With the many nuggets of wisdom we need to impart to our children, teaching kids about water conservation at home, despite our best intentions, may not be high on the list.  Just an FYI, latest on my list:

1. Shoveling food into your mouth with your chin rested on the table is not good table manners.
2. Try playing nicely with your sister for more than 10 minutes without getting into a boxing match over who is going to retrieve the basketball.

Anyway, much to my surprise, one day recently we happened to have a brief reprieve from the latest items on our list so I decided to corner my 10 year old daughter and impart some water conservation wisdom.  I hope this post inspires you to squeeze in a little eco-education fun once in a while too!

Let The Fun Begin!?

First I got her help with measuring the gallons per minute flow rate for each of our faucets in the house.  For easy directions on how to do this read my post, “How Many Gallons Per Minute Are Going Down Your Drain?”.  She went through the motions with me but seemed relatively unimpressed yet I pressed on, determined not to let her lack of enthusiasm deter me. Honestly,  I think her favorite part was working the timer and calculator on my iPhone and yelling, “Start!” and Stop!”.  We continued to each sink and shower collecting water and calculating our flow rate. Each time we finished a faucet I found myself exclaiming, “Wow, that’s a lot of water!” but I could see it just wasn’t getting through to her.  The idea that all of that water was just going down the drain and that there wasn’t an endless supply was not hitting home.

Gotta See It To Believe It

I decided that maybe I needed to go with a more visual representation of exactly what a gallon of water looked like.  I grabbed her hand and ran with her down to the mudroom yelling, ” I have something really cool to show you!”.  I was genuinely excited to recall that we had a gallon jug of water leftover in our spare refrigerator and that I could demonstrate to her just how much a gallon of water was and why all this measuring, timing and calculating was so eye opening.

We reached the refrigerator, I threw open the door and  pulled out the gallon jug.  Trying to contain my excitement at how great her reaction was going to be, I said, “See this, it’s a gallon of water!  This is how much water goes down the drain every minute the water faucet is turned on.  It’s SO much, right?  Do you see this!?”.  I imagined (hoped) her response would be something like, “Wow, Mom, that really is a lot of water!  I had no idea!” or “We should really work on conserving as much water as we can.  Water is such a precious resource!”.  Are you ready for her response?  Are you sure?  After all of that she said, “Uh uh.  Are we done now, Mom?”

To put it mildly, it looks like I have my work cut out for me.  On the bright side I have lots of other ideas for getting the message across!  Stay tuned….