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Brushing My Teeth….Who Knew?!

2012 October 2

We’ve been doing a lot of reading in science class about how we consume energy and water in America.  Our 5th grade science teacher, Mrs. Dorsey asked us to think about how much water we use every time we brush our teeth, wash dishes, or water the lawn. I didn’t have any idea of how much.  So the other night, I tried figuring out how much water is used when I brushed my teeth. I stopped the sink and brushed away, letting the water run the way I always did.  When I finished and looked at the sink, it was almost ¾ full. When I measured it using a 6oz dixie cup, it took almost 14 cups to empty out the sink.  That was only from 5 minutes of brushing!

This was really useful because I had no idea how much water I wasted.  So what did I learn, you might be asking? I need to turn off the water while I brush.  Most importantly, water is a valuable resource and we can’t take it for granted.  I think when I grow up, I’d like to study it and find ways to conserve it.  I had no idea.

What other ways can you think of to reduce water waste, either at home or school?

Maricela goes to school in Chicago, enjoys listening to Justin Bieber, after school gymnastics class, and making jewelry.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 7, 2013

    Hello. Very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so much useful information right here in the post. Thanks for sharing…

  2. Darla permalink
    May 20, 2013

    Hi Maricela, my name is Darla and I am an 11th grade Advanced Placement Environmental Science student. I am glad that you’re interested in studying ways to conserve Earth’s water. Did you know 97% of Earth’s water is found in the oceans as salt water? This means that only 3% is fresh water, which is the type of water we are able to use. So you are right to say that it is important for people to conserve water! I hope when you’re in high school, you’ll decide to take the Environmental Science class like me because you will learn so much about your environment. You’ll become inspired to make a change in your own ways of living. For example, you’ll learn about the major human uses for water which is agriculture, industry, and households. Most importantly, you’ll learn about the water conservation efforts like improved agricultural irrigation techniques, recycled water in industrial processes, more efficient household appliances, and simple water collection devices. Even you as a 5th grader can start performing water conservation actions such as setting tubs near your house gutter to collect rain water. You can reuse this collected rainwater to water the plants. (If my grandmother can do this, so can you!) If you ever help wash your family’s car, use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash the car; you will save 100 gallons every time. If you ever blow your nose, throw the tissue into the trash can instead of the toilet; it saves 6 gallons of water per flush. So there are simple actions you can do around your house even for someone at your age. I hope your desire to learn more about your Earth will grow and I wish you happy learning!

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