Essential Celebrates Earth Day: Reports Progress Toward ESG Commitments


As a utility company whose job it is to protect and provide natural resources for communities across the nation, Earth Day holds a special meaning to many of us at Essential.

Essential announced a number of sustainability commitments over the last 14 months, and we released our 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report in late 2020. And since Earth Day supports efforts made toward protecting the environment, there’s no better time to provide updates on our sustainability progress:

  • We are pleased to report that we have successfully achieved a 3% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as of December 2020, which is on track for our 2035 goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from our 2019 baseline. This 60% reduction is roughly equivalent to removing 76,000 cars from the road each year.

  • We are also on schedule to achieve 100% wind power through Green-e Renewable Energy Certificates for our Aqua operations in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania by early 2022. Switching to renewable energy options throughout our footprint will help drive the progress toward our emissions reduction target.

Our obligation to uphold these ESG initiatives drives us to continue exploring sustainable and productive approaches to business. We’re confident that our environmental commitments coupled with our team’s passion for providing exceptional service and resources to our customers puts us on a constructive path for advancement.

Achieving these ESG goals –  to sustain and better the environment –  is nothing short of a team effort. But as we all know, to make an even greater impact in our communities, we must also support local organizations who are working passionately toward similar sustainability goals. This is why the Essential Foundation donated to two sustainability nonprofits this year: the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund, which funds grants to improve the quality and quantity of water in the Schuylkill River, and TreeVitalize, which provides grants to communities to increase tree cover in Pennsylvania. Aqua’s Pennsylvania operations have been partnered with TreeVitalize for more than 15 years and have restored about 1,000 acres with native species by planting over 170,000 trees and shrubs.

Together, we make a difference every day and I want to thank every Essential employee for their commitment to sustainability and passion for upholding Essential’s values.

Please stay tuned for a further expanded and updated ESG report this summer, which for the first time will include Peoples’ operations!



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4 DIY Water Experiments for Kids of All Ages

Summer may be around the corner, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop learning! There's no need for a science lab or fancy equipment with these DIY experiments—everything you need is probably in your kitchen cabinets. 


Keep reading to check out these water-ful experiments, and get ready to learn all about the science operating behind the scenes.



1.Homemade Lava Lamp


What you need

  • A wide container
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Alka-seltzer tablet


How to do it 

  1. Fill your container about ¾ of the way with vegetable oil.
  2. Fill the remaining space with water and leave just 2–3 inches at the top. Notice how the water falls through the vegetable oil and settles at the bottom due to having a higher density.
  3. After the water has settled, add about 10 drops of food coloring to create the “lava.” These droplets will fall through the oil and sit on top of the water before bursting through the line.
  4. Drop in an Alka-seltzer tablet and watch the magic happen!


Why it works

The Alka-seltzer tablet produces carbon dioxide gas bubbles once it hits water. Since the combination of water and air is less dense than the oil, these bubbles rise to the top, which looks like a lava lamp when mixed with color! Once they reach the surface, the bubbles break and the gas is released into the air while the water sinks back down to the bottom. Then, the whole process starts over again!


2. Multicolor Flowers


What you need


  • One cup
  • White flowers
  • Water
  • Food coloring


How to do it

  1. Cut the stems of your white flowers. Ensure the cut is slanted and the stems are fairly short to help the color move quickly from stem to petal.
  2. Place the cut flowers into a cup of warm water.
  3. Add about 30 drops of food coloring to the water and wait. The color change can take about an hour, or you can set them aside at night and wake up to rainbow flowers in the morning!


Why it works

The star of this experiment is capillary action, which is the ability of liquids to travel through small spaces despite the direction of gravity. Even though water normally flows downwards, capillary action helps it flow up the flower stems. This is the same magic that happens when water gets drawn into a sponge and when your hair retains moisture after you get it wet.


3. Tornado in a Jar

What you need 

  • One mason jar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • Glitter or small objects (optional)


How to do it

  1. Fill the mason jar with water and leave about an inch of space at the top.
  2. Pour in the dish soap and vinegar, then add any glitter.
  3. Secure the lid and swirl the jar for about 5 seconds. Set it down on the table to watch the tornado appear!


Why it works

When you swirl the jar, you’re creating a vortex just like in a real hurricane! The centripetal force causes the water to spin around that vortex, which looks just like a mini tornado.


4. Skittles Art 


What you need

  • Skittles
  • Plates
  • Water

How to do it 

  1. Take out your Skittles and pick which colors you want to use.
  2. Grab a plate and arrange your chosen Skittles around the edge of the plate. Try creating a pattern, like alternating colors.
  3. Carefully pour water in the middle of the plate until it reaches all the Skittles and just barely covers them.
  4. Sit back and watch your candy turn into art!

Why it works

The key to this experiment is stratification. This word is used to describe the way things are arranged, just like how the Skittle colors stay side by side instead of mixing. Each section of dissolving food coloring creates a new solution when it mixes with the water. This means that each section has a different density than the one next to it. This creates barriers and prevents them from mixing.


