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How the Princess Saved Her Country

(A true story as told by the Planet Janitor)


Once upon a time, the King's beautiful daughter grew increasingly worried about something that was happening in her country. Deforestation. The trees were disappearing.

This was very serious because once the trees were gone her country would net be beautiful anymore. It would be barren - a hot and dusty and dry desert. The animals would have nowhere to live and nothing to eat. Worst of all, the people would not be able to survive in a desert for very long.

So, what was making the trees disappear?

Well, it seems that the people were cutting them down. Can you imagine?

Now, what do you suppose would be the best way to handle the problem of the disappearing trees? Couldn't a law be passed so the trees couldn't be cut down?

Sure. But before you get too angry about it, listen to the reason the people were cutting down the trees. They needed to eat. They cut down the trees to heat water for cooking. Hmm, that makes a difference, doesn't it? You can't really pass a law that keeps people from eating, can you?

So, the problem remained. The people needed to eat. They cut down trees to heat water for cooking. But once all the trees were gone, the beautiful, lush, green countryside would turn into a desert. Then there would be no food to cook because nothing could grow. It was a serious dilemma.

Well, the Princess know how to use her head. (She may have been beautiful; but she knew that using her head was much more important.) So she asked the Planet Janitor to find someone to help her design a solar water heater. It had to be quick, simple and inexpensive to build. And it had to be made of materials that would be easy to find in her country.

With such a solar water heater, the people could heat all the water they needed without cutting down trees. That lovely, lush, green country would not turn into a desert.

The Planet Janitor know exactly who could help the Princess. He brought her to the Florida Solar Energy Center where she learned how to build a simple solar water heater. She took the directions home for her people to follow and they quickly set to work.

For each solar water heater they build, they used piping and a 55-gallon steel barrel called a drum. They painted the drum black and enclosed it with cement blocks and sand. They finished their new solar water heaters with reflective insulation and a sheet of window glass. The people loved their new water heaters. Life was so much easier. The water heated nicely to 150°F. Children and clumsy adults were less apt to be burned. The air was cleaner since there wasn't so much smoke billowing into it any longer. The people had time to do things that were more fun and much less work than cutting down trees. And the country stayed green and beautiful, which was good for everyone, the people and the animals.

The King was very proud of his daughter and the people all wrote her thank-you notes because they were so grateful.

The End . . .
. . . or should we say
The Beginning

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