Translator (penerjemah)

December 30, 2009

Ant Deterrent Tips

Ant Deterrent Tips

-(Green Living Tips)-

We love to watch ants go about their business. They perform an important role in the environment, cleaning up dead insects and animals and aerating the soil. They aren't so adorable when they infest our houses though!

Usually we reach for insecticide when ants become a problem; but there are more environmentally friendly ways of deterring ants.

Here's some things you may want to try before reaching for that can of insecticide, depending on the application :

- Pouring lemon juice around areas ants frequent.
- Sprinkle cinnamon or place in cheesecloth bags in affected areas. Cinnamon was a very popular choice with quite a few readers reporting it being highly effective.
- Baking soda can deter ants - pour a solid line in areas of activity and they won't cross it.
- A ring of coffee grounds around sensitive plants can discourage ants.
- A puree blend of orange peel and water can be applied to an area to discourage ants from crossing.
- Ants hate vinegar; so spray it around doorways and other areas they frequent to repel them. A small container of vinegar mixed with honey placed in affected areas appears to do the trick too.
- A reader reported baby powder stopped them dead in their tracks.
- Pouring boiling water over their tracks (destroys the scent trail)
- Sprinkling a circle of ground cloves around the pet food bowls
- Removing rocks and wood from around the garden
- Planting mint around vegetable patches, flower beds and around the house
- Quite a few readers found cinnamon sprinkled across ant scent trails to be very effective
- Citrus oil is a good deterrent; it can soaked into a piece of string and place around scent trails.
- Use a piece of chalk to draw a line over trails - again, the ants won't cross it. Chalk also has the advantage of being able to be used on vertical surfaces

One enterprising reader decided to work with the ants rather than against them. She made a sugar trail away from the house to her compost pile and put out the intent that they would find a greater feast there. It worked!

Ants invade for a reason - usually for food or water, so be sure to keep food items well secured and clean up after you prepare food. Also check plumbing for leaks, particularly under sinks. Dead insects can attract large numbers of ants, so check window sills and other areas where they may accumulate.

December 29, 2009

Mekong Giant Catfish

Mekong Giant Catfish

-(Shocking Nature News)-

Attaining an unconfirmed length of 3m (9+ft), the Mekong giant catfish grows extremely quickly, reaching a mass of 150 to 200kg in only six years.

The largest catch recorded in Thailand since record-keeping began in 1981, was a female measuring 2.7 m (roughly 9ft) in length and weighing 293 kg(646 lb). This specimen, caught in 2005, is widely recognized as the largest freshwater fish ever caught.

December 22, 2009

Stone and Fruits

Stone and Fruits
-(Laugh and Wisdom Story for Educators)-

A social worker share his thinking and feeling to the Guru. It is about how he can do better and more for poor people, if he don't waste so much time and effort to protect himself and his work against misunderstanding and slander.

The guru listen to him with attention. He answer with one statement, "Nobody throw stones to a tree with no fruits."

(Story translated freely from "One Minute Wisdom" by Anthony de Mello)

Writer notes: don't worry, you are in right direction ^_^ !

December 21, 2009

Seed Thrower

Seed Thrower
-(More ESD Activities)-

I wonder, if this activity can be applied to chidren.

There's a story about an old man that use his handmade catapult to throw seed deep into the forest / canyon. I watched the documenter in DAAI TV, a local TV station in Indonesia.

He use a wooden catapult, and many seeds (from different species, such as jackfruit, rambutan, durian, rubber seeds, etc), and throw it with pray, hoping that it will grow safely into a tree.

I wonder, can we also do same activity with the children? If a wooden catapult is not easy to make, then we can use a 2 rubber and a plastic from a candy. Look at my example.

Then we can collect some seeds after eat fruits (rambutan, duku, water melon, jackfruit,...) and then take a walk together near a garden or river bank (that generally need to be planted).

You can do sport, art, biology and environment at once. How fun it is ^_^ !

Notes: when the journalist ask the man about his hobby, he just said "I did it for fun and I hope it will greener this forest someday. I hope..., at least I try..."

Picture taken from

December 20, 2009

Preparing Key to Open

Preparing Key to Open

-(Guiding Notes)-

This is a question for teachers and educators, after conducting all activity- games, experiments: is the atmosphere getting colder then?

Yes, even if we play a fantastic game we still have to do some REFLECTIONS for the activity. The purpose for each activity reached if participants understand that it has relation with some of environmental issues.

To help participants understand, sometime we have to ask some questions. It a kind of method to open participants mind. With this KEY QUESTIONS, we can unlock the door and make their opinions and knowledge walking out freely.

Key questions can be asked with the help from: WHY, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHOM, HOW (5W, 1H). It's a simple journalist method to get more complete information, and in this case: to open a discussion.

It is a very important thing to make a good key question and relate it with the topic you want to open.

