As one of nine children, if we wanted warm water to last, we took navy showers. Papa taught us to turn on the shower to wet down and wash faces first, off to shampoo our hair, back on to rinse our hair and wet the washcloth, off while soaping our bodies and on one last time to rinse. It dawned on me as an adult that this lifelong habit also saved me money.
Later, I heard a conservationist on the radio asked what one thing people could do that would help. He said pouring leftover water from plastic bottles onto lawns instead of in sinks would filter it naturally. It would seep down into the aquifers, contributing to fresh water sources. Don’t, he said, dump it down sinks, where it’s needlessly retreated in sewage plants to make it potable again.
I started doing this immediately and also stopped running water while brushing my teeth. Why run perfectly good water in the sink while you’re busy for 60 seconds removing plaque? Since we pay for clean drinking water, that’s money down the drain.
Buffalonians are very lucky to live on the shores of Lake Erie, assuring us of fresh water. That is, until it dries up. As the shallowest Great Lake, it’ll probably be the first to go. Looking west, it seems a foregone conclusion that global warming will affect Buffalo. If you haven’t seen the pictures of horrific forest fires and of lakes and reservoirs reduced to puddles, read about towns bereft of water or seen the videos of shellfish baked in their own shells along ocean shores, start researching. Don’t shrug your shoulders and say there’s nothing you can do. Start by doing just the three things outlined here. It won’t seriously affect your quality of life and it’s a start.
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