How to Participate in the Sustainable Water Challenge during National Green Week 2013

SWCicon_REVISEDCan you believe National Green Week kicks off in just two weeks? There’s still plenty of time to sign up and plan your Green Week initiatives. Don’t forget, any week (or day) between February 4 and April 30 can be your Green Week. If you sign up before February 1 you will be entered to win one of the hundreds of eco-friendly prizes from GEF!

The Sustainable Water Challenge aims to educate schools and groups on the current issues in water sustainability and the steps we can take to help conserve Earth’s most precious resource. As students and educators become more aware of the challenges facing our water supply, we can work together to do our part to reduce water consumption.

Keep reading for fun ways to join the challenge, ideas for a water related Green in Action award, the water audit raffle, free grade-specific lessons, and more!

Water Audit Raffle

Conducting a water audit of your home or school is a great way to understand how much water you use (and possibly waste! ) every day.  You’ll also identify areas in need of improvements.  Being aware is the first step in taking action and making a big difference! By participating in this contest you could win $250 to purchase science and math supplies and 500 reusable water bottles for your school!

Green in Action ideas for the Water Challenge

Submit your application materials by April 30 to be entered to win $250 for your class and a feature on GEF’s website and in national news. These awards are granted to schools, classrooms or youth groups who demonstrate their enthusiasm for sustainability by submitting photos, videos, summaries, essays or artwork about their project, lessons, or other Green Week initiative. Here are some great ideas to get you started:

  • Have a school landscape design competition that utilizes native plants and water saving irrigation strategies.
  • Test all toilets for leaks and fix them right away. Estimate the amount of water you will save in a year.
  • Ask students to create a pledge for saving water at home and at school.
  • Cleanup a local waterway like these 2012 winners did.
  • Have a ‘No Bottled Water’ day and encourage students to bring a reusable water bottle to refill at fountains.
  • Organize a meatless lunch and estimate how much water you saved using National Geographic’s hidden water use calculator.

Sustainable Water Challenge Lessons

Find more lessons for all grade levels and subject areas in the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse!


Grades 3-5

Middle School

High School

Water Saving Tips! 

These are great ways to make a big impact on water consumption and waste. Don’t forget – these tips could be used to create your own water saving pledge or Green in Action project!

  • Test for leaks in your toilet and fix them immediately. A leaky toilet, which is sometimes silent, can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day.
  • Switch your old shower head to a water efficient one! Check out this how-to video to see how easy it is: Watch Now!
  • Clean your driveway and sidewalk with a broom rather than a hose.
  • Have a friendly family competition to see who can take the shortest showers.
  • Set up rain barrels to gather water for irrigation.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a trash can to eliminate excess flushing.
  • Water grass at night or in the early morning to avoid evaporation.
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they’re fully loaded.
  • Use native plants to landscape because they tend to survive naturally without excess water or fertilizer.
  • Insulate your pipes so water gets to the desired temperature faster.
  • Eat less meat. Some estimate that producing 1 pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water!

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About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Mission Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability Education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit to register for free and to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities.
This entry was posted in National Green Week, Sustainability, sustainability education, Sustainable Water Challenge, Water and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to Participate in the Sustainable Water Challenge during National Green Week 2013

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