Water Saving Tips for Schools and Colleges

Like all large organizations, schools and colleges need to examine their environmental impact. In addition to energy usage and waste management, water use is another critical area of environmental health for schools and colleges.

With regards to the climate crisis, children and young adults are amongst the loudest voices. Many grassroots campaigns have resulted in the successful lobbying of institutions to change damaging practices. These include divesting from fossil fuel companies and halting research that supports the oil and gas industry. Here are some of our best water saving tips in an educational setting:

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For an essay writer, the climate crisis is a subject rich in content. Opening up the debate around school or college policy to students is an excellent way to generate ideas. They’ll outnumber those suggested in this article by 10-to-1. Make sure to tap the young minds at your disposal.

When it comes to your institution’s infrastructure, there are many different kinds of alterations and fixes. Retrofitting aspects of the building’s plumbing is a far easier task than a complete overhaul. These fixes use both high- and low-tech solutions.

Some of the most effective technological fixes are incredibly simple. One of many ingenious toilet water saving tips is the flush bag, a plastic bag that absorbs water. The bag goes into the toilet cistern, which’s the sizable boxy bit at the back of a toilet. When the toilet is flushed, the bag expands and takes up space that would have previously been occupied by water. This space displacement will save roughly one-liter of water per flush, other size bags can reduce  more space, but it is a matter of balancing function and environmental favor.

Flush bags illustrate a pertinent point;  when dealing with large numbers of individuals, incremental changes add up to a large percentage. If you can save 1,000 liters of water per day, the reduction becomes significant over an academic year. Little and often should be the water-saving motto of your school.

Other excellent marginal gains devices include sensor-activated taps; to prevent accidental (or intentional) tap-running. The tap flow rate in the US is generally very high. Adaptors exist, which will reduce the flow rate and thus save gallons of water.  Another thing to note is that our existing infrastructure has always put human needs first; there is a lot of slack in the system.

‘The system’ leads us to the next tip. Think for the future when planning your school’s re-development. Ideas to make a school carbon neutral, or even carbon positive, must include water usage, not just energy usage. Water does not miraculously flow. Some sort of connection to the energy grid is essential.

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Schools and colleges can look for renewable energy providers who service their area. Swapping energy providers may be simple, or there could be legal obstacles; it depends on the type of school or college.

For those with a hefty endowment, taking energy generation in-house is one option. Generating a self-reliant water source is hard and not on the list of priorities for most institutions. Who has a natural spring sitting on the grounds these days? However, in the years to come, water desalination plants could become much more affordable and offer locally available water to the area, not just the institution.

One place that needs water saving tips is California. The state has suffered dramatic and devastating wildfires evermore frequently in recent years, making news the world over. In areas that are prone to wildfires like this, water is of deep concern. They’re running out. Schools, colleges, and the entire state have to reduce their demand. Reducing this demand will only become more critical, familiar, and necessary in the coming years.

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Schools and universities can lead the way on this front. They’re able to set their own rules and develop sound practices in their students while they’re at it. Education is just as important as technological fixes; ensuring water doesn’t get wasted is as much about bringing together the team as it is stuffing bags in toilets.

Embodied carbon is the amount of carbon it took for an object to be made or to function. Embodied water is not just the fact that you’re 90% h2o; it’s the amount of freshwater affected or used to create a material or maintenance of services.

It is easy to think about embodied water in food; wheat grown in the USA contains approximately 849 cubic meters of water per tonne. Understanding metrics such as these can help with long term planning. If your institution provides food, a thorough audit of your water use could suggest ways to alter the kitchen and the menu to reduce water consumption.

Saving water in schools and colleges is literally and metaphorically plugging a leaky pipe. The task is never really over as it is so complex and prone to faults and issues. That said, every institution can save water tomorrow if they implement some of the fixes covered in this article.

4 Challenges Students with Autism Face in College

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex mental development disorders characterized by social maladaptation and inability to socially interact, communicate, and behave according to the existing stereotypes (repetition of the same actions). Back in the middle of the last century, autism was a fairly rare disease. However, over time, more and more children suffering from this disorder began to appear. Statistics show that the incidence of ASD in children over the past 30-40 years in countries where such statistics are conducted has risen from 4-5 people per 10 000 children to 50-116 cases per 10 000. At the same time, boys are more susceptible to this disease than girls (the ratio is about 4:1).

The Main Causes of ASD

Until now, scientists around the world studying the causes of autism have not come to a consensus. Many assumptions are being put forward. Among the possible factors for the appearance of this disorder in children, some hypotheses are called:

  • genetic predisposition;
  • impaired development of the nervous system (autism is seen as a disease caused by impaired brain development in the early stages of child growth);
  • influence of external factors: infections, chemical effects on the mother’s body during pregnancy, birth injuries, congenital metabolic disorders, the effect of certain drugs, and industrial toxins.

But whether these factors can actually lead to autism in children has not yet been clarified. Autism is seen as a developmental disorder that affects all areas of the human psyche: intellectual, emotional, sensitivity, motor sphere, attention, thinking, memory, and speech.

The most basic and commonly encountered types of ASD are:

  • Canner’s syndrome;
  • Asperger Syndrome;
  • Rett syndrome;
  • Child psychosis;
  • Atypical Autism.

Depending on the kind of ASD, and the degree of development of cognitive and motor functions, a teenager with this disease can study at colleges and universities. Although it is worth noting that training is not easy for them, and the percentage of those who ultimately drop out is very high – 80%. Often, a person is simply not able to withstand the load (large crowds, noise, certain time frames, etc.) that awaits them.

