Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Aim
Research Project:
Operation Pretend to Care
Water Conservation Proposal

When one looks at the earth and its problems it is easy to recoil with a sense of futility and loss hope. What can i possibly do? Shoulders are shrugged the norm sets in and any chance of starting towards a greener path is washed away in a torrent of life’s every day struggle and confusion.
I, like many people I talk to, have these moments. These crystalline moments of ways to better ones self and ones community, unfortunately they leave as quickly as they come. I am usually left with a closet full of environmentally friendly skeletons (EFS) rattling away in the cacophony of my mind.
As I have pushed further in this life and things have become clearer to me. The din has dampened and I find myself pushing harder to shrug of that sense of futility, and that apathetic life style of which most of us are prone to embrace.
This class has given me an avenue in which to move forward and untangle one of my many EFS’S and bring it to light.
I am proposing to do a research project encompassing the Water issues that face our world…. From the hypoxic gulf to the diminishing water tables and the polluted aquifers; I would like as well, if it is within reach to study the water consumption @ the NHTI campus. In doing so I would like to see if I could start a community awareness program of water waste in aims at bringing to light the need for conservation. My ultimate goal would to be to initiate a Water Conservation Day or week in which the money saved from the experiment would go to the purchase of trees or shrubs to be planted on campus.
The experiment would take a week or day from the previous calendar year and match it against the proposed conservation month/week/day. The savings if there were any, would be put towards the purchase of trees for the NHTI campus.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My first contact In trying to establish an awarness campaign on the NHTI campus for my Environmental Science class.

Hi Brandan,

I do have access to some historical data. I would be happy to show it to you and see if it is what you want.

Melanie Kirby
Chief Financial Officer
Concord's Community College
31 College Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603)271-7712 * *

From: Drypolcher627,Braden [] Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:30 AMTo: Melanie KirbySubject: Environmental Science Project Proposal

My name is Braden Drypolcher I recieved your name at the top of a list of people who may be able to help me reach my aims for a project I am trying to do for my Environmental Science class.
My proposed project encompasses the idea of water conservation on campus and is an awareness campaign of sorts. I am trying to challenge two buildings on campus specifically two dorms to consume less water over a set period of time. I was hoping to be able to get the utilities and or water bills from last year from a specific month, say March. Using that data and what I described earlier as an awareness program I would like to document if awareness could in fact decrease the amount of water used. In my proposal The savings (if there were any) could be used for a plant a tree program on campus. Though i could be getting ahead of myself I thought it important explain my intent.
I appreciate your time and any information you could give me on this matter.
Thank You,
Braden Drypolcher

Monday, January 26, 2009

Water Conservation
Save water with efficient systems and healthy plants.
In Your Backyard
Wise use of water for garden and lawn waterings not only helps protect the environment, but saves money and provides for optimum growing conditions. Simple ways of reducing the amount of water used for irrigation include growing xeriphytic species (plants that are adapted to dry conditions), mulching, adding water retaining organic matter to the soil, and installing windbreaks and fences to slow winds and reduce evapotranspiration.
Watering in the early morning before the sun is intense helps reduce the water lost from evaporation. Installing rain gutters and collecting water from downspouts also helps reduce
water use.
Plant Needs for Water
Water is a critical component of photosynthesis, the process by which plants manufacture their own food from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of light. Water is one of the many factors that can limit plant growth. Other important factors include nutrients, temperature, and amount and duration light.
Plants take in carbon dioxide through their stomata--microscopic openings on the undersides of leaves. Water is also lost through the stomata in the process called transpiration. Transpiration, along with evaporation from the soil surface, accounts for the moisture lost from the soil.
When there is a lack of water in the plant tissue, the stomata close to try to limit water loss. Wilting occurs when the tissues lose too much water. Plants adapted to dry conditions have developed numerous mechanisms for reducing water loss, including narrow leaves, hairy leaves, and thick fleshy stems and leaves. Pines, hemlocks, and junipers are also well adapted to survive extended periods of dry conditions which they encounter each winter when the frozen soil prevents the uptake of water. Cacti, with leaves reduced to spines and having thick stems, are the best example of plants well adapted to extremely dry environments.
Choosing Plants for Low Water Use*
You are not limited to cacti, succulents, or narrow leafed evergreens when selecting plants adapted to low moisture requirements. Many plants growing in humid environments are well adapted to low levels of soil moisture. Numerous plants found growing in coastal or mountainous regions have developed mechanisms for dealing with extremely sandy, excessively well-drained soils, or rocky cold soils in which moisture is limited to months at a time. Following is a list of low water use plants from various parts of the country: North West

  1. Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
  2. Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
  3. Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
  4. Oregon white oak (Quercus garryanna)South West
  5. Four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
  6. Fairy Duster (Calliandra eriophylla)
  7. Penstemon (Penstemon spp.)
  8. Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis)North Central
  9. Aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius)
  10. Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
  11. Bluegrama (Bouteloua gracilis)
  12. Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
  13. Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)South Central
  14. Aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius)
  15. Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)
  16. Bluegrama (Bouteloua gracilis)
  17. Tall blasing star (Liatris aspera)
  18. Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpus)
  19. Aromatic sumac (Rhus aromatica) North East
  20. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
  21. Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
  22. Blazing star (Liatris spicata)
  23. Pitch pine (Pinus rigida)
  24. Beach plum (Prunus serotina)South East
  25. Tall blazing star (Liatris aspera)
  26. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)
  27. Sand Live oak (Quercus germinata)
  28. Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
  29. Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)

*Always check with your local State extension service when selecting plants to avoid the potential of selecting a plant that is considered invasive in your par


Moments of realization throughout the day can keep your finger on the pulse and help in the efforts to conserve our natural resources.