Boy, parents are a pain, aren't they? Always nagging you to "Turn off the lights", "Make sure you turn off that tap", and a bunch of other stuff.
We hate to tell you this, but they are right! Wasting water and electricity not only wastes money, but it wastes our natural resources too. The more energy we use, the greater the demand on our power suppliers.
On the page about Hydro-Electricity, we learned that a renewable natural resource, the power of water, is used to create electricity. But one hydro-electric dam can only produce so much electricity. If more power is needed by our customers, more ways of generating electricity must be found. Nuclear energy must be used, or power must be obtained from other sources, which might include burning coal and other materials which can pollute the atmosphere. A new hydro-electric dam can be built, but this has it’s own effects on the environment
Here are a few things that you can do at home to help save water and electrical power, as well as helping to keep our water system pure for drinking:
- TURN OFF THE LIGHTS when there is no one in the room, even for a short time! Electricity is wasted when no one is around to get the benefit of it.
- When making cookies or other treats, wait until you are almost done making your mix before you pre-heat the oven. It only takes ten minutes to heat the average electric oven for baking. (Better still, try some no-bake treats!)
- Get your parents to try hanging out the laundry on a clothes-line instead of using the dryer. Maybe you could help them out by offering to hang the laundry on the line!
- If you wash something in the washer, make sure you have a full load and not just one T-shirt or a pair of jeans. This would save both electricity AND water.
- If you are using your computer, turn off the monitor if you are going to be away from it for a while. Some computers have energy-saving features which will do this for you automatically when you leave it for a while. If your computer has this feature make sure you are taking advantage of it.
- If you have a portable radio, make sure it’s plugged in when you are indoors and not using batteries. While using batteries might save a little on your hydro bill, they are really not that good for the environment. Not only do they last for a VERY long time in a landfill, but they leak deadly mercury into the ground and pollute the water table.
- If you are using batteries in a toy or game, make sure they are the rechargeable kind, and make sure you don’t leave the toy on when you aren’t playing with it.
- When brushing your teeth, rinse the brush in short bursts of water instead of leaving the water running. This can save a LOT of water.
- Even a little drip can waste lots of water. When you are finished using the sink be sure that you REALLY turn off that tap. (This also helps you develop those muscles!) If the tap leaks, ask your mom or dad to replace the washer. (The washer is a little seal inside the tap that keeps it from leaking.)
- When you take showers, make sure they are short ones (less than 8 minutes). Taking a short shower can use less water than taking a bath. However, taking a shallow bath uses less water than taking a long shower. Next time you take a shower, time yourself and try leaving the plug in the drain and see just exactly how much water you are using. If the tub overflows, that’s WAY too much!!!!
- Walk over to the toilet and listen to the tank. Do you hear a hissing sound? If you do, you have a leaky valve! Ask your mom or dad to fix it… a leaky toilet can waste hundreds, even thousands of gallons of water.
- In the summer, instead of running the tap for a long time until the water gets cold enough to drink, keep a nice cold jug of water in the fridge. (Ice cubes cool off a drink quickly too!)
- While waiting for tap water to get hot, catch it in a jug or bucket to use for watering plants.
- If you like to play in the sprinklers in the summertime, do it only when your parents are going to water the lawn anyway! Better yet, fill up a wading pool to cool off instead and use the water on the garden or to wash the car afterwards.
- It uses less water to wash the car with a bucket of soapy water than with the spray from a garden hose. Just use the hose for your final rinse.
- To clean your driveway or walks, sweep them instead of spraying them down with a hose.