Despite the mentioned above, there are still people with ASD who managed to graduate from the college or/and university. If you just have this endeavor ahead, and you are determined to challenge yourself and your ailment, here are some tips from those who deserve the highest praise for willpower and fortitude – people with ASD who have acquired higher education and are engaged in what they love.

Challenges that Await a College Student with ASD

Organization Issues

A college student with autism may experience extreme overload following a typical student routine. It is very difficult for them to follow the time frame of classes, the amounts of homework. In addition, collective tasks can be especially difficult, since the teenager experiences anxiety before communicating with others.

Organizing a workday can be a problem too. Things like a class schedule, maintaining health issues, studying, and living in a dorm are difficult tasks, but doable. The main thing is never to be afraid to ask for the help you need.

The need to decide for yourself

When a child with ASD is in school, his parents/guardians, counselors, and tutors decide for the child how to live in this world and how to function. Entering college, a teenager on the spectrum must start advocating for their needs on their own. In the first stage, it can be deeply shocking and overwhelming to the young mind. Natural vegan products can help to boost the morale of students, for example, CBDfx follows strict organic practices.

It is vitally important that they remember that they are not abandoned and that they, as well as at school, can receive support and help when they long for it. The only thing one has to do is to inform about difficulties in time. If a student with ASD has problems with academic papers, for example, they can find assistance at the essay writing service.

The possibility to be unnoticed by a teacher

For the most part, students are noisy young people who like to talk, discuss, and gather in interest groups. All this is very repulsive and incomprehensible to a teenager with ASD. In addition, tutors prefer open to dialogue and discussion students. There is no need to conceal that it is precisely such students who enjoy the attention of tutors most of all.

That is why a young mind with an autism disorder may turn out to be invisible to their professor, taking into account the fact that college students with ASD are very few today. To avoid this problem or to correct its consequences, a personal meeting with the professor is required, at which an amendment to the classes plan, or their form will be approved.

Same requirements for everyone

College tutors place the same requirements and restrictions on all students. There are certain rules for measuring performance, conducting tests and exams, as well as activity in the classroom. For students with ASD, these rules and restrictions can be overwhelming and unworkable. Nevertheless, there is a solution to this problem. Every young mind with an autism disorder has to inform about their disability, thus, they can win some easing or a partial revision of the rules.

By bringing to the knowledge the appropriate authority in college, a teenager may obtain, for example, an exam in a quiet environment, familiarizing himself with a tutor’s notes, or they may be allowed to spend more time on a specific task.

Each student with ASD needs to remember that they have every right to the above-described relief in the rules. Colleges and universities are subject to the law, and they can provide you with these accommodations – it is your right to demand them since you pay for tuition, and they are included in this fee. The only thing, young minds need to understand that, in any case, they must obey educational standards and do everything in their power to get as much as possible closer to them.

We wish patience and fortitude to those young people who, in spite of everything, want to get a higher education and get closer to their dream. You are amazing, and you definitely have to be proud of yourself! Good luck!

How’d the Housing Marking in College Towns Fare Post-COVID?

Distance learning and COVID-19. This combination is every parent’s worst nightmare. It creates the perfect storm of stress, madness, and desperation. But, parents are making the best out of a terrible situation because education can’t be put on hold due to a global pandemic.

The real question is what if you have kids in college? The question many people have is regarding COVID-19’s impact on college towns.

HomeLight’s Q3 survey reveals that the coronavirus has left college towns in a tough spot. Local businesses such as bars and restaurants rely heavily on college students to keep business afloat. However, 2020’s fall semester has proven to be more detrimental than some would expect.

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University towns become ghost towns

Many colleges and universities have shifted from in-person learning to distance learning and sent their students home. The result of the mass exodus has rendered many of these towns a proverbial ghost town.

According to insights from top agents who participated in HomeLight’s Q3 2020 survey, this student housing market in these cities are predicted to increase from 5.2% during the 2019 fall semester to 7.4% in 2020’s fall semester. Unit vacancies have increased by 1% during that time and because of this, property owners will have no choice but to lower their rental fees just to get people through the door.

Some towns are unaffected

Although some major universities said they were discontinuing in-person learning in favor of remote learning, there are universities who are keeping in-person classes. In these towns, landlords are likely to see an influx of rental applications if/when on-campus housing closes.

Real estate investing is on shaky ground

For real estate investors, buying rental properties in college towns seems like a gold mine – especially if the rent is going to be cheaper than an out-of-state student paying for room and board on campus. For example, the average monthly rent for Ann Arbor, Michigan is about $1,600 and room and board at University of Michigan is $11,996.

Now, room and board at the university may be cheaper, but when you factor in other living expenses, it could add up quickly. However, if four students rent a 4-bedroom apartment that costs $3,300 per month… Each student would pay $825 per month or $9,900 per year, which is quite a bit cheaper, especially when you factor in that the students aren’t staying on campus the entire year.

Inventory fluctuates

Thirty percent of real estate agents that participated in the survey state the rental vacancies in their area have either stayed the same or are starting to decline. Even though the housing market in a particular area may differ from others, 81% of agents said their inventory is at an all time low, despite the fact that many landlords are selling their rentals.

The truth of the matter is this, COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of our lives and the housing market in university towns remains on shaky ground. As more students and faculty contract the virus, universities are closing their doors and students are going home. Even students who live off campus are leaving the area and are going back home to save money.

Local businesses in university towns are suffering due to a lack of patronage. Unless schools open back up in a safe manner, who knows what the 2020 Spring semester will fare. Will students return to university? Will real estate investors start investing again? Will the economy pick back up?

There are just so many questions that cannot be answered right now. But, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping for the best.