Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Water, water, everywhere...

It's been a while since I've posted, and I wish I could say it's because I have cut down on my electricity usage and couldn't access my computer, but that is simply untrue. The truth of the matter is that I've been overcome by busy-ness, cleaning, re-cleaning, decluttering, doctor's appointments, gardening, family time, etc, that living life has prevented me from having too much time to ramble in my blog. Regardless, I have a few moments now while James sleeps and thought it was high time that I went ahead and wrote something.

Today I really feel moved to discuss water conservation. My household has been using more water the past month or so than ever before and I don't see it stopping any time soon. When we have a "house" where we have room for a rain barrel, we will of course utilize one of those. A rain barrel for those of you who have not heard about them, cost approximately $60-100 (generally more towards the $100) and naturally collects rainfall. You are then able to pump the water out for things such as watering plants, washing the car, etc. A crude rain barrel could of course be made out of any sort of container, although it is important to make sure that the container has a lid to prevent bugs from finding their way into the water. A rain barrel is an incredibly great investment, and will make collecting rain water as easy and painless as possible.

But unfortunately, we, the Resslers, do not have a big yard where we are able to keep a rain barrel, and we have plenty of plants that need watering, fish that need water changes, amongst other uses for our water such as showers, dishes, laundry, and plain old drinking. So the question becomes, how do we conserve as much water while still enjoying the perks of having nature in our home, and the perks of modern plumbing. There are several ways people can do this. There are shower heads that reduce the amount of water used per shower by up to 40%. Definitely a great investment and a good way to cut down on your water bill. When you change the water from your fish tank, it can go directly onto your plant soil, where the extra nutrients will actually enhance, not hurt the plants. There is the awkward, but effective "if it's brown flush it down, if it's yellow, let it mellow" adage about toilet flushing, which can save several gallons per day. Of course, running the washer or dishwasher when they are not full is another colossal waste of water. There are a decent amount of people out there who still don't shut the water off while brushing their teeth, or leave the shower running for 5 minutes while they prepare to get into it. Preventing water waste like that is easy and effective as well.

Drinking water is a vital part of our lives, and I don't recommend conserving water by not drinking it, but I do recommend making sure that you buy a good filter (either a filtration system or a simple brita filter) to make sure your drinking water is safe. Be sure to drink from the faucet (with your filter) rather than drinking bottled water which adds plastic waste to our earth, and if you have half a cup of water you didn't finish, set it aside for later, or use it to water those plants rather than dumping it down the drain!

Buying products that are close to home, particularly foods (from the farmer's market rather than the grocery store), or buying foods that are not from industrial farms is another way to conserve water. The amount of water used by industrial farming, and used in transit is staggering. Simply by having your own garden or frequenting the farmer's market, we can support farmers and food growth with minimal water waste.

It isn't always easy to conserve water, and it will become harder as the pressure mounts with our resources dwindling, but it is vital. I have only written out a few suggestions but there are millions of ways that water can be conserved. And it's our job to do so, in any and every way we can.