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Letters to the editor from Jaci Van's sixth-graders

Editor's Note: Students in Jaci Van's sixth-grade class at Crestview Elementary School wrote letters to the editor after studying persuasive writing. Each student chose a topic of interest to them regarding Minnesota's water. These are some of their letters.

Car pool, it will help

Do you think pollution helps? I definitely believe it is horrible! Many other people believe that too. One big pollutant is automobiles.

Here are some tips to help rescue the environment. If you drive to work every single day you pollute the air. If someone works by you or works with you, an idea is to car pool. Then one less car will be on the road. If you have multiple cars you should get rid of one car; it will help the earth. Riding a bike or walking to work would help to lessen pollution too. Also if you were going to go to a shop down the road you could walk or bike. It would be splendid for the environment.

Help the earth by trying my tips about cars. They make a humungous difference.

Autumn Carlson

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Blame the farmers

Farmers are polluting the earth. If we run out of water blame the farmers. We have to stop now! This is how farmers are polluting rivers:

The farmers put manure on their fields which seeps into the soil and the groundwater. To have healthy plants farmers use fertilizer. The substance has many dangerous chemicals that seep into the groundwater. Then it goes into the river flow. So don't use fertilizer. They irrigate too much which wastes water. They should do it once a week.

When we run out of water, what will we have to drink?

Jean Pierre Pallais

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Help us!

How often do you shower and where? Some people in different countries don't even take baths or showers once a week. When they do take baths or showers it isn't in clean water either. If you want to keep the privilege of taking baths and showers in clean water, follow these steps in how to conserve water in the bathtub and shower.

First, take about five-minute showers. It may be difficult for you to keep track of the time, so you might want to obtain a timer. This way you will use less water, and won't take 20-minute showers. Second, try to take baths every once in a while. Fill your bath tub up to what you believe is about six inches. This way you will use less water than a shower, plus it can be as long as you want. Third, let's say that your hair is really greasy but the rest of your body isn't soiled. Well, just wash your hair in the sink! Then it's easier and you use way less water.

Do you really want to bathe in filthy water? You just might develop a disease from it. If not please follow the tips above. Help us conserve water in the bathtub and shower.

Mallorie Briggs

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Fishermen pollution

Do you want to have problems with the lakes and rivers? If we don't start caring about the lakes and rivers we will have problems with them in the future because they are polluted. Here is some advice.

You should check your boat motor for gas and oil leaks. If you do not you will be polluting the fish. The oil and gas will poison them. When you are done fishing check and rinse your boat for zebra mussles so you don't transfer them from lake to lake. If you see garbage clean it up and throw it away. If you don't do that you are causing the lake and rivers to be destroyed from pollution.

If you care about other people and how they feel you will start caring for the lakes and rivers.

Carter McPherson

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Save the Water

Do you want water for your clothes? With water being wasted you might not have any.

People who like to be neat don't wash clothes with a half load; they use full loads. If you absolutely need to use half or smaller loads of laundry don't use a full tank of water. If you use half loads or smaller switch your water level to the right amount. If you think you're misspending water look at what your water level is. If it is too much water for the load switch it.

Don't you want water to wash your clothes? If so I would contemplate listening to me and follow my advice!

Andrew Michalec

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Shining lakes or shining cars?

Have you ever washed your car at home? Most people have. But would you do this if you knew that the soapy water was traveling down the nearest drain and into our lakes and rivers? Would you if you knew fish consumed that soapy, possibly dangerous, chemical? Would you eat those fish?

The first thing you can do to help is go to the car wash. They will clean the water before it goes into the lakes and rivers. Second you can wash your car less. Your car can live with just a wash now and then. Maybe even less when there is no salt on the roads. The third thing is inform others; the more people know the more they can help.

Minnesota is known for its lakes. Do you want to be known as "The Land of 10,000 Polluted Lakes?" So what's more important: a nice looking car or thousands of pure gleaming lakes and clean rushing rivers? It's up to you to make a difference.

Kallie O'Neill

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

You're killing the environment

People are killing the environment by littering in the water. People kill fish from the littering they do. The fish choke on plastic wrappers.

Animals drink the water then get sick and die. People leak oil into ponds from their boats. Check your boat's tubes. You can't eat the fish out of the river or pond. Garbage is thrown out and sometimes the bag rips. Then the person leaves it there. It will blow away and then go into the lake. You should use stronger garbage bags.

Animals are dieing from the water. We won't have many birds and fish because of the polluted water. We won't sleep well at night or napping if they do work on the body of water.

Jason Tipcke

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Hold onto hooks

Would you like to get hurt by getting poked by a fishing hook? If you don't you should follow these rules while fishing.

Buy a new fishing pole. Get a real fishing pole, not a push the button one because they tend to break easier. If the line breaks it can pollute the water. Use a one-sided hook; there is a greater chance of a four-sided hook poking someone. Don't leave your hook out too long. If you leave it out too long it is more of a chance something will snag it.

If you follow these rules you can save people, fish, the earth, and other creatures.

Logan Jacobson

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Picnics/ beach party alert

Do you see trash on playgrounds and ignore it? Well, we can stop that. We shouldn't litter our environment because it hurts our water system. All that garbage in the rivers is killing our fish.

