Creative Kids

Kids can be so creative. This blog is devoted to a particular example in my area. Our local youth soccer team wants to help cleanup an area of the watershed as a kind of fundraiser. It is an important issue for town folks so I imagine they will get a lot of support. I give them accolades for just thinking about the community. Their intention is to find sponsors for the project. Businesses and individuals will give funds for the trash they collect based on weight. A supporter commits in advance to a certain amount of money per ounce. I find this to be a clever way to organize an event. Their goal is enough to buy new cleats for the entire team. I expect them to surpass their target.

The day of the fundraiser, the kids gathered in one spot in town carrying a banner. People lined the streets to wish them well. It was a great sendoff. Their energy was apparent and spirits high as they headed for the watershed cleanup spot a few miles away. Despite considerable attention to this need, there is much more to do all year round. I have spent a lot of time there myself with like-minded friends. I love to see new recruits in action. It has become a major town enterprise encompassing old and young.

At the end of the day, the soccer kids weighed in with their large bags of trash. It was like a solemn ceremony. They kept adding the funds raised to a running total. They had made a large sign showing their monetary goal in the form of a graph. Each stuffed bag caused the graph to inch toward the top. One after the other, each player submitted to the collection. It all went into an enormous portable garbage bin. It sat as proof of the success of the watershed cleanup project.

After the final offerings, a party was held with a street fair atmosphere. Hamburgers and hotdogs were grilled and vendors arrived with popcorn and cotton candy machines. It was festive and a great way to celebrate the team’s triumph. The kids were ebullient as they responded to the fanfare and praise. They started talking about the kind of soccer cleats they would purchase in bulk for the team and they want the ones from this web site. While local businesses have bought their new jerseys and socks, there was still the issue of shoes left dangling. I like that they were not totally dependent on donations but could do some of the fundraising on their own.

Come match time, the team was ready with the new soccer cleats. Many locals attended the game to cheer the kids on and to witness the fruits of their cleanup labor. Word got out to the local schools and many kids from elementary to high school wanted to find a way to participate. It would just take an organizer to plan the event. All eyes seemed to fall upon me, so of course I had to volunteer.

Are Tankless Water Heaters Better for the Environment?

Since a young age, I have always been interested in ecology, being green, and preserving the environment. After all, I live on an island where resources must be sustained. This concern extends even to the type of appliances I elect to buy. Recently, I was looking for a new water heater and got to talking to Gus who runs the hardware store. He is pretty knowledgeable on this subject as he was once an installer and repairman in college on the mainland. He counseled me to go tankless and feels that there are more pros than cons after reading I couldn’t even imagine any cons. They are the newest generation of this ubiquitous household necessity. No doubt great thought has been given to their design and functionality. I also predict that they cost more, but it is hardly a con if it is offset by the pros of energy and water conservation.

I believe in technology despite my insistence of planting my own garden and growing food. I walk or bike as much as I can. You feel close to the land when you live near the watershed. I wouldn’t even consider a tankless system if it weren’t better for the environment. I had to overcome an initial objection that this type of unit serves one faucet at a time. In effect, if there are several members of a household, they may have to take turns. This will not be a problem for me, but it is definitely something you will want to take note of. What if you want to take a shower while the dishwasher is running? It means an organized life.

I like the way the compact device mounts on the wall and leaves me more space for storage. The old tanks were huge and bulky: ugly tin monsters that leaked. You constantly had to light the pilot. I was terrified the thing would blow up. An additional con about the tankless style is that you must buy a system large enough to service all the people in your home. If you do, no problem. Also, since it has a high-powered burner, you need to address the venting requirements (meaning a sealed system). A natural gas system involves a costly larger diameter pipe.

Despite a few negatives, there is the big upfront pro: a tankless water heater uses thirty to fifty percent less energy and saves at least $100 on water usage for a typical family of four. I see that they are called “on demand” units which sounds promising and practical. When you turn on a faucet, you signal the device to begin working. You don’t need to keep forty or fifty wasteful gallons in the storage tank. You get as much hot water as you need, even if you have a hot tub. If you had thought about it in advance, you would have selected the jumbo size.