J2 Conservation

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Aim: To introduce young people to the concept of conservation, why we need to be more efficient with resources, and how we can make an individual contribution to this. Introduction: Our world’s current use of resources such as fossil fuels, wood and fresh water is at an unsustainable rate. However, so much of what we use goes to unnecessary waste. With a bit of effort, we can take measures to use such resources more efficiently. Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Community, Nature and environment J2


Activity 1
• 10 litres of water in a tank and measuring jug
• 1 litre plastic bottle, cistern, (toilet roll)
• Kettle and mug
• Toothbrush and beaker
• Bowl of water from washing salad or potatoes, a vegetable (organic), washing up scrubber
• Hose and watering can
• copies of the ‘Water conservation Record Sheet’ template (one for each group)

Activity 2
• ‘Personal Water Use Log template
• Pens

Activity 3
• Scrap paper and I or newspaper
• A blender or wire whisk
• Water
• Bucket
• Large square pan at least 8cm deep
• Piece of window screen that fits inside the pan
• An iron or rolling pin
• A measuring cup
• Tea towels
• Dye for colouring


Activity 1 - Water Conservation

Aim: To help young people be aware of the Importance and worldwide scarcity of water as a resource and to give young people practical Ideas of what they could do to save water.

• Ask the young people what proportion of their body is water (65%), hence its importance. What proportion of the earth is covered with water (70%).
• Use 10 litres of water in a water tank to represent the total amount of water in the world, ask the young people what proportion is fresh as opposed to unusable sea water (3%).
• Using a jug, measure this quantity out (about 300m1). Of this, 2% (200m1) is tied up in the ice caps leaving 1% (100mI) — use ice cube trays to illustrate this point.
• Pour 200m1 back into the large container, leaving the small amount (100mI) to compare with the large unusable volume (9.9L). Note that only 0.01% of water on the earth is drinking quality so in our analogy 1 millimetre is available to drink.

Clue scenarios:
Set up five tables around the room with the following five items on the tables:
1. 1 litre plastic bottle, cistern, (toilet roll)

1 litre of water can be saved every flush if a 1L bottle full of water/other ballast is placed in the cistern. 5 visits per day = 5L saving. (Use the water tank from the initial demo as the cistern’ with
the toilet roll as a clue to it being a WC flush tank.

2. Kettle, mug
Boil only what you see. On average most people use 10L for drinks and boil twice that, therefore potential 10L/day saving. The main saving here however is the reduced electricity to boil a reduced amount of water.

3. Toothbrush, beaker
Use a beaker of water instead of leaving the tap running. Potential for 10L/day saving.

4. Bowl of water for washing salad or potatoes, vegetable (organic), washing up scrubber
As above: not leaving the tap running. Use resulting soily water to water plants. Potential saving 5L,/day.

5. Hose versus watering can
Use a watering can to water garden, rather than a hose.
• Split the young people into 5 groups, each with a ‘Water Conservation Record Sheet’, and rotate around 5 numbered scenarios.
• They have to work out what each clue is indicating regarding water savings that could be made and estimate what amount may be saved.

• Ask each group for a method of water saving, asking for help from other groups if necessary.
• An individual could potentially save 50-100L a day which is 1-2 thirds of the average daily usage per person of 150L.
• Compare the average consumption in the UK with the average water consumption of a person in the developing world: 10L/day.
• What other water-saving methods can you think of at home/school? E.g. using mulch in the garden to reduce need for watering the garden, collecting rainwater in a water butt, ensure
dishwasher/washing machine is full, water efficient washing machines, take a shower (30L) as opposed to a bath (90L), wash a car with a bucket of water instead of a hose (300L saving) etc.

Activity 2 - How much water do you use at Home ?

Aim: To encourage young people to consider how to conserve water In the home.

1. In the week prior to doing this activity, introduce the ‘Person Water Use Log’ to participants. Explain that they will each track their water use for three days and estimate how much water they use.
2. After each person has tracked their water use, get them to share their results. How much variation is there amongst the group?
3. Review as a group why it’s important to save water. Mind map how people can use less water. What behaviours or equipment would help them reduce water consumption in their homes.

Activity 3 - Make Your Own Paper

Aim: Conserve trees by making your own recycled paper!

Everyday we use something that is made from trees. One of the things we use most often, especially in schools and at work, is paper. Although paper can be made from a variety of natural materials including cotton, hemp, grass, banana plants and even elephant dung in some parts of the world, paper is most often made from pulp that is produced by grinding up trees.

Because paper is so important to us and because we use so much of it, we need to make sure we don’t waste it. It only takes a second to use a paper napkin or tissue, but decades for a tree to grow.

Fortunately, we can save trees by using less paper and by recycling paper.

1. Tear the scrap paper into tiny pieces and soak them in a bucket of hot water for about 30 minutes. Put a handful of the soaked paper into the blender and mix until mush. Or if using a whisk, beat the mixture until it is a creamy pulp. Add a small amount of dye for colour.

2. Pour the blended pulp into a measuring cup. Pour roughly 3cm of water into the pan. Put the screen into the pan and pour one cup of the paper pulp onto the screen.

3. Spread the pulp evenly in the water with your fingers. It should feel mushy. Lift the screen and let the water drain.

4. Lay the pulp-covered screen down on a cloth (tea-towel) or in between some newspaper. Lift the screen away, leaving the paper pulp on the cloth. Cover with another cloth and iron with a hot iron, or use a rolling pin to flatten and press out excess moisture. Let the pulp dry for at least 24 hours.

5. Now dry, use the newly made paper to write a letter, or create greeting cards for your friends and family.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Supervision, particularly when young people are working in a kitchen environment and with an iron.

For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Community, Nature and environment J2


  • community
  • company
  • conservation
  • discoverer
  • Nature and environment
  • paper making

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