Up the Pipe: Engaging communities to reduce contaminants in biowaste

Breadcrumbs

Every day we use dozens of household cleaning products and personal care products. These get flushed down the drain and into our wastewater systems or septic tanks, but what happens to them when they're out in our environment? 

While CIBR ecotoxicologists are hard at work understanding the fate of these chemicals in our environment, It's just as important to know how they get there.

Consumers play a critical role in reducing contaminants in biowaste, so CIBR researchers work in close partnership with communities. Research was conducted on consumer behaviours. From this, we developed learning resources for schools to support behaviour change in the use of household cleaning and personal care products.

In this project, students take on the role of investigators – critically reflecting upon how they and their families use household products. Tools developed to engage with students and their families include a questionnaire in which students are required to identify products in their laundry, kitchen or bathroom that had ingredients they did not recognise or were concerned about. Students also interview a parent or caregiver who is the primary household shopper about their motivations for purchasing household cleaning or personal care products. 

A popular component of the project is teaching students to make their own environmentally friendly personal care products using simple household ingredients. CIBR staff are also developing interactive classroom activities for younger children, with the help of experienced education professionals.

The CIBR scientist leading the Up the Pipe project is Dr Louis Tremblay (Louis.Tremblay@cawthron.org.nz).

Teaching Resources

Up Pipe Teaching Resource Year 4-6

Up Pipe Teaching Resource Year 7-8

Lesson Plan CL1-2 template [DOCX, 28 KB]
Lesson Plan CL3-4 template [DOCX, 28 KB]
Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL1-2 [DOCX, 32 KB]
Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL3-4 [DOCX, 33 KB]
Y4-6 Learning Experiences and Activities [DOCX, 4.5 MB]
Y4-6 Teacher's notes [DOCX, 18 MB]
Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL3-4a [DOCX, 28 KB]
Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL5-6 [DOCX, 33 KB]
Y7-8 Learning Experiences and Activities [DOCX, 4.5 MB]
Y7-8 Teacher's notes [DOCX, 17 MB]

Resource - What goes down the drain in your house

Resource - What goes down the drain in your house.pdf [PDF, 5.5 MB]