Many of us know that simple changes, such as using energy efficient light bulbs and adding weather stripping to doors can improve a building’s energy efficiency. Camp Young Judaea at Sprout Lake focused on their water consumption and how they could, with a one-time investment, dramatically reduce their resource use.

Sprout Lake’s toilets were old and used a lot of water. Every summer, the constant flushing of toilets resulted in their well running dry, and the camp had to tap their emergency backup well. The old toilets, which used 6 gallons of water with each flush, were in desperate need of replacement.

July 29, 2013: Session 2 of Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake in Verbank, New York.

Campers stand by the newly installed low-flow toilets

The Gendler Grapevine Project at Sprout Lake centered on vastly reducing the camp’s water usage through a water conservation project. They replaced 40 old, inefficient toilets with low-flow toilets. During the camp season, these low-flow toilets saved approximately 6,000 gallons of water a day!

Another important part of their project was educating campers about water usage. Campers participated in several projects focused on water conservation, and the camp placed informative posters outside of each bathroom. The posters provided simple ways to make significant gains in water efficiency, such as turning off the sink while brushing teeth and taking no more than 5-minute showers. The campers did a great job making sure they didn’t waste water.

The reduction in water usage really helped the camp with their water supply. For the first time, they didn’t have to tap into their emergency well!

Finally, the Camp involved their camp families by sending home a packet about water conservation, which included a water pitcher and a magnet with tips on how to conserve water. Through this effort, campers brought this new knowledge to their homes and local communities. Sprout Lake hopes that when the families use the water pitchers, they are reminded of the Camp’s water conservation efforts.

To learn more about the project and read a step-by-step guide on how you can replicate it, click here.