Helping the Whale Conservation Effort

by Molly Hewitt

What can you do to help the whales?

Plenty. Two of the most important things a kid can do are save water and keep the beaches clean.

Whales don't like dirty water.

Every drop of water that runs down the drain ends up flowing into the sewage system. Sending clean water down the drain just fills up the sewer and lets the dirty water and waste overflow into streams and the ocean.

How can you save water in your house?

  • Don't keep the water running while you are brushing your teeth.
  • Take shorter showers. Make it a game. Keep an egg timer in the bathroom and see who can get their showers down to 3 minutes. (And still get clean!)
  • Help your mom or dad fix the dripping faucet. Did you know that it can waste 20 gallons of water a day?
  • Help your dad install a water-saving shower head. In addition to the water it saves, it also saves the fuel that would have been used to heat up the extra hot water. And that reduces pollution.
  • Fill a gallon plastic bottle with water and place it in your toilet tank. (The part in the back!) It will take up the same space as the water usually does, but in a year, it will keep 5,000 gallons of water from going down the drain.

Whales don't like stuff in the ocean.

We throw away a lot of stuff. Too much stuff. It doesn't just go away. Some of it finds its way to the ocean, where it gets in the animals' way and can make them sick or kill them. But there's a lot we can do to help.

How can you help keep the ocean clean, even if you don't live at the beach?

  • Set up a recycling center in your kitchen (or wherever mom says it's okay). Find out what your town recycles. Keep a record for a month and record how many garbage bags your family fills up each week. Watch the number get smaller as you begin to recycle things you would have thrown away.
  • Cut open all the holes on plastic six-pack rings before you throw them away. Birds and small water animals can get their heads caught in the rings.
  • Don't let plastic grocery bags fly away. These bags are so light, they like to sail off to tree tops and float down streams. Take them back to their recycling bin at the grocery store.
  • Stop throwing away so many batteries. The mercury in old batteries will eventually leak out and poison the water it runs into. What can you do?
    • Buy rechargeable alkaline batteries. They can be charged 25 times. That means 25 batteries you didn't have to buy and throw away.
    • See if your state is one of the few that has laws to make batteries safer.

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