Home School Lesson: Water & Energy Conservation

Recently in Science we started talking about the continents and the oceans. While we’ve got the seven continents down, the oceans are a bit of a struggle and there were many questions about how water gets to the oceans. So we backed it all the way up to our house and tied in water conservation.

Talking about water conservation with your kids is so important. We even came up with a jingle to remind our selves: no more water (clap/clap/clap – no more earth (clap/clap/clap) – no more us.  While that may seem extreme to teach to 6 year olds – that is the harsh reality of their future. The Earth and its dependent’s survival are solely dependent on water. Did you know that roughly 70% of our bodies are made up of water and up to 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water*, but only 1% is actually accessible to us**?  97% of water is salt water, 2% is in glacier*** and that leaves the 1% we can use to be distributed for agriculture, consumption and other tasks. At the rate we use water it is estimated that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will have to find alternative sources, but there really is no alternative.

While that may seem far off to you, when I look at my kids I can envision their kids and their kid’s kids and what we can do now to help the future. So I asked the girls to come up with ways to conserve energy. They came up with a lot of standard ones: don’t leave the front door open, close the refrigerator, turn the heat down, shut the lights off, etc… but it was the water ones I found to be most impacting.

We thought about every time we turned on a faucet we saw water – which could have been saved for use going down the drain. Kayla came up with a test – while one of them brushed their teeth the other tookDixiecups and filled them with the water that would have been left on while brushing their teeth. They came up with 10 medium sized paper cups full of water – that’s a lot of water. They took that water and rinsed out their mouth and their tooth brush when done, wash their face and watered all the plants twice. That’s a lot of uses for that water. 

The other lesson was the bath tub. Most young kids take baths, but Emma asked what about that water that runs before it gets hot? She took one of my stock pots and turned on the water and when the water had gotten hot for the bath – she had filled one stock pot with water. We took that water and used it to boil spaghetti for dinner and the remainder we used to wash a few small dishes after. They both agreed its one thing to talk about it, but entirely another to see it in actual action. It is much more important to drive the point home.

Now, that’s conservation and it’s a lesson we can all take in. Teaching our kids about conservation – or in this case our kids teaching me, was a valuable lesson in protecting their future and their children’s future with actions today.

 Sources:

*http://www.allaboutwater.org/water-facts.html

**http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/why-were-running-out-of-water/11164

***http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/water/water-animation

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/magazine/20wwln-domains-t.html

One thought on “Home School Lesson: Water & Energy Conservation

  1. WOW! I love this and I may need to hire you or consult with you when it comes time to homeschool my daughter, I don’t know if I am qualified to do it.
    I love the experiments your daughters did to see just how much water we actually waste. I try my best to teach my sons (all four who don’t live with us regularly and I will certainly teach this to my daughter. We turn the faucet off when brushing. My husband and I shower together many a times. LOL! And when bathing our LO we only fill the tub about 1/4 inch and I use the water after to water plants or wash diapers. I try never to just pour water down the drain. I usually always find a way to water something or wash something. Great lesson I am glad you posted this. People need to be aware that it is not an endless source for us to consume and use as if there will be no repercussions.

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