December 17, 2009

Measure Pollution with Plate

Measure Pollution with Plate
-(Nature Experiment)-

Hello again... Two months ago I found a book, written by David Suzuki and it talk about environment education. I buy this book with discount (an old book, 90') but this is a good book for sure, and I'm very happy to found this treasure...

This is about how to measure pollution in your place. It will work in your classroom, in the forest, in your backyard, everywhere...

Plate, vaseline / oil / jelly

The idea is very simple. Bring children to a polluted place (like near a busy road - in front of your school). Place a plate, but before you do that, you can coat the plate surface by vaseline / oil / jelly).

Then we can wait for a moment. You can decide how long you will wait (an hours, half day or one day?). You can check the plate later and found that many things stick with to the plate (dust, feather, pollen, leaves, etc).

Place another plate in a cleaner atmosphere environment. Do same steps to get result to compare.


- Is there any differences between places for pollution? Do you find same pollutant?
- The quality and quantity for each pollutant
- Relate it with forest / garden function as air filter
- Ask them, from where the pollutant come from?

Picture taken from

December 14, 2009

Follow the King

Follow the King
-(Laugh and Wisdom Story for Educators)-

When they show the "Messiah" composed by Handel for the first time in London, the king was there. He became fulfill with the religious feeling when the choir sing Alleluia ref, so out of nowhere he stood quietly to show respect for the masterpiece he was hearing.

When see this, the nobles who attend the show follow the king and took a stand also. Those become a sign for all the attendances to take a stand also.

Since that time, they feel it is a must to take a stand when Alleluia is being sung, with no care for the spiritual feeling inside people who hear it; or the quality of the melody…

(Story translated freely from "Doa Sang Katak" by Anthony de Mello).

Writer notes: there are people who search knowledge by experiencing : by travelling far, do long research, and by do many mistake. It make the knowledge stick with them, while others don't.

Picture taken from

December 11, 2009

Answer and Grouping

Answer and Grouping
-(Nature Game, Facilitation Technique, Ice Breaker, Grouping, More ESD Activities)-

This is a game that we can use again and again, with only small modification- as an introduction games, ice breaker or energizing game, I prefer to modify, relate it with environment issues. But sure, you can also modify it into mathematic, biology, social science, language game, etc.

Pencils, papers, questions

Give papers and pencils to participants. The idea is simple: we give
questions (multiple choices are better). The children answer it by
writing answer in paper, and then in count 3 they must find a group
who write same answer with them (by moving,asking).

Purpose - to know each other / environment issues. Questions (sample):
- Which one is your favorite pet: dog, cat, turtle, fish, bird,
- Which one is your favorite recreation place: beach, mountain,
forest, garden, lake-river, sea?
- Which one is your favorite social-environment friendly actor / artist: John Lennon, U2, Anggun, Leonardo Di Caprio, Sting, Elizabeth Taylor?

Purpose - to test environment / biology knowledge. Questions (sample):
- Which one doing photosynthesis: zooplankton, phytoplankton, mushroom, fungi, bacteria, and virus?

Purpose - to test language knowledge. Questions (sample):
- What Sundanese (traditional) language is having same meaning with "sit”: diuk, ulin, sare, lumpat?

And more...

- Remember, for competition game, add some modification like squat / squat-walking for group who give false answer - until another question offered.
- Don’t forget to tell them to shake hand every time they do grouping,
with other group member. It will cheer the atmosphere.
- Remember, this is only an opening game. Prepare a discussion related with the topic you play.

December 10, 2009

Harp for the Mist of Atacama

Harp for the Mist of Atacama
-(Shocking Nature News)-

In the Atacama desert in Chili, people sometimes "play" a mist harp. It is a kind of music harp, but it never used to play a song.

Atacama desert have a very low rain intensity, but this desert have a mist, being flown from Pasific Ocean. The mist contains some water ammount and people try to "trap" the water by using nylon line.

Only in one day, more than 10 liter of water can be collected from 1 meter square of line from the harp.

(Story translated freely from "Memperhatikan Cuaca" by David Suzuki).

December 9, 2009

God and Bread

God and Bread
-(Laugh and Wisdom Story for Educators)-

Mom: “Didn’t you know that God is there when you stole the bread in the kitchen?”

"Yes, I knew."

"And that He is watching you all the time?”


"What do you think then, what He said to you?"

"He said, "Nobody is there, only you and me - take two."

(Story from The Prayer of the Frog, Anthony de Mello, SJ)

Writer notes: creativity and rebellion often come together...

Picture taken from

December 7, 2009

Before Christmas Notes

Before Christmas Notes
-(Personal Notes)-

It's already December. It's rainy now in Indonesia and we will celebrate Christmas 2 weeks from now. I start to feel warm atmosphere around me ; the music start to play X-mas song everywhere.

