Monday, January 27, 2014

A Day in the life: Doing our part during California's drought: Collecting graywater!

This week, children at the Emeryville campus have been discussing their observations about the unusual weather this winter and how it is much warmer and drier than usual. We talked about what the word "drought" means: how there isn't enough rain and the rivers and lakes and reservoirs are low, and there isn't much snow or ice on California's mountains. One child concluded that this meant that "there wouldn't be any ice to melt in the springtime, and that's bad, because the plants and animals need it." This led to suggestions about what we could all do to help California conserve water as Governor Brown has requested. "Well, we could stop watering the garden, because that uses a lot of water," one child offered. "No, because then all the plants would die," another said. We then arrived at the idea of saving the water we use in the classroom for Practical Life work and lunch clean-up instead of pouring it out. When we go outside at 1:00, we pour the water from the graywater bucket into watering cans and use them to water the plants in the Sensorial and Vegetable Gardens. Thursday and Friday of this week, our class re-used eight gallons of graywater in our garden! We invite you to continue this discussion at home, and even to consider a graywater collection bucket of your own.

We have already continued the discussion across campuses. Children in San Mateo have discussed all the different ways in which we use water. They discovered independently that there are a lot more ways in which water is utilised than one might initially think. Drinking, bathing, washing... these are just some ways in which we use water. Paying attention to how we wash our hands and utilising a graywater bucket like our friends in Emeryville are simple ways we can conserve water. We are trying to think of more ways in which we can conserve, so hopefully you can help us brainstorm more ways at home!

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