Senior Project Spotlight

 

Covid 2020: Athletes Tell Their Story

 

 
My name is Brooke Donaghey and for my Senior Project I created a documentary on Covid-19’s impact on our high school athlete’s sport seasons and their mental health. I spent the last eight months interviewing athletes at Shepaug; capturing their thoughts and emotions on how Covid-19 affected their year.

Water Conservation Tips

by Jakob Wild

 

Save Water Clipart

 

With water being one of the most essential resources in the world, learning to conserve it is crucial. The average American household uses approximately 300 gallons of water every day. With over 120 million households in the United States, the daily water usage by homeowners really adds up tremendously. However, this vast reliance on water s across the nation has its advantage: anybody can make a difference. In these following steps, I will share how anybody can learn how to contribute to the idea of saving water for the larger whole. 

Clothes

By using household appliances, making water conservation a part of your everyday lifestyle can make a significant contribution.

Most of the mistakes made when conserving water involve the cleaning process of clothes. While washing machines are typically not used as frequently as dishwashers and sinks, each load of clothes uses up about 40 gallons of water. When cleaning clothes, try to use larger and fewer loads where less water is used. While this may seem obvious, it is easy for homeowners to lose track of their water usage, especially with larger homes and/or multiple children. 

Another way to conserve water with clothes is by using less detergent. By using less detergent, not as much water is needed to rinse all of it out. While it is important to keep clothes clean, it is also important to pay attention to how much water/detergent is used and not overuse the two. 

Gardening

With gardening being a key part of the culture within Washington, learning to conserve water around plants could be beneficial for all living organisms in the community. Connecticut is beginning to turn more green during this time of the season, and many garden-lovers are excited to get out the trowels and water pots and get to work in the beautiful weather. However, remembering simple water conservation techniques can be worth the while during this beautiful gardening season. 

The best way for gardeners to reduce the amount of water used is by using a handheld hose rather than using a sprinkler. According to gardenguides.com, as much as 15 gallons of water can be used every minute in a sprinkler system. While it is true that plants require a sufficient amount of water during this upcoming season, sprinklers can often be overused and even miss areas of gardens that need more attention. By watering the old fashion way, gardeners can focus on plants that need the most attention, which automatic sprinklers cannot do. 

An interesting technique to conserve water in the garden may come as a surprise to many, and this technique is by far the most overlooked. By using high-quality mulch in your garden, you will be doing your plants a favor. The science behind mulch comes with how it reduces evaporation and holds much of the collected water in the ground with the roots of the plants. Along with maximizing the groundwater, mulch also acts as a cooling material that absorbs moisture and keeps the ground cool unlike normal dirt. One of the issues that gardeners have with watering is the weeds that grow in their gardens and collect water intended for plants. By using mulch, gardeners will find themselves conserving more water for their flowers and wasting less on unwanted weeds. 

Cooking and the Kitchen

While conserving water is a doable task in many different parts of the house, the kitchen is an environment where a homeowner can really make a difference. With water being the center of many pieces of technology in the kitchen, learning to conserve it will be beneficial when cleaning, cooking, and so much more. 

The first area that allows homeowners to conserve water is with the dishwasher. Many families in Washington are comfortable with scrubbing plates the old-fashioned way in order to make their silverware as clean as possible. However, it is proven that handwashing uses as much as 5 times the amount of water that dishwashers use. While it may seem like hand washing helps get rid of the extra stains, new dishwasher models have been shown to be 30% more water efficient, eliminating the need for the extra scrubbing (zebra.com).

When lunch time rolls around, it is always important to clean vegetables and prepare for defrosting. But before preparing the food, it is important to keep in mind the various ways to use the least amount of water possible. This includes using a bowl instead of a colander or using the least number of pots possible when cooking. You can even get creative by using extra water for plants as a way to use every last drop. 

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful and can implement them into your daily routines.

Jakob Wild photo
By Jakob Wild
Class of '21
Shepaug Valley High School