By Amanda Mattes- Water
Two weeks ago, our team was in the process of planning the message we wanted to convey to people at the Earth Day Fair, which took place on 4/22. Most of our ideas related to educational outreach about water conservation, but we weren’t quite sure how to make this engaging. We ended up focusing on telling people how they could choose foods that take less water to produce. Our team wanted the information to be interactive, so we created a poster that allowed people to guess which foods used the most water by flipping over the picture of the food with the highest water usage. The second component of our educational outreach was trivia. We made cards that each had a trivia question and then labeled the cards 2-12.
At the fair, we had participants roll dice to see what number card they would have to answer. Most people seemed to enjoy the games we set up and were happy when we gave them a reusable water bottle for playing. We tried to make most of our content relevant but not obvious. For example, we asked questions like “what is the highest consumer of water in California?” and “how many gallons is UCLA’s IM Field saving each year?” We also had a survey set up on one of our team member’s laptops asking participants questions to see how informed they are about the drought and the UC’s initiative to reduce potable water usage. More than half of respondents had heard of the UC’s initiative, and all respondents said they were concerned about the drought in California.
Now that we have completed the educational outreach component of our project, we are ready to continue working to get aerators installed around campus. We have audited bathrooms in 15 buildings, so now we will monitor them to record how many people are using the sinks per day. We will monitor 4 female and 4 male bathrooms in the next week so that we can calculate how much water will be saved by installing better aerators and/or replacing missing and broken aerators. Once we have this data, we will prepare a return on investment and present it to facilities. Our ultimate goal is to show them that installing aerators is not only good for the drought, but will benefit them financially as well.