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EPA Regional Administrator Celebrates Earth Day Teaching Kids About the Importance of Water Conservation

Release Date: 04/22/2002
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(#02024) Jersey City, N.J. – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator, Jane Kenny, celebrated Earth Day today teaching Jersey City third graders how they can save water during the drought emergencies that have been declared in New Jersey and throughout the New York Metropolitan area. As a former college lecturer, Ms. Kenny was right at home in the classroom at P.S. 30.

“Many people ignore the drought warning because they don’t think there is anything they can do to help,” said Jane Kenny. “Children can tell their parents that there are things they can do that don’t take a big sacrifice. By just turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, you can save about significant amounts of water. And every drop counts in a drought.”

Ms. Kenny demonstrated her point by comparing how much water is used when you brush your teeth with the water running and with it left on only for rinsing. The children took part by acting out the morning and evening brushing ritual both ways while EPA’s Environmental Education Coordinator, Terry Ippolito, poured water into a container. The result: almost a gallon of water was used when the faucet was left running for only 30 seconds, compared to about a cup of water used for rinsing only.

The kids were receptive to the message and even came up with suggestions of their own like taking shorter showers, not filling the bathtub all the way and running the washing machine with a full load. They also joined Ms. Kenny in making the sounds of a rain storm with their hands and feet.

“I was amazed at the level of knowledge and interest demonstrated by the children today,” Ms. Kenny commented. “It illustrates that the environment occupies an important place in their day-to-day lives.”