A Stream of Solutions by Melissa Haines, Littleton, MAWhen most teens think about pitching in to help our earth, they think of huge, intimidating problems that can't be easily solved. Holes in the ozone, pollution from factories and cars, and oil spills are just a few examples of problems teens can't easily effect. However, one environmental problem that may be looming in our future is a lack of fresh water.Water is one thing most Americans take for granted, and waste exorbitantly. However, most of the world doesn't have enough water, and many cities in our own country already can't drink their water. I think we should think about simple ways to cut back on water use before we have to make big sacrifices. There are a surprising number of ways to save water in your daily life. For instance, don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Try to use settings for water conservation on your dishwasher - you just have to scrape the plates a little.Also, run full loads of the dishwasher and washing machines, or change the setting for light loads. Even if it's only for a few seconds, turn the water off while you lather your hands, or put the soap on first. In addition, don't water your lawn excessively; it doesn't have to be a sparkling, emerald green - just healthy. And finally, don't flush the toilet to throw out a tissue, because that wastes over two gallons of water. Everyone should pitch in to stop this problem. The truth is that until we find a cheap way to convert saltwater into fresh, we really need to make an effort to cut back on water use any way we can. ^
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.