Green Ninja Origins
In this episode, we learn about the origins of Green Ninja from a Green Ninja Mom! She explains that Green Ninja used to be a normal person. The story shows the way Green Ninja learns how to take care of the environment through his training under the Grand Master of the Green Temple. At the temple, they teach Green Ninja that being “Green” means saving the Earth by protecting its people and teaching them about how human actions change the planet.
First, Green Ninja learns how to install insulation. Insulation is a fluffy material that is used to insulate houses. When houses are insulated, that means that their temperature is not as affected by the weather conditions outside. Insulated houses require less energy to heat during the winter and they need less energy to keep cool during the summer. Having good insulation in the walls, the top floor’s ceiling, and under the bottom floor of a building means the entire building will be insulated from the outside. Needing less air conditioning or heater means less electricity is used which means less carbon released into the atmosphere from coal power plants and a lower electric bill!
Green Ninja practices the technique of sorting waste with his sensei as they sort all the metal and plastic out of the dumpster so they can bring the recyclables to a recycling plant. Recycling is very important because it allows humans to reuse some of the non-renewable resources that go into consumer goods like metal from cans, some plastics, and paper. Not all plastic can be recycled, out of the seven “recycle numbers” only numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 indicate that something is recyclable, so it is important to look at the number plastic waste before putting it in the garbage or recycling. In some states, there is an incentive to recycle, when Green Ninja buys something that comes in a recyclable container (like a cup of yogurt), a “recycle deposit” is automatically added to the cost of the item, raising the price by a few cents. Green Ninja can get this deposit back by turning the item in to a recycling center, where they pay money for recyclables. This is why many people collect and sort their recyclables instead of leaving them to be picked up by curbside waste management services because they want to turn their recyclable waste in for money. Click here to learn more from the Environmental Protection Agency about how you can recycle.
Green Ninja discovers that not all lights are created equal. Modern LED lamps are the the same brightness as more common incandescent and fluorescent bulbs but LEDs are many times more efficient and last years or even decades longer. Many households do not buy LED lamps because they cost more but this is usually because they do not realize that LEDs cost less over time because they use less electricity, saving money on the electric bill, and they last far longer so less money needs to be spent buying replacement bulbs. Click here to learn about different kinds of bulbs from another Green Ninja episode!
Green Ninja’s Sensei explains how composting can make a big difference by having Green Ninja collect all of the compostables from the waste bin and putting it in a pile. Compostables can be added to soil containing worms, the worms consume the compostables and the soil to create a mixture that can be added to a garden to provide nutrients that help plants grow. Click here to learn about composting through a fun Green Ninja song.
Transporting people releases a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere because many people use fossil fuels to get to and from places, people drive vehicles like cars, planes, and boats that burn fossil fuels. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon is released into the atmosphere. According to this article by the EPA, in 2013 almost 30% of the United States’ total greenhouse gas emissions were from transportation (specifically vehicles that burn fossil fuels). By riding a bike, Green Ninja can get from one place to another without burning any fossil fuels. By taking public transportation, Green Ninja and his sensei can travel with a large group of people (like a huge carpool) in order to reduce their carbon footprint.
Growing food or buying locally grown produce also helps take reduce the Green Ninja’s carbon footprint because the food does not have to be transported over long distances which would require planes or ships (which release a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere). Growing and buying locally reduces Green Ninja’s carbon footprint and it supports local business! Click here to discover more about growing your own food or click here to learn from the Green Ninja Show about the cost of transporting foods over long distances.
Reduce, recycle, and reuse are the three basic principles of Green Ninja training. When Green Ninjas choose what to consume, they always consider how it will impact the environment. Reducing waste is important because it keeps non-recyclable, non-compostable items from ending up in a landfill. Recycling is an essential technique as well because it allows non-renewable resources to be reused rather than being thrown away. Reusing is the final part because this is what Green Ninjas do with the things they cannot compost or recycle, by reusing these things, Green Ninjas prevent them from being thrown into a land fill. Green Ninja learned how to be green from the Grand Master, now you learn by watching Green Ninja, everybody can be a Green Ninja as long as they always work toward reducing their carbon footprint and teach others about how to be a Green Ninja!
Director: David Chai
Producer: Maaike Scherff
Editor: Keith Silva
Intro by: Mark Wanninger & Michael Salmassian
Bedroom scene film crew: Mark Sho, Mike Cascino, Nikiel Suchit
Bedroom scene cast: Joshua Fisher & Rommellyn Fisher
Episode director: Babak Sarrafan
Episode produced by: SJSU RTVF