This is my first personal notes after 8 months blogging for these environmental education modules. It does grow older and I still hope it can help many teachers, educators, facilitators to increase their ability and knowledge for environment education.

Well, yes. First time I thought it will become an environment blog only, but in the way I feel that it also become a blog for educators. I feel it's important to include more color, wider spectrum of education to give deeper understanding that nothing is stand alone.

Forgive me for my English. I have only a little time and effort to edit my English since sometimes I found difficulties to find right words with my little pocket dictionary in my home (not in the office cos I lost concentration then).

I also hope you understand that you can always modified the method, not only by translate my writings only - to become a fix guide books :( .

In the future, I dream that we can edit all the post and complete it into a pdf file (to be share) or a book so it can reach more people. In my country, more than 95% (my guess only) of teachers aren't used to surfing the internet.

Hmm... 99% maybe if I think seriously and consider the non-formal educators in the field (remote area) like my friend in the Taa Wana tribe in Sulawesi (Celebes).

Hope this handful of sand can help us build a world wonder one day. Good luck for your activity.

Warm regards,
Indra N Hatasura

Exchange Gift from Nature

Exchange Gift from Nature
-(More ESD Activities)-

This idea came when my organization, RMI try to exchange post card between children from Sumatra, Java and some other islands in Indonesia, as part of program campaign in water and environment issues.

The results are amazing. Hundreds of postcards tell different stories from different kids regarding their opinion, hope and worry. They exchange information from polluted river, illegal logging, to water exploitation by private company, and more.

Well, I have more ideas too...

In RMI postcard exchange program, we used NGOs, teachers, and private network. Basically, it won't be difficult too for these ideas.

Let we try to find some interesting object near our environment. It can be a bird feather, a rock, piece of wood, some sands, a leaf, sketches or drawing or other thing that interesting for different kids.

Yes, every kid must choose their own thing. Then they will write a note to tell their "invisible" friend why they think that thing is interesting for them (you can encourage them to see cultural, economic, environment, biology, art aspect from the thing; help them ^^ expand their imagination and knowledge).

Then help them to pack the thing (with the note). We can use envelope /simple box/ etc for packing.

And then we can start exchange all the things with children from other school. After you get same kind of stuff from kids (from another school) we can open it together and learn about many things.

My suggestions are:
- Use internet and find other teachers that like to join the exchange activity (well, exchange stuff with people from different place is interesting don't you think?).
- Or just do it when you have a meeting with your colleagues. Don't think too complicated, even your neighbors can help you. Sample quantity doesn't matter. How you describe and encourage children to know better is matter.
- Notes are important. While you help children to observe their environment, you also help them to increase their knowledge and write better!

Picture taken from

December 5, 2009

Fish Oil and the Dog

Fish Oil and the Dog
-(Laugh and Wisdom Story for Educators)-

Somebody start to give fish oil in large dose for his Doberman dog, because he heard that it's very useful for the dog. Every day he struggle his dog with his arm and feet, clamp its head, force to open its mouth and force a spoon, full with fish oil into its throat.

One day, the dog is getting free and fish oil was spoiling everywhere in the floor. The man is so amaze, because the dog is then come and lick the fish oil spoon. That time he realized that it was not the oil that the dog rejected, but the way he gave it.

(Story translated freely from "Doa Sang Katak" by Anthony de Mello)

Writer notes: don't you think it also happened in our backyard :( ?

Picture taken from

December 3, 2009

Animal in the Backyard

Animal in the Backyard
-(Nature Game)-

This is a simple game in my mind when I think about garden, a small forest near my house, or a pond near the bridge. What we need is just a simple place to learn. Even we can use our classroom to do this game. Although it is simple and designed for children, we still can do some modification for older age.

- A small group of children

First, they have to mimic a grasshoper (or other small animals). The main idea of this game is to do some observation in different kind point of view (from small animal point of view). So the participant must act as a grasshoper, they must crawl or in sleep position so their eyes is in the same altitude with the grass or the bush

Let or help the children to find their own spot. Then tell the children to observe with the postion we agreed before.

Ask them this question, and let them answer (as a grasshoper):
- Can you find any food there? Is it many? Which one is your food?
- Can you find any shelter there? Which one is that?
- Do you see any potential predator there? Who is it?
- Is that place is suitable for living? Why?
- Is there any other threaten for you in that place? Mention it...
- Another questions that relevant to describe habitat.

Then in count of 3, let the children pick new spot (with jumping, like a grasshoper). Then repeat the questions again.

If you feel that this game need some modification, try round number 3 or 5 with mimic different kind of animal (frog, chicken, turtle,...).

For older age, you can make some question for reflection:
- After they doin this, how is their feeling?
- What is their opinion regarding biodiversity?
- Why this place is good / bad for the animals?
- How human activity give impact to animal life?
- ...

Picture taken from


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