Ready to roll up your sleeves and learn something new with the whole family? Take a look at what’s available in your kitchen and decide which experiment you can do today!

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Winter Activities for Every Type of Weather


To sled or not to sled… that is the question. When you think of winter activities, the first things that come to mind are probably building snowmen, making snow angels, and having friendly snowball fights. 

But what if it doesn’t snow? There are plenty of areas across our Aqua states that experience different types of winter weather, but they can have just as much fun! Whether or not it snows in your region, we’re here to think outside the box with creative winter activities to keep things fresh and fun for the whole family.



No Snow? No Problem

If you live in a place that never experiences snow or the winter season just isn’t delivering those picture-perfect snowy scenes, you can still make your own! All you need to make fake snow is two ingredients: baking soda and water. 

Here's how to do it:

1. Pour 4 cups of frozen baking soda into a large bowl or container.

2. Slowly begin to add cold water to the baking soda and mix

3. Keep adding cold water until you reach your desired consistency


Snow Art

Spice up your snow day activities by adding snow paint into the mix! This easy, DIY recipe allows kids of all ages to use the whole yard as a canvas. 

What you'll need:

  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups water
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Funnel (optional) 

Whether you want to build a mini snowman or add some winter flair to your holiday decorations, this simple process is easy for kids to follow along and be a part of the magic. The frozen baking soda makes the fake snow cold to the touch, making it even more realistic. 


Get mixing:

  • Mix cornstarch with water until you reach a milky consistency
  • Add food coloring and stir until mixure is your desired color
  • Carefully pour the mixture into a spray bottle (this is where the optional funnel comes in)
  • Repeat the simple process with various colors

Now you’re ready to paint! Experiment with different spray settings and colors for a fun-filled snowy afternoon. 

Speaking of snow, don’t forget to check out our guide to making your own snow globes for holiday decorations or gifts. 

Have a safe and happy holiday season! 

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Get in the Holiday Spirit with DIY Snow Globes


If you’re looking for a fun DIY project for kids and adults alike, you’ve come to the right place! Snow globes are a staple of any holiday fun, and creating your own makes for both a fun activity with the family and a great homemade gift. Plus, any snow globe includes our favorite material: water!

What you’ll need:

-A small glass mason jar
-A plastic figurine (or whatever you’d like to be the star of the scene)
-Glitter or sequins
-Super glue or a hot glue gun

What to do:

1. Get creative and choose what you want to be the centerpiece of your snow globe. Use something like a plastic figurine, a Lego, or a small ornament. It can be holiday-themed or even beach-themed to warm you up during the colder months!
2. Once you have your figurine, use super glue or a hot glue gun to attach the plastic object to the lid of the jar.
3.Fill the jar with cold water.
4.Add your desired amount of glitter and sequins.
5.Screw the lid back onto the jar.
6.Turn it upside down and make it “snow”! 

Bonus tip: Add a few drops of glycerin to make the glitter float even better.  

Ta-da! Now, you have your very own snow globe to enjoy throughout the season or give as a holiday gift. We’d love to see your creations—share with us on Facebook and Twitter

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Why Can I See My Breath in Cold Weather?


It’s a chilly fall morning as you head outside to grab the mail, but wait… you can see your breath! That’s how you know winter is right around the corner and cold weather is coming. Have you ever wondered why you can see your breath in these chilly temperatures? It’s a simple answer: water.

While many attribute the visible breath solely to falling temperatures, the amount of moisture in the atmosphere is just as important. The perfect combination of temperature and humidity is actually the cause of the age-old phenomenon.

The Science Behind It All

The human body is made up of nearly 70 percent water, which causes the air in our lungs to be almost completely saturated in water vapor, which is water in its gas form. This water vapor is the same temperature as our bodies, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, which is often why cold winter days feel so dry and hot summer days are thick with humidity

When you exhale a breath filled with the warm air from your lungs, it enters the cold atmosphere of a winter day. The cold air immediately lowers the temperature of our breath and briefly reaches a dew point. A dew point is the exact temperature the air needs to be at to achieve humidity.


Air cannot hold water vapor at dew point, causing the gas to turn to liquid form, or water vapor to water. This is the process of condensation and what makes up that little foggy cloud we see in the cold. The transformation of gas to liquid creates miniscule water droplets visible to the human eye.

This is a great way to visualize exactly how far things travel when you’re simply breathing and speaking. These tiny water molecules in your breath spread just as easily in every type of weather. All the more reason to wear a mask to prevent spreading germs!

Just How Cold Does it Have to Be?

There is no exact temperature in which condensation is guaranteed to occur. As we know, the relative humidity in the air is a contributing environmental factor that goes into the equation of visible breath. However, when the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see your breath.




Now the next time you see your breath on a cold day, you’ll know you’re seeing the process of condensation in action.

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