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Learning from Droughts

What might analogous examples like water conservation teach us about at-home recycling?

Photo of Ashley Jablow
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When I was in elementary school, California was suffering from a very severe drought (and in fact, we are now too). As a young student, I remember a ton of classroom time was spent on learning about where our water comes from, the value of water, and strategies to conserve. From turning off the tap when we brush our teeth to getting wet in the shower and then turning off the water when we soap up – lots of little tips and tricks like these have stayed with me into adulthood. And many of them I practice to this day! 

Two elements of this quick analogy stand out for me in regards to this challenge:

1) The problem was relevant because it was about what was happening where I lived. How might we make at-home recycling a local issue that kids can understand and then enlisted to be part of the solution?

2) Classroom time was actually dedicated to this specific conversation and learning. This message wasn't just shared through a water conservation poster pinned the hallways, or via a teacher lecturing us about water. Instead, we all spent time discussing the issues in class, learning about water and even traveling to a local water treatment plant to see firsthand what water issues looked like where we lived. How might we encourage teachers to spend time in class discussing at-home recycling habits and how everyone, and kids especially, can be part of the solution?

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Photo of John Cho

I think your first point is huge. Our modern conveniences have sheltered us from the problems we create and therefore the will to do something about it. When the problem is visible and personally relevant, solutions and participation come much easier. Great post!

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