Teaching Kids and Adults

By
Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX of Ocean City

I was watching Super WHY on PBS with my sons today and the story of the day was about Wyatt's (Super Why's) Mom getting mad at him for wasting water.  I had to laugh because I've totally been there and thought myself ridiculous for practically yelling at my then 2 year old for wasting water, like he really understood at that point.  He understands now that he is almost four, but really, I was upset.  Just hearing the water run when not being used at that exact moment or filling up the sink or bath more than necessary really irks me.  I think he may have been "doing dishes" or something at the time and letting the water run while the sink already had plenty of water in it for him, or something like that (I can't even remember now).  Anyway, it reminded me that there are plenty of adults who also don't understand about water conservation and how simple it can be.

I'll share another memory to illustrate my point.  My now husband, then friend, made my cousin and I dinner at his house.  Since he did the cooking, we did the cleaning and while we were washing dishes, he said the wrong thing to me.  I guess he noticed me constantly turning the water on and off and he said, "I have a well, so you can use as much water as you want."  I believe my reply was, "You did not just say that to me," and then went on some rant about saving water, not just for money but because it is a precious resource and especially in our areas where we are so close to the ocean and taking too much water out of the aquifer puts us at risk for saltwater intrusion, etc. etc.  I continued with explanations about how you should also always turn off the water when brushing your teeth and how even a leak, no matter how small even if only a tiny drip can waste gallons and gallons of water. 

At the time, I was serving as a New Jersey Watershed Ambassador for the Americorps National Service Program, so it especially hit home and helped me to make my point even more since all the numbers and facts about water conservation were at the tip of my tongue.  Obviously, Bob never made the mistake of wasting water in front of me from that point forward and now he is my partner in training our children.  I was just so amazed that a grown man could not comprehend how much our daily behavior affects the world around us.  Having been interested in the environment since I was a kid, majored in Geology and have a Master's Degree in Oceanography, I feel like I have always been aware of the importance of conservation, but he made me realize, that not everyone is.  He helped me to serve my term better, remembering to illustrate even basic points to the students, civic groups and everyday people I educated as an Americorps volunteer. 

Makes sense that I went on to write a grant application that was awarded to Atlantic County Utilities Authority when I worked there for a Countywide Water Conservation Program worth more than $150,000.  Pretty cool to think that I helped to make a difference, now hopefully those of you reading this will also conserve and help spread the word.

If you would like to discuss more about water conservation, other green living topics, or real estate buying and selling, please visit my website at http://yourshoretownagent.com.  You can also find me on ActiveRain at http://activerain.com/lisabender and http://localism.com/agents/lisabender or through LinkedIn at  http://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethlisabender.

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Comments (4)

Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Good morning Lisa, I had to stop by and say HELLO to a fellow NJ Active Rainer!  Good tips, I know it always bothers me when the kids run the water too long, I am right there with ya! (and mine are teens, you think they would understand by now???)

Dec 16, 2009 02:09 AM
Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

You are absolutely right Lisa. Most North Americans take our water for granted and waste too much of it. It really upsets me thinking about how the average Canadian uses 360 litres of water a day while the average African has to make do with 15. Surely we can all do better. I also find it ridiculous that we have such an incredible supply of fresh water up here, yet I can go into the grocery store and buy water imported from France.

Dec 16, 2009 02:15 AM
Darrell Backen
Darrell Backen 1.855.216.6010 - Vancouver, BC
Digital Marketing

I live in Vancouver Canada where it rains for 6 months and we still have a water shortage in the summer.  Conservation is a priority.

Dec 16, 2009 02:19 AM
Anonymous
Lisa Bender

Thanks for the comments.  Glad to see I'm not alone.  Keep on conserving!

Dec 16, 2009 03:03 AM
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