you should do a Wonder about the war in Israel.

    • Thank you so much for sharing about Tu’bish Vat, Annie! We didn’t know about that holiday, so we WONDERed more about it on our own. It was SUPER interesting to learn about! Thanks for teaching US something cool and thanks for suggesting an idea for a future Wonder of the Day®! You are a WONDERful Wonder Friend! :-)

  6. You should do a wonder about..JUSTIN BIEBER…

    Beause he’s awesome.

    I’m 9 and can you send an email to my school so we could have an assembly at my school about you?

    My school is Newell Elementary.

    • Hello, Day! Thanks so much for letting us know your idea for a future Wonder of the Day®! Also, thanks for letting us know a little bit about yourself. We’re super happy to hear that you and your schoolmates at Newell Elementary are friends of Wonderopolis! :-)

  7. Dear Wonderopolis,
    Going green is great for the environment and for us! When you go green you keep litter and garbage out of oceans, streets, parks, and so many more places. Recycling also helps! I love the Earth and I think everyone else should, too. So if you love your home, do your part and Go Green!!! XOXOXOXOXO,
    Paige ;)

    • Your comment ROCKS, Paige! We love how you shared different places litter can be found and how recycling helps keep litter out of those places! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

  8. Hey everyone! It’s been REALLY long since I’ve been on wonderopolis! By the way, recycling is very important. If no one recycled, the Earth would be a giant dump! Keep our planet clean!!! :)

    • Well said, Jacob! It makes us sad to think about the Earth being a giant trash dump! We hope everyone takes your advice and helps keep our planet clean! :-)

  9. My family recycles and brings our reusable shopping bags everywhere we go. There’s actually a pile of reusable bags in our van!!

    • That’s AWESOME, Jaclyn! Your family is so WONDERful for doing your part to help keep extra plastic bags out of landfills! Thank you for being GREAT Wonder Friends and SUPER Earth Friends! :-)

    • That makes us EXTRA happy, John! Thank you for exploring today’s Wonder to find out ways to help keep the Earth green and THANK you for saying you will try to do your part! We are REALLY proud of you! :-)

    • Hi there, Samantha! We’re happy to hear that you liked exploring this Wonder and learning more about going green! Thanks for letting us know by leaving us this GREAT comment! :-)

    • Way to go, Moa! We wish people all over the world had your amazing attitude about helping the Earth! Thanks for doing your part…YOU ROCK! :-)

    • There are LOTS of GREAT things about GOING GREEN, Cody! We invite you to re-explore this Wonder to find out about some of them! We hope you have a WONDERful day! :-)

    • You’re right, Cindy! Thank you for leaving us this AWESOME comment today…we’re glad you stopped by Wonderopolis to share it with us! :-)

    • We think that’s GREAT, buglover! Even small changes can make a BIG difference if everyone does their part to help the Earth! Thanks for sharing your AWESOME comment with us today! :-)

  10. Recycling is not good. It is perfectawesometasticalasweetcoolgreatafantasticalabananatasticalmeowmeowgreatistic.
    If you were confused I meant recycling is AWESOME!
    Phew,that was tiring try saying that 20 times lol have a great day!

    • That’s one creative word, Maddie! Thanks for helping our Wonder brains get an extra work out today! We think recycling is AWESOME, too! :-)

  11. Today’s wonder was very interesting. We loved reading about what it is to go green. I never knew why it is so impotant to go green and all of the different things you can do to help the environment.
    -Hannah and Emma ;)

  12. Todays wonder was very interesting. I loved learning about different things environmentalists do to help our environment. I think it’s really really cool that people from all over world do different things to “Go green”.

    • Thanks for sharing your comments, Hannah and Emma! We are so proud of you for doing your part to make the world a WONDERful place! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What’s so great about going green?
  • What is environmentalism?
  • How can you go green?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to go green? Protecting the environment is an important cause, and we should all do our part. But what does that mean? In a nutshell, it means we need to reduce waste, seek renewable energy sources and become more efficient.

So what can you do on a day-to-day basis? Plenty of things! Check out the links below for important tips on how you can make each day just a little bit greener!


Still Wondering

In Illuminations’ Plastic Packaging lesson, children participate in an activity in which they investigate recyclable materials and develop plans to help the environment.


Wonder What’s Next?

Be sure you “check out” tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.