You know it is spring now, and it's soon going to be summer. Knowing that people now have beach parties and picnics, you don't want to litter and not throw away your garbage. Some things you can do to stop litter from going into the water system and destroying your environment is throw your non-recyclables in the garbage and start alerting people about this. By tossing all your non-recyclables in the garbage you are less likely to gain a habit of littering. If you increase awareness in your neighborhood about littering they will be alert, and tell other people. Some other reasons are if you see trash on the floor pick it up. It obviously has to be safe to pick up, but do pick it up. Also, use items like real cups and paper plates. Avoid using Styrofoam so you don't have to struggle with the clean up or take the easy way out by not cleaning it up.

There are numerous ways to help our water supply and stop us from littering, but it only takes one person to make a difference. If you care about our environment and the people that live in it wouldn't you agree to do these things?

Eden Abraham

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Keep chemicals out of rivers

Do you like to put gas or oil in our river? Don't so people can go boating.

They can change oil before going boating so it won't spill in our river. Check your boat to see if it has leaks so it won't spill into our river. If you're on a lake use a canoe or paddle boat instead of a motor boat. You can save gas and energy, it pollutes less, and it will give you a workout.

Don't put dangerous chemicals in our river. It can kill fish and other creatures.

LJ Hegland

Crestview Elementary


You breathe what you pollute

Do you ever get that weird feeling in your lungs when you breathe in? I know I do. I believe we pollute the air way too much. I can inform you of a few simple ways to make less car pollution.

Here are some ways to pollute less. The first is carpool; nobody can argue with buying less gas at these prices. Ride a bike or walk; doing this is healthy and also saves money on gas. Ride public transportation, it is a much larger form of carpooling. If you can, ride a motor scooter. It is smaller; therefore, it uses less gas, and it's fun.

If you follow these simple and beneficial guidelines, you can help make less pollution. It's easy to follow these, so why not help out?

Haley Wilson

6th grade, Crestview Elementary

Worried about our water?

When you take a shower or bath, do you think about how much water you are using? Sometimes baths and showers can really hurt the world. I feel strongly about the conservation of water.

Here are a few, simple ideas that could help you conserve water. You could use a timer when you take a shower, and when it goes off then you'll know that it's time to get out. When you wash your body and hair, turn off the water so you are not wasting water that is not needed. If and when you take a bath, only fill the tub half way. It would be a better idea to take a bath instead of a shower because water isn't constantly running when it isn't needed.

Even conserving a little bit of water could make a huge difference. Think about how much water we have and how others have little or none. Whoever cares for the lives of others would support the conservation of water.

Alyssa Wurzbacher

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Picnics are bad for the environment

Why are picnics and beach parties bad for the environment? Litter can pollute the water. Broken bottles can cut people. Pop carriers can harm animals.

First, if you see trash on the ground pick it up. Second, if you have a picnic pick up your trash. Third, before you leave check if you have littered.

I hope that you do something about littering in our parks and beaches.

Jordan Dupey

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

We can make a difference

Splash, splash there goes that water down the drain. Stop wasting water from 15 minutes of washing your hair. Do you know where that water comes from?

That water comes from our lakes. So that 15 minutes of water is going down the drain wasted. So please stop wasting water, and just take a shower every other day or only five minutes a day. You're wasting that water while people in Africa don't bathe that often because they don't have much water. In some parts of Africa they have to wait in line for clean water because they don't have much!

If you care about wasted water you will take my advice. If you do this we will have clean water for a long time.

Emma Bonngard

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Water down your drain

Do you want clean water? We are lucky to have pure water because some countries don't.

What you can do is set a time while you're showering. Setting a timer will prevent thirty minute showers. If you're taking a bath don't fill up the tub so high. Use only as much water as you need. Our water is superior and we want to save it.

Do you know how fortunate we are to have this water? Other countries don't have water like us. Countries like Africa have to wait hours in line for clean water.

Kevin Xiong

6th grade, Crestview

Do you enjoy boating?

Boating is a fun thing to do right? Yes, but do you really want to be boating in a polluted river or lake? How about swimming? Ponder that!

Here are some things you can do to help our rivers or lakes: You could check your boat for oil leaks before you depart out to the water. If your oil tank has a leak the oil could leak out. Also, you could try something fresh and just use paddles. That would make the water clean. Make sure that you close gas tanks. Gas could leak out. This one is for the fishermen: Do you really want to gobble on fish that have been polluted? If not follow the above tips.

Well I know that I don't want to be boating in polluted areas. If people would just consider it and aid our water, we could really make our water more useful.

Sarah Grace Quinn

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Listen up all you commuters!

As you may know gas prices are at an all time high. I'm here to tell you why you should car pool, and what its benefits are.

If you car pool with someone not only will you keep money in your pocket, but you will help protect our earth. By carpooling you are reducing gas emissions in the air, therefore reducing pollution. If you live close to your work you can take a stroll or ride a bike instead. When you follow these tips you will help to protect our Earth.

Anyone who wants to keep the environment safe will carpool. How much do you care?

Amanda Grein

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader

Attention all car washers

Have you ever thought of what you're eating while you are eating your fish? Think twice before you wash your car on the driveway.

You probably have noticed, but summer is coming soon which means people washing their cars by hand. But all that soapy water goes down the sewer which is where rain washes in the lakes and rivers. All that soapy water is in the lake which is where the fish are! Even if you don't eat fish, how would you feel if someone put soapy water in your lungs? I thought so. Go to a car wash; they clean the water before it gets in the sewer.

On behalf of you and your family's health, think twice before you wash your car by hand.

Summy Banjo

Crestview Elementary sixth-grader