DROUGHT AND CONSERVATION

I knew last spring when I was complaining about the incessant rain that by the middle of summer I would be wishing for rain. It’s not quite the middle of summer and this area is having a drought. We were fortunate to have had one inch of rain last weekend, but conditions are dry enough that I needed to water the garden two days later. The good news is the rain falling on the roof was enough to fill the rain barrels again, so I now have free water to use on the garden.

We humans cannot control the rain so I believe we should value water as much as we value the air we breathe. In this geographical area water comes from deep wells. Just as many rivers in the western part of the United States are becoming very low or running dry, the underground water streams that feed the deep wells will eventually run out of water as well if the climate continues as it is predicted and if we keep consuming water at the current rate. It is, therefore, prudent to conserve water in our everyday lives. If a person is on a public water system, conserving water also saves on the water bill.

My hot water heater is on one end of the house and my shower is on the other. When I want to take a shower, I used to let the hot water faucet run until the hot water reached the shower. All that cool water just ran down the drain until warm water came out of the spigot. Now, I catch that cool water in a bucket and use it to water my plants, both flower and garden. I do the same, only with smaller buckets, at all the other faucets in my house. I can see a monetary difference in my bill. Next winter I will use the captured water for houseplants and to flush my toilet.

I am too old to try living off the grid, but I enjoy using my personal energy to save Earth’s resources to perhaps help keep the climate live-able for my grandchildren and great-grands.

Most of the actions I take to conserve Earth’s resources also save me money: I dry the laundry on the clothesline, water my garden by gravity flow from rain barrels, only grocery shop once a month, grow my own food and shop locally. I am checking into having a weatherization audit done (for free) to see if I can conserve energy that way. I turn off the TV and other appliances that I am not using. I organize my shopping so that everything is done in one trip. I buy used items, borrow or barter, whenever possible.

Apparently governments around the world in general are more interested in profits than the well-being of our planet. Therefore, it is incumbent for all of us to use as little of the Earth’s resources as possible. The frugal actions I take make my life better, more enjoyable, more sustainable. We all need to eat, we all need to keep our homes warm or cool, we all need to be able to commute from one place to another, but we can all be more thoughtful, conservative, and frugal as we do that. I challenge each of you to find ways to conserve Earth’s bounty in your daily lives. If this planet overheats, we are all doomed. Do what you can to keep our climate survivable. Hopefully, world leaders will take action before climate doom happens. In the meantime, do as much as possible in your own little corner of the world.

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