Activity Overview

Grade: K-7th
Time: 30 minutes
Adult support needed? Self-guided student activity, however younger students may need adult support with some of the questions. 

Explore your home to learn how your family can help reduce waste, save energy and save water. Simple actions such as taking shorter showers or turning the lights off when we leave a room not only helps protect the environment but saves money for our families. In this activity, youth will: 

  1. Survey their homes to learn how well their family is reducing waste, saving energy and saving waste. 
  2. Review their results to identify actions their family can take on to continue to reduce waste, save energy and save water. 
  3. Take Action: choose one activity to either help reduce waste, save energy or save water. 

Supports Next Generation Science Standards:

  • K-ESS3-3.    Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment. 
  • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

Materials Needed:

  • Downloadable Activity Guide (see below)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils or pens (optional)
  • Recyclable materials (optional)


  1. View or print the Activity Guide. No printer? No problem! View the Activity Guide online and grab blank paper to follow along.
  2. Use the checklist in the Activity Guide to learn how well your family is reducing waste, saving energy and saving water. 
  3. Use your results to learn what activities you family could choose to start to make sure you are helping to reduce waste, save energy and save water even more. 
  4. Take action! Choose one activity to help your family to reduce waste, save energy and water.

Thank you to the City of Santa CruzCity of Capitola, Santa Cruz County and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for supporting the Coastal Watershed Council’s Environmental Education programs.

Thank you to the City of Santa Cruz, City of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for supporting Snapshot Day.

To all of the Watershed Rangers students, teachers and program partners, although we will not be able to see you in classrooms, field trips and after school programs right now, we hope to provide you and your loved ones with online resources and activities during this time. We know that parents, teacher and lifelong learners are seeking ways to stay engaged and active, and we’re going to be working to bring activities to you through the Coastal Watershed Council blog. Please share these resources and activities with friends, neighbors and parents groups and stay tuned for more.

Additional resources:

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