Household productsEvery 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.

For more information about the Up the Pipe project contact  Dr Louis Tremblay.


Teaching Resources

 What products do you use in your house, how can they affect they environment and what changes could be made?

Get your students to think about what goes down the drain and what we can do about it.


Teacher notes, experiences and activities, and lesson plans, are designed to be used in conjunction with one another. 

Teaching Resources Y4-6

Teaching Resources Y7-8

Picture of clams [DOCX, 18 MB]Y4-6 Teachers notes [DOCX, 18 MB]
Picture of mayfly nymph [DOCX, 17 MB]Y7-8 Teachers notes [DOCX, 17 MB]
[DOCX, 4.5 MB]
Picture of the water cycle [DOCX, 4.5 MB]Y4-6 Learning Experiences and Activities [DOCX, 4.5 MB]
Picture of water treatment cycle [DOCX, 4.5 MB]Y7-8 Learning Experiences and Activities


Template of a house for what goes down your drain

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





 Blank lesson plans

Picture of how to create your own water cycle [DOCX, 27 KB]

 Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL1-2





Diagram of where your poo goes [DOCX, 27 KB]

Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL3-4 [DOCX, 27 KB]





Fluorescing bacteria [DOCX, 27 KB]

 Lesson Plan for Science Unit CL5-6




Picture of a worm [DOCX, 22 KB]

 Lesson Plan CL1-2 template




Picture of a bacteria [DOCX, 22 KB]

Lesson Plan CL3-4 template







Page updated 8/9/2017

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