The Preschool Water Pollution Experiment vs. the Zero Waste Snack

recycleWe’ve been having a lot of fun this week celebrating Earth Day in my daughter’s preschool class. The class has always done a lot of recycled art projects, but there has been some extra emphasis on it this week. But one project took a bit of extra effort for us – the water pollution experiment.

You see, the teacher asked each child to save a piece of trash from their snack. This took some deliberate effort for us, as I use entirely reusable containers for my daughter’s snack. Her water bottle is a Klean Kanteen that is older than she is. She always asks for vegetables, especially bell peppers, but that day it was a carrot. There just isn’t anything left most days.

Fortunately, she was willing to leave some carrot to throw in the container. Pretty much everything else was the horror of plastic you’re probably assuming already, the usual fare so many kids eat as school snacks now.The teacher was glad to see that we saved something, and said she had realized that there was a chance this project would be a problem for us, knowing our habits.

Believe me, I am constantly grateful that my kids prefer healthier options. I’ve been asked several times by other parents if we’re vegetarians, which we’re not. And my kids will eat the same stuff the other kids do given a chance; it’s just that I don’t usually offer it, and they know that real foods taste better.

Of course, the carrot is playing its part just fine in the experiment. The water in the container looks awful, and I pity the teacher when it comes time to pour it out, although I suppose she could just throw the whole thing out and save herself a lot of stink. Overall it has been a good experiment for the kids, who are quite grossed out by all the stuff floating in the water and the talk about how you wouldn’t want to swim in water that looked that bad, so don’t litter. It’s preschool, so of course the discussion keeps things about that basic. I just found it amusing we had to deliberately waste something for this project.