13 Water Conservation Habits to Teach Your Kids
When kids are about to run out of their phone battery life, they panic. They look for their chargers, get them plugged in asap, and then breathe a sigh of relief that they can continue to text.
These same kids don’t panic over a near-empty empty water bottle. They just dump out what is left, throw the bottle away, and then pop another one out of the frig. There is no shortage of water like there was that battery charge. At least not in their worlds.
But what if water was in short supply? In many places around the globe, it actually is, but kids in developed nations have never experienced this first-hand. There is, therefore, no mindfulness that should lead to the conservation of this valuable and diminishing resource.
We need to teach our kids to conserve water for the sake of our planet’s future. Here are thirteen ways to do this right now:
- They are never too old to learn to turn off the water while they are brushing their teeth.
- They should take shorter showers. Get in, get wet, soap up, rinse off, and get out. The goal? Five minutes. And a 5-minute shower uses less water than a full tub for a bath.
- If they are using bottles of water, chances are they may not finish that entire bottle. The remaining water should be saved for later. Either put it back in the frig to finish later, or add it to the receptacle for watering plants.
- Better than bottled water, give each kid a glass for the day. Have them fill those glasses about half full at a time. They can always come back for a refill. But leaving un-drunk water in that glass just tempts them to throw it out when they decide they want fresh. At the very least, it needs to go into the household “reserve” for plants and pets.
- Have kids collect rainwater. This can be used to water gardens or bathe pets.
- Having a small vegetable garden means that these items do not have to be purchased from out-of-state suppliers to grocery stores. Barring that, use local produce markets or purchase only locally-grown produce at grocery stores. Kids need to understand that drought in California impacts supplies of fruits and vegetables, and water reserves are used up to keep up that supply.
- It will be important for kids to know what products they use that consume lots of water. Most do not know, for example, that it takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans. Once they do know, it may be time for a discussion about how many jeans a kid really needs, and, at the very least, donating jeans that they no longer wear, so they are at least re-used.
- Conduct a “water audit” of your home. Are there dripping faucets or running toilets? And don’t forget outside spigots too.
- If you have a fish tank and need to clean it out, save the old water for plants – it is full of nutrients.
- Rather than have your own backyard pool, join a club or community pool.
- Don’t use outdoor water toys that require a continuous flow of water unless you are watering your lawn at the same time.
- Teens need to use the right water levels when doing their laundry. And it is actually better to wait for a full load, whenever possible.
- Dishwashers, in general, use less water than dishwashing by hand. This is because we tend to leave water running while we rinse. If wash and rinse tubs are used, hand washing uses less than dishwashers.
More In-Depth Education/Training
These 12 tips provide good training for kids to be mindful of water conservation. But the far more important training is to become mindful that water scarcity is a global issue – a combination of global warming and human irresponsibility – and the only solutions for that scarcity thus far are massively expensive.
This long-term training must occur both at home and in school. Kids should be encouraged to research and explore topics on scarcity and conversation and what steps governments and international organizations are taking. High school custom writing projects can include papers, essays, and projects on the topic.
Pushing for Careers in Environmental Sciences
This is a large and constantly growing career field for students interested in science and engineering. Within that career field, there are many specific positions related to water. They require graduate degrees, and they are often global in nature – working with governments in cleaning up waterways, working for international organizations, and employment with huge multinational corporations. Demand for these scientists will continue to grow for years to come.
In the End…
We do not have a water shortage in the U.S. We may have a drought in some areas of the country, which, while painful, have been dealt with in a variety of ways. In all, we have not suffered much. But other parts of the world are suffering and have been for years. It is only a matter of time before this world scarcity begins to reach our shores. We have to take a serious approach to this problem. Starting with our children may seem like a small effort right now, but we need to raise new generations that will be mindful and committed.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at GetGoodGrade, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.