Kids & Company Blog

Five Simple Ways to Teach Children to Conserve Water

World Water Day (celebrated on March 22) is fast-approaching, and this year’s theme is “Water for Peace.” We don’t often recognize water can both help establish peace and be a catalyst for conflict. Our health, food, environment, economy and energy systems rely on a fair, functioning water cycle, and with climate change and population growth threatening supply, we can work together to protect and conserve our supply of clean, usable water. 

According to the United Nations, more than 3 billion people on the planet need water that crosses national borders, but just two dozen countries have agreed to share their supply. What’s more, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says half the world’s population experiences “severe” water scarcity for at least a few months a year, and the World Health Organization and UNICEF report more than 2 billion of us live without “safely managed” drinking water. 

Sharing World Water Day with your children starts the conversation about the importance of clean water early and can help them form good planet-saving habits that they can carry with them into adulthood. If you already remind your children to turn the tap off when they’re brushing their teeth, it’s a good start, but there’s so much more you can do at home to reinforce the significance of water and our collective need to conserve as much of it as we can.    

Here are five super-simple things you can introduce on March 22, and make a routine with your family.

  1. Check once, check twice. Children are notorious for leaving taps on, and that incessant dripping is a total waste of water. Make sure your children double-check taps are off after washing their hands, brushing their teeth, etc. 
  2. Leave a pitcher filled with water in the fridge instead of running the tap when you need a cold drink. 
  3. Choose one day out of the week to make and eat meatless meals. It takes more water to feed animal products than it does to grow vegetables and grains. 
  4. Use a refillable water bottle…even when you’re at home. You’ll have fewer glasses in the dishwasher—that’s good news for water conservation (and your workload!). 
  5. Keep a bucket outside beside the house to collect rainwater off your roof and use it to water your houseplants and window boxes. (Bonus tip: Do your children have a finned friend? When you’re cleaning your fish tank, feed your plants with the used water.) 

Want to learn more about World Water Day? Reading child-friendly books will reinforce what you’re teaching and modelling at home. We recommend adding We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom to your child's reading list! Happy reading, and Happy World Water Day!

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