Saving Water for Our Planet and for Ourselves
In 1993, I had the privilege of taking a weekend workshop with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, founder of the School for Body-Mind Centering. The weekend focused on fluids in the body—blood, lymph, synovial, cerebrospinal, cellular and intercellular. Bonnie led us through explorations that helped us understand how these vital fluids function on both physiological and experiential levels.
In 8th grade health class, I remember learning that our bodies were anywhere from 50 to 75 percent water, but I didn’t really think about what that means until Bonnie’s workshop. My most important takeaway was an understanding that all our cells are made up of fluid (cellular) and surrounded by fluid (intercellular). In other words, we’re a veritable ocean of fluid.
All this is to say that water is vital to our lives. Perhaps not coincidentally, similar to our watery, human bodies, 71 percent of our Earth’s surface is covered with water. Only about one percent of that is usable by humans. Currently, 1.2 billion humans struggle to have sufficient water.
We may not be experiencing water shortages in our own lives, but as the population grows in the coming decades, we—especially those of us who live in the arid West—could also begin to experience water struggles. As Chief Seattle said, “What we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves.”
It only makes sense that we treat our most precious resource with the respect it deserves. It may seem that our individual actions don’t have power, but when we all act together, we can do a lot to save our planet’s water. Here’s a site that discusses some of the important reasons to conserve water.
In honor of Earth Week, here are some suggestions that cost little or no money that will go a long way:
- Fix leaky faucets. It’s actually really easy. Here’s a website that takes you through the process.
- Don’t run the water while you brush your teeth or wash dishes. An average of up to four gallons can go right down the drain while we’re brushing our teeth, and up to 25 gallons of water are wasted if we run water while we’re washing dishes. If you have a double sink, fill one side with a few inches of water for rinsing.
- When you boil or steam veggies, save the cooking water to use for soup stock.
- Water your plants with what would otherwise be wasted water. Here are a few ways: Put unwanted ice cubes in plants to melt rather than throwing them in the sink. When waiting for water to turn hot, collect the water for watering plants.
- Wash your veggies in a big bowl of water instead of putting them under a running faucet. Then use the water in the bowl to water plants.
- Soak your pots and pans instead of running water and scraping them.
- When you shave, fill the sink with a little water and plug it. Rinse your razor in the sink rather than under running water. This can save an astounding 300 gallons a month!
Sometime in the future I’ll write about how to decrease your outdoor water consumption. Meanwhile here’s a website with some more water-saving tips.