By Desiree’ Waitt Pickert
Take a walk through your neighborhood. Can you find the utilities that bring you power and water or take away your trash and wastewater? Hidden all around us are small signs that your utilities are hard at work for you – a power line, a sewer manhole, a plaque next to the storm drain that says “Flows to Creek.”
In addition to providing safe and reliable utility services, Roseville Utilities have a wide-ranging impact on our community and our environment. When your family makes small changes at home, that impact increases tenfold. How your family uses electricity and water, and what you throw away, flush down the toilet, or use in your yard helps us create a sustainable future. Individual actions add up when multiplied by the power of all of us working together.
So, how do we get started? With our children! Providing the next generation with an understanding of how their decisions can affect health and quality of life in our city shows how we can all play our part. Gather your family and try some of these fun, hands-on projects that help children become problem-solvers and think critically and creatively about what they can do at home and in their community to make a difference.
Roseville Electric Utility maintains more than 4000 power poles and over 900 miles of power lines.
Explore: How can your family reduce your energy use?
Activity: Some light bulbs use less energy than others. Perform an experiment to test the light and heat difference between incandescent and LED bulbs.
Incandescent and LED lightbulbs
Have an adult place the LED bulb in the lamp and turn it on. Observe the light that is produced. Hold a thermometer six inches above the bulb for one minute and record the temperature. Turn off the lamp and let the bulb cool. Have an adult remove the LED bulb, place the incandescent bulb in the lamp, and turn it on. Observe the light that is produced. Hold a thermometer six inches above the bulb for one minute and record the temperature. Could you tell any difference in the kind of light the two bulbs produced? Discuss which bulb you think uses less energy.
Roseville’s water treatment plant is able to treat 100 million gallons of water every day.
Explore: How can your family save water?
Activity: The only water there is today cycles over and over again – from water to vapor to gas. Make your very own water cycle to watch at home to remember to protect this precious resource.
Plastic sealable bag
¼ cup water
Blue food coloring
Decorate your bag with clouds and the sun. Add a couple of drops of blue food coloring to a small amount of water and swirl. Pour the water in the sealable bag and seal the bag shut. Make sure it’s sealed tight. Use tape to hang the bag in a window that gets a lot of sunshine. Wait a couple of hours and check on your experiment. Eventually, you will begin to see droplets of water sticking to the side of the bag. Some drops will be up high (in the clouds) while other drops will be on their way down (like rain).
Our two wastewater treatment plants treat more than 30 million gallons of wastewater every day.
Explore: How can your family prevent sewer clogs?
Activity: Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) make big clogs in the sewer. Make your own FOG, clog up a pipe, then remove the clog.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
Clog removers like sticks, spoons or straws
Empty toilet paper roll
Stir together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large pot. Add the water and oil. Cook over medium heat, continually stirring until the dough has thickened and forms a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Divide the dough into balls and put in quart-sized bags. Add about 5 drops of color into each bag. Knead while inside the bag until smooth. After about five minutes, you are ready to play. Store the dough inside the bags to keep soft. The dough keeps for up to three months. Now insert a clog of dough in one end of an empty toilet paper roll and center in the tube. Use a handful of tools (sticks from the yard, straws, spoon) to safely remove the clog.
Roseville residents throw out 100 thousand tons of garbage in Roseville each year.
Explore: How can your family reduce the trash you throw away?
Activity: Make a beautiful wreath out of a common household item you would normally put in the trash – an egg carton.
1 – 4 molded pulp egg cartons
Paint and paint brushes
Pens, colored pencils or markers
Glue and scissors
Ribbon, string or wire
Cut out the wreath base from a paper plate. Paint your base and set aside to dry. Cut out each egg carton cup. Trim to create flowers. Twist or bend petals to give flowers life. Make several cuts in a cup for a fringed effect. Join cups together to make multiple petals. Cut leaf shapes. Keep creating until you have enough flowers and leaves to fill your base. Paint and add detail. Allow to dry before assembling. Place flowers and leaves on your base and glue them in place. Once the glue has set, tie or tape ribbon on the wreath and hang it up.