Teaching Kids About World Cultures With an Eye Toward Sustainability.


On a dazzling, sunny early morning in 2013, Ambika Anand Prokop was roaming close to the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia with her family. Anticipating that her young daughters would shortly tire of the heat and humidity and get started begging to return to the resort swimming pool, Ambika developed a scavenger hunt to preserve them occupied. Not only did it perform, but her youngsters discovered about the carvings of Hanuman the Monkey God, Ravana the Demon King, and King Suryavarman II, who crafted the 1000-year-aged temple. The good results of this selfmade scavenger hunt led Ambika to create Greenfeet Guides.

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Due to the fact her partner is effective for the Foreign Company, Ambika’s household has lived all more than the planet. As they traveled, she observed the require for educational tools for moms and dads like her who want to open up their children’s eyes to the cultural and pure miracles of our world. “The environment is a amazing classroom,” she states. “But there really are not a ton of methods out there to aid youngsters get the most out of it.” 

For her young children, Ambika blended tales about the areas they lived with her personal treasure hunts and pursuits to support them make an emotional relationship to every single place and culture they encountered. “Having tales and actions to do made a variance in how my children seasoned their environments,” Ambika says. “Then it occurred to me that lots of other family members would respect a resource like this, far too.”

So Ambika used her working experience as a college teacher to generate a fun and instructional children’s book sequence. She took the instruments she had developed for her personal loved ones and made Greenfeet Guides, which combine treasure hunts with journey stories and academic pursuits that can be liked regardless of whether in one more nation or from property. Her 1st two textbooks, “Cambodia Kids” and “Dubai-UAE Youngsters,” each and every have two age-ideal versions: just one for small children ages 4-8 and the other for ages 8+. Ambika designs to add other guides and places to the series more than time. 

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As a previous stream biologist, Ambika before long saw the connection in between her books and the environmental stewardship that had been element of her own career route. “The goal of Greenfeet Guides is to link young ones to the incredible cultures and one of a kind all-natural landscapes around the environment,” she suggests. “From an ecosystem viewpoint, if I can assistance young ones study to actually enjoy the planet all-around them, then the hope is that they would want to acquire care of it.”

So when it came time to publish her textbooks, Ambika set out to do it in the most sustainable way doable. She offsets the carbon footprint of her travels to analysis the books, avoids plastic, and works by using recycled papers and environmentally welcoming coatings in the guides themselves. Every thing in the Greenfeet Guides is 100% recyclable or compostable.

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When her relatives moved back again to the United States, Ambika began hunting for printing partners that matched her sustainability mission. She experienced to discern accurate environmental determination from these just wanting to acquire enterprise. “There is a whole lot of greenwashing out there, with printers stating that they are giving sustainable alternatives with out staying able to again that up,” she admits. “To figure out who’s who, you have to have a conversation—to figure out no matter whether what they are declaring is essentially from the coronary heart.”

Her research led her to Ecoprint. “It was apparent to me that Bobby Firestein has genuinely internalized the mission of sustainability,” she states. “He is not just a person who is declaring what he desires to say, but who is attempting to realize the intention.” Ambika was especially amazed that Firestein took the time to sit her down and teach her about the full system of printing sustainably: from the recycled information in today’s papers to the benefit of partnering with a corporation that draws its electrical power from renewable electricity resources. “In the spots I lived beforehand, talking about renewable power resources with local printers was a nonstarter, so I truly appreciated that,” she says.

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Ecoprint also labored with Ambika to obtain approaches to limit both of those the price and environmental footprint of her book structure. For instance, as a substitute of laminating inventory or gluing two include bodyweight papers to generate a durable address, Ecoprint suggested folding a more time cover web site above, then working with the inside of the foldout as a treasure map. This provided sturdiness though eradicating both equally the price and the environmental footprint of gluing. “I was so amazed that Ecoprint took the time to get the job done with me and come up with these kinds of options,” Ambika states.

“It is awesome to spouse with someone with genuinely sustainable strategies,” she states. “Not only am I learning a whole lot about sustainable printing, but I have a dependable husband or wife that has its heart in the correct place.”


Bobby Firestein


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Ellen C. McGowan

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