Please read before brushing!

Thank you to Timmy’s parents for sharing this story.

Day 1 – “Dad, did you know you should turn off the water when you brush your teeth? Because, you don’t want to waste our water”

Day 2 – “Dad, you know what I do, I turn off the water now when I brush my teeth and wash my hands” happily trying to positively encourage Dad.

Day 3 – “Dad, you know what my friend Alex told me? His Dad turns off the water when he brushes his teeth, isn’t that a good idea?” Assuming Dad would crack under peer pressure, the child is hopeful.

Days 4 & 5 – Dad is observed again, by the small shadow peeking in from the hallway, brushing his teeth, without turning off the faucet. No comments were made nor gentle reminders uttered, the shadow just made a face, shook its head and walked away, somewhat discouraged but not to be deterred

Day 6 – Dad enters his bathroom, but a little earlier than his regularly scheduled brushing time… The Dad smiled, thought he had escaped his smart, thoughtful and eco minded son, but as he reached down to turn on the faucet he noticed a book, politely propped open and a note on the side – “please read before brushing”. Dad picks up the book, reads the page:

“You got me!” Dad was surprised his son went to such lengths to encourage him to change his ways, he was also surprised his young son cared so much and was absolutely floored when he implemented the book strategy. He thought, well if my kid can turn off the water while he brushes his teeth, and Ashley does, and Alex’s Dad does… I guess I can too!

Some facts:

  • Less than 1 percent of all the water on earth is available or clean enough to drink. The rest is salty or frozen.
  • Every person in America uses about 160 gallons of water a day.
  • Families turn on faucets about 70 times a day
  • 2/3 of the water your family uses is used in the bathroom.
  • Each person uses 2 gallons of water to brush their teeth (unless you turn off the faucet while you brush then you only use 3 cups)

Please read before brushing challenge, how many gallons can your family save a day, in a week and in a month?

Published on: August 05, 2009
About the Author
Photo of Jeanine Behr Getz

Think Green! is Jeanine’s first published book, it has received several awards, fantastic reviews, has appeared on Channel 12 News. Jeanine travels across the country sharing the gift of reading and the message of Think Green!

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