MWRA 2011-2012 Writing Contest Winners

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Emily Goetzler
Grade 6, Oak Hill Middle School, Newton
Paul Lyons, Russell Hunt and Teirney Leary, Teachers


Simple Ways to Save

Taking a calm, soothing bath will feel awfully good after a long, hard day of work.

That bath might feel good for you, but how will it effect the environment? We all wonder, how can we work together as a community to reduce water usage? We can work together to conserve what we need to survive, water. First of all, we can reuse rainwater together, and we can also teach our community through educational programing simple ways to cut down on the amount of water we use. We can also make gardens that use "drought tolerant" plants and use low flow plumbing systems for toilets, sinks, and showers. The choices we make will help us make it possible to conserve water.

When conserving water as a community one easy way to succeed is by reusing rainwater. You may be thinking "Eewwww, why would I want to reuse rainwater?" But remember not all water has to be drinkable. You can use that water for say ... washing the car or maybe watering your plants if you need to. As a community you can make a rainwater harvesting facility, just like they are doing in many other places throughout the world. That way it's not just you feeling obligated to conserve water, it's your whole community that will be in on the task. You may also want to consider using a system called "greywater." During this process wastewater from showers, baths, and much else is stored in large tanks for later use. As a community this will help lower the amount of water that you use. Or, you can do it very simply by just placing large barrels outside to collect the rainwater. Remember, you don't have to go that far to simply conserve water. As a community reusing rainwater is just one of the many ways to reduce water usage.

Another way to help conserve water is simply through education. The more people who know about your concerns, the faster word will get around. You know how fast rumors are spread so why not get the facts spread just as fast? Consider talking to your class or your child's classroom. Tell them about what great danger our water will be in if we continue to waste water like we do so now. When one kid goes home and tells his/her parents about how we can conserve water then more and more people will begin to share the same concerns. Also, asking your town officials about ways you can get the message across to conserve water will make sure that your thoughts are heard loud and clear. Make sure your voice is heard, don't just keep quiet. No one can read your mind, well I don't think anyone can read your mind, so make sure that what you believe is made heard, loud and clear.

Another way to work as a community to conserve water is by using plants that are "drought tolerant." Drought tolerant plants don't need water once they have been planted. We all love to have beautiful gardens, but why not make them use less water? Why not make a community garden using drought tolerant plants. Work together with your neighbors to find the perfect spot and the perfect time to work on it. You can have a lovely garden within your neighborhood and it will still use less water. This is also a benefit because you won't have to spend time watering the garden, so you can enjoy its beauty without having to take care of it. You'll even get to slack off a bit. Who wouldn't mind that?

Water conservation can also happen in your home by installing low flow plumbing systems for sinks, toilets, and showers. A low flow toilet uses about 1.6 gallons of water per flush, whereas an older version uses about 3 gallons of water per flush. Imagine if you go to the bathroom about three times a day. If you use the low flow toilet then you will only use about 4.8 gallons of water, but if you used the older toilet then you will use about 9 gallons of water. That is just the difference of one day, so imagine what the results would look like after a whole year. You could save a ton of water! Speaking of the bathroom, have you ever seen a leak in say the toilet or the sink and said, "Oh, I'll fix it tomorrow," but then it just keeps on getting put off. Did you know that an American home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks? Imagine if you could cut that 10,000 gallons to 0 gallons. And what if everybody else would fix those leaks too? Just 10 households could save up to 100,000 gallons of water each year, and that's just the start of it. Don't just sit there, fix that leak up, and have some fun with it. The quicker you fix it the less water you will use, and the less amount of water will create a puddle on your bathroom floor.

You come home after a long, hard day of work. All you want is a nice, calm, soothing, and relaxing bath. Think twice. How much water would you actually be using when you fill up your bath tub, and then continue the flowing water. That is a lot more than if you just take a shower. Well, as long as you aren't running the water in the shower for too long. Remember, the decision is up to you. You can take the bath if you want to, but do you really want to waste all that water?

Working together, we can conserve one of the earth's most precious resources, water. There are many simple ways to save, for example, reusing rainwater, teaching younger kids so they can learn simple ways for them to save in the future, using "drought tolerant" plants in community gardens, and using low flow plumbing systems for sinks, showers, and toilets. It's your decision whether to conserve water or not. So next time there's a leak from your sink, go ahead and fix it. Or when it is raining and you have nothing to do, put some barrels outside to collect the water. Remember, it all starts with you and the decisions YOU make!

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