-Waking up in the morning
-Having a job
-Having good health
-Opening your fridge and pantry to a buffet table of food
-Jumping in your car and driving wherever you want to go
-Saying what you want to, when you want to, how you want to
Okay, this isn't a "wish" list....this my friends is my "don't take these precious things for granted" list....
For starters, you get up each day (which in itself is worth a prayer of thanksgiving!!) and turn on the water to brush your teeth, wash your face and then GULP, jump into a nice long HOT shower....That is what we need to think and talk about...
Don't worry, I'm not EVEN suggesting you forego any of the cleansing activities....that would just be WRONG....instead, I want to share a few stats with you....
In the TRUE GREEN book, it reminds you of 100 everyday ways you can contribute to a healthier planet.....and yep, you guessed it, water is listed on several pages....why? because we don't really "get it" and we have definitely started taking the nice flow of H2O from our faucets to mean, the supply is endless - NOT! Read on please....
How long is your shower? A family of 4, each taking a 5 minute shower 1 time a day, uses about 700 gallons of water every week! A standard showerhead, uses about 4-6 gallons of water PER MINUTE!!! If this same family of 4 used a "low slow showerhead", they would save up to 20,000 GALLONS of water , not to mention the energy used to heat that water!!! This also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 300 pounds per year! So the message here is, every MINUTE you shorten your shower, you save 4-6 GALLONS of water! Just imagine how many zillions of people are showering each day and if each one of us, cut our shower down a bit, and didn't use such HOT water, we would make a HUGE impact!!!! Next time you take a shower, just time yourself - I think you will be AMAZED at how long (and how unnecessary) your shower is! Come on, scrub a bit faster - do it for the planet!!! Cutting your shower from 10 minutes to 5 mintues, over the course of a year, would provide enough water to fill a backyard swimming pool AND saving an extra 2200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions just from the energy used to heat the water!!!! That 's over 4200 gallons of water you can save in that simple green effort!!!
Flushing it away - Okay, my sister lives in LA, and years ago, I remember being out there and California was way ahead of the rest of us, with its conservation efforts. I remember during my visit with her she told me, the motto is "if its pee, let it be, if it's brown, flush it down" - sorry, for the graphics, but that is really what the saying was....this was their daily effort at conserving energy and water.....I know, it's a tough idea to swallow and I'm not suggesting you do that, but just be aware...toilets use the most water in the home...Over 4.8 BILLION gallons of water are flushed down toilets EVERY DAY in just the US along, that equates to 9000 gallons of water per person every year! YIKES! Between the shower and the toilets, our "per person usage" is going up quickly!!! Older toilets use more than 3 gallons of water in 1 flush, vs modern reduced flow use a little more than 1 gallon....Keep that in mind during your next "toilet shopping spree" :)
Dishwashers and dishwashing - This accounts for 15 perscent of the household water use, not to mention HUNDREDS of pounds of greenhouse gases in hot water heating! The dishwasher can use more than 10.5 gallons of water per cycle, vs a newer model uses 1/2 that. Sooooooooooooo,
only run it when it is FULL and save 10-20 gallons of water per day! If you are a hand washer, that will likely use less, UNLESS you are one of those LET THE WATER RUN NON STOP people.... Remeber this is sending 2.5 gallons of water PER MINUTE right down the drain!!! And if it is HOT, you are emitting more greenhouse gases by the minute!
Washing machines - The average washing machine produces nearly 200 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, but if you choose HOT water, it gets worse! Over 80 percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from HEATING the water and a hot water wash generates 5 TIMES MORE in greenhosue gases than a cold wash! Choose cold and save 6.5 pounds in emissions FOR EVERY WASH! Be careful when adding your detergent also - for each 3.5 ounces of detergent, 3 pounds of greenhouse gases are generated!!! So remember, don't wash your clothes because you just didn't hang them up and you don't feel like it (come on, how many of you can relate to this!!) make sure they need washing and then only wash with a full load! I have switched to cold washes 98 percent of the time - and it works just fine! And hats off if you can do the line dry and save on the dryer!!
Water bottles - I know I have talked about this before, but sorry, I am very passionate about this one.....I too got caught up in the INSANE "bottled water" frenzy that caught on several years back! OMG, if we would just stop and think about it, it is insane. Especially considering the fact that many of the bottled waters have been tested and are NO DIFFERENT than our tap water! Buy a nice stainless steel water bottle - you will LOVE it and take it everywhere! Your beverage stays hot or cold for hours!!!! Remember, plastic comes from petroleum, a limited resource (like WATER!) and it takes over 1.5 MILLION BARRELS of oil each year, just to cover America's demand for bottled water!!! Converting this oil to gasoline equates to fueling 500,000 station wagons on coast to coast road trips!!!!! YIKES!!! Come on peeps, we can do this!!! I won't even tell you how many bottles are not recycled and could stretch across the globe and back as they litter our landfills and will be there long after we are "pushing up daisies" as they say :)
So, are you thirsty yet?! Hopefully there is still some water left, to quench your thirst!!!
So just for today, think about what you take for granted?!?!? And think about what you can do to make our planet a little better, a little less "gassy"......
Remember, we need to drink a lot of water every day, so save some from your showers, toilets, washing machines etc - so you can have your 8-10 glasses in your stainless steel mug :). Yikes, I just read that and want to reiterate, I'm not suggesting you drink from the toilet!
Here's to an H2O toast to our planet!
Have a great Sunday!