The original purpose of the title of my post this morning was to talk about water consumption - another topic addressed in "The Green Year" for this week. However, my title is also referring to the op-ed which appeared in the Washington Times that dismisses the green movement as a movement of guilt that can never be won. The author starts off his ideological rant by saying, "But the more 'eco-friendly' you try to become, the more likely you find yourself confused and frustrated by the green message." He then points to the controversy over incandescent light bulbs vs. the new energy saving compact florescent bulbs. The controversy stems over the fact that the newer energy saving bulbs contain mercury. I asked my aunt last week if she had converted to the newer efficient bulbs and she hadn't because they contain small amounts of mercury. "Even if they're disposed of properly, the mercury is still here polluting the planet."
True. And I admit that there are things that are contradictory and confusing about going green. Going green sure isn't all black and white. However, there are things we can do that will help this planet, as well as ourselves, live a healthier lifestyle. It's those things we should be focusing on.
One of those things that is indisputable is saving water:
* Energy efficient dishwashers are said to use less energy than doing dishes by hand. This might be true if you allow your water to run continuously while doing dishes. Because we had a water tank that took hundreds of dollars to fill when we first moved here, we learned a lot of water saving exercises. We wash our dishes by hand (mainly because my husband tricked me into believing you can't have a dishwasher on s septic system, but that's another story...) by filling up two wash tubs about half way and washing the dishes in one and rinsing in the other. The total use is probably less than 5 gallons of water for a normal night's dishes. The dishes are clean, and we use less water.
*Turn off the faucet while washing your face, brushing your teeth or shaving.
*Use energy efficient, low-flow shower heads. If you take baths, don't fill the tub all the way up.
*Finally, make sure your hot water heater is energy star rated. My aunt keeps hers off unless they are getting ready to shower or do dishes.I don't turn the one on over here in my office bathroom unless we have guests coming who will need a hot shower.
It's a little uncomfortable washing my hands here in the winter with ice cold well water, but we're saving energy, as well as money by leaving the tank off.