Be Prepared for Life

Activity Kit One:
"There's no place like Home"

Part 2. Save Money at Home

DO YOU KNOW -
HOW TO SAVE ENERGY AT HOME?

The human body uses the same amount of energy each day as a medium sized light bulb. In fact most of us use thousands of times this energy each day when we use our stoves and electrical appliances to make our lives more comfortable. This means power stations have to work harder to make more electricity. As more fuel is burnt, our world becomes more and more damaged. Eight 60w light bulbs produce one ton of Carbon Dioxide during their life time. There is no such thing as totally 'clean power' from fuel sources. Often the damage is done far away from our homes where we do not have to see it. We should all try to use energy as sparingly as we can.

Project 5: How much power do you use?

Find out how much power or fuel your family uses each day.

IF YOU USE ELECTRICITY count up the kilowatts you use from the meter reader's record card.

Ask some one to show you how to read the electricity meter and record the number of units used in a day and during the day at different times. What appliances use the most power? How could you learn to make less use of these appliances? Which appliances seem to be the least important in your home? Do you really need them?

IF YOU USE WOOD, COAL OR PARAFFIN work out how much you need in a year. How much effort does your family spend collecting wood, coal or paraffin? How long does this take? Design a scout stove to use less wood fuel. How much time would this save your family in collecting wood. A fire that uses half the amount of wood to cook food is saving time and trees. Encourage your neighbours to use these methods as well.

Project 6: Using Sun Power for Water Heating

Warm water is always needed in the home and is expensive to produce. Design a solar heater to produce a regular supply of warm water using simple materials. Prepare a leaflet for your neighbours showing them how to build their own solar heaters. Use you solar heater as much as possible and note how much power and money you are saving.

DO YOU KNOW -
HOW TO SAVE WATER AT HOME?

Warm water is always needed in the home and is expensive to produce. Design a solar heater to produce a regular supply of warm water using simple materials. Prepare a leaflet for your neighbours showing them how to build their own solar heaters. Use you solar heater as much as possible and note how much power and money you are saving.

Project 7: How much water do you use at home?

Find the water meter in your home and note the readings for a week. Divide this number by the number of persons who use your taps. List all the uses of water in your home [baths, showers, toilets, washing machine, dishwasher, watering gardens, etc.]. Estimate how much water your family uses for each purpose. Compare your daily use to a water-saving families use. Plan a home water conservation campaign.

A water-saving family [four persons per day] uses...
Bath (1 x 100 mm deep) 80 litres
Shower (3 x 4 min) 70
Wash basin 20
Toilet (reduced flush) 70
Washing machine (5 x per week) 90
Cooking and drinking 15
Dish washing 20
Garden 50
Total 415 litres

 

How could you save water in your home?

  • Check taps for leaks (1 drip can equal 200 litres per day)
  • Always use a plug in the sink.
  • Use bath water on the garden: plants like soapy water
  • Shower more - bath less
  • Place a 1 litre plastic bottle filled with water into your toilet cistern to reduce the amount used when you flush
  • Collect rain water from your roof in barrels and use it to wash cars and water your garden by watering can or siphon
  • Make sure your washing machine is fully loaded before you use it.

[Hint: The toilet and bathroom are the water hungry rooms in your home. This is the place to start water conservation.]

DO YOU KNOW -
HOW TO REDUCE WATER POLLUTION AT HOME?

What happens to your dirty water? Where does it go? What does it do?

Drain and sewer water flows to a water treatment plant. Bacteria clean this water so that it can be returned to the river.

When polluted or toxic water arrives at the water treatment plant many bacteria are killed, less water can be cleaned and so polluted water may be discharged into the river or the sea. Water near most treatment plants is heavily polluted and may even have an unpleasant smell. There is usually little river life below a treatment plant.

Nature pays the price - the river dies. People using the river or nearby beaches may become ill.

Project 8: Water Pollutants at Home

How many of these water pollutants do you use in your home? How do they get into your river?

Toilet cleaners; Washing powders; Washing-up liquids; Bleaches; Paint; Paint solvents; Dyes in toilet paper; Insecticides; Fertilisers.

SOME HINTS FOR A CLEANER RIVER

Use plain soap. Avoid detergent washing powders most of which contain chemicals (phosphates and enzymes) which harm river life. Use water-based paint wherever possible. Buy white toilet paper (coloured dyes are also harmful).

Use bone meal, wood ash and compost instead of chemical fertiliser.

MAKE YOUR OWN INSECTICIDE

Boil one cup of tobacco in 5 litres of water for thirty minutes.

Strain and add 1 big spoonful of chopped soap to the liquid.

Dilute this mixture with an equal quantity of water and apply with a watering can.

Wash you hands after use, tobacco contains a powerful poison.

Part 3: Protect nature at home

© Copyright 1991 - 1994
Dr Frank Opie for the South African Scout Association