Purchase photos

Event puts conservation in spotlight





Families stood inside the 18-foot tall Earth balloon Saturday in The Mall as part of a program to raise awareness about water and energy conservation.

Kansas State University's Research and Extension Office hosted the event this weekend to educate approximately 300 attendees about how different factors affect their water and energy use. This was the first year to include information on energy, Stacie Minson, KSU watershed specialist, said.

"The program encourages people to look more at their environment and conservation, whether it is water or energy use," Minson said.

The city of Hays had a table at the event to promote its program aimed at saving water. City residents can come to City Hall at 1507 Main and exchange their old low-flow showerheads for a more efficient one from choices that range from free to $5.

There were several exhibits and games to spread information about conservation.

Edible aquifers, made with milk to represent water and chocolate or strawberry syrup for pollution, showed how waste above ground can seep into soil and taint aquifers. Pet waste, brine from oil drilling and antifreeze are just a few contaminants that endanger water quality.

One booth demonstrated how cellulose and foam were better insulators than Fiberglass. There were also trivia games that gave energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs away as prizes.