Girl Scouts get greener

June 4, 2010

Longtime Girl Scouts from Troop 30 in Forest Glen are eager to share what they know about protecting the planet with a younger troop.

"As a girl scout we are expected to do certain projects to move up the ranks. We've done many projects where we have to lead the younger girls," said Anna Marie Aguirre, 15.

They are also getting hands-on by teaching the girls how to make natural cleaning products from ordinary household supplies: baking soda, water and lemon juice.

"It's better partly because you know what you have in your cleaning products so you're not just putting a whole bunch of stuff that you have no idea what it is or what it's going to do. Also, it's a little bit cheaper," said Elizabeth Nelson, 18.

The project is part of a kick-off to a new green initiative among girl scouts.

"The Forever Green Festival is the launch of what will be a two-year program leading to our 100th anniversary, which is about awareness of the environment and helping girls to educate the communities around them," said Maria Wynne, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

The students are sharing their knowledge at Journey World, the Girl Scouts' learning center that simulates eco-systems. It includes a lake, a cave, a forest and a prairie. Teachers guide students through lessons related to science and nature.

The center is not just for girl scouts, though. It's open to the public.

"They see the world differently and they see their role in the world differently and some of them have been inspires to pursue knowledge gains in areas they didn't know about. So, we want all kids to come," said Wynne.

Girl Scouts from all over the Chicago area and northwest Indiana will be presenting green projects and demonstrations. They'll also be recycling batteries and cell phones at The Forever Green Festival Saturday at the Allstate Arena. Registration is $20. For more information, go to .

Check out the Forever Green Blog at

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