South Africa
Think Before you Print!
Posted by Eqhweni Combined School , South Africa on 25 August 2015
Post related to The water-full secret, Secret Water

We then learnt about another form of Water, being that of secret water, the water that we don’t see but that is hidden in just about everything we use and consume. The learners could easily understand that juicy liquidly foods like oranges and beverages contained water within, but they never consider that even man made things like pens, books and chairs are also made up of lots of water. They thought the term " footprint" translated literally to the imprint of one's foot, but slowly they start to appreciate the concept of a footprint in ecological terms meaning the amount of space, water and resources an individual will use in a day including the earth's ability to absorb our waste. We learnt that eating a diet high in diary, meat (especially red meats) and highly processed products will dramatically increase our ecological footprint beyond the earths ability to provide for everyone. A short movie titled “The Hidden Cost of a Hamburger" really assisted to bring home the point that a meat rich diet is entirely unsustainable. Learners were then given the opportunity to make water smart pledges swapping out one water intensive food ( like coffee) for another water savvy option ( like tea). Food Swap diaries will be kept by each learner and this exercise will hopefully be a make them more mindful about our eating habits.

 We often take paper we use in our daily life at school for granted. Do you know, one exercise book has 72 pages using a staggering 720 litre to make? Today we tackled the Secret Water Mission, looking at the paper making process under Water-Full Secrets challenge. Whilst we didn’t need all the water to irrigate the trees to make a sheet of paper, we used a large bucket of water to recycled old paper into palp to make our own version of homemade paper. After our paper making experience we brainstormed ideas to save paper and use the paper we have more efficiently. We hope to complete our Thirsty Paper Challenge when we eventually save and recycle 10% of the paper. Here are some of the idea's the class came up with

1. Use both sides of the paper, photocopy both sides of the paper, reduce the margins and use only single line spacing.

2.  Improve stock taking at school. Most teachers are unaware of how many extra, unnecessary copies of worksheets/schedule lists they need.

3. Use posters with eye catching slogans to remind people of their duty to save paper

4. Go digital - that might initially be difficult at our school!!

5. Recycle as much paper as possible- don’t buy paper with glossy/plastic coating as these types of paper cannot be recycled.


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