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When we flush old medicine down the toilet, do we really consider what environmental impacts we are having? Chemicals, fertilizers and other forms of pollution all travel our waterways and end up in oceans. Famed cartoonist Jim Toomey asks all of us to think about the role of human carelessness in destroying sensitive marine ecosystems like coral reefs. No matter where we live, everything we do can potentially help or harm the oceans that are so important to the health of our planet.
This video can be used to support Grade 4-8 lessons exploring biodiversity, interactions in the environment and water systems. Students could map a local watershed and describe potential impacts like agricultural runoff or construction. Field investigations such as water sampling could evaluate pollution parameters like turbidity and pH. The research could also include recommendations for conservation actions on a community level.
Disposing of old medications down drains is common and often not considered in terms of ecosystem health. A class could organize a medicine collection drive with local pharmacists to raise community awareness of the environmental issues associated with this practice.
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