Image by Living Water International
Yesterday we talked about overcoming obstacles in our lives to going green. Since I asked you to share your obstacles and changes you would like to make, I thought it was only fair that I share mine too.
One big change that I know we need to make right now is in the amount of water that we use and waste around our home. Ever since learning about the Advent Conspiracy and Living Water International last Christmas, I am constantly aware of the fact that there are many, MANY people in the world that do not have the basic necessity of water, while I am blessed to be able to use as much water as I could possible ever want.
Some of the problems with our water use right now are:
- Our main toilet does not flush correctly and uses way more water than it really should.
- Both my hubby and I like to take long showers. We give the kids baths which uses a lot more water than taking a shower.
- My husband and I pour ourselves glasses of water before we go to bed at night and most of that water is poured down the drain the next morning.
- When hubs does dishes he leaves the water running and he washes and rinses instead of just filling the sink and using that water to wash.
- We pre-rinse almost all of our dishes because our dishwasher doesn’t always do the best job.
- My daughter loves to play in the water at the sink, and will often turn on and leave the water on and I don’t even realize it.
- We use our outside spicket to water our grass and some of our plants when we have a huge rain barrel filled with rain water that would do the job just as well with a little tweaking.
I’m sure I could go on, but I will stop the list there.
What is our biggest obstacle to decreasing the amount of water that we use and waste? One would probably be time – we haven’t had the time to try to fix our toilet, and we just haven’t put the time and energy needed into re-thinking how we use our water and putting together a plan for how to use less water. Another would maybe be money, we don’t have the extra cash to buy a new toilet right now. But really, honestly, the main reason that we haven’t made changes in this area is because we are comfortable and lazy.
Of course, we do things to conserve water like turn off the faucet while we brush our teeth, and abide by the rule “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” for flushing the toilet. But really, some of these other changes are small and could be made so easily, if we would just put our time and effort into them. We would probably find that it really doesn’t take as much time or effort as we thought it would.
One other big change that I have been working on, but still seems to be a big obstacle for us, is decreasing the amount of garbage we produce as a family. On different occasions I have worked to make us more aware of our garbage and also worked on decreasing the amount of waste we throw out, but it still seems to remain too high for what I am comfortable with.
Some of the ways that we produce too much garbage are:
- Plastic baggies – I have really good intentions of washing them and reusing them, but it never really happens and so they end up just being thrown away.
- Food waste – although I have started collecting food waste for composting, we still waste too much good edible food by letting it go bad.
- Products with packaging – I’ve noticed that we’ve had some processed foods creeping back into our kitchen and our lives, (Lesson learned: don’t let your hubs do the grocery shopping!) and with processed foods comes lots of packaging.
I would love to be one of those families that only throws away a garbage bag full waste each week, or even each month. I know this is an area that we can, and should, work on, but really, who want to actually think about and deal with their garbage? I think my biggest obstacle on this one is that garbage is just one of those things that is gross and I don’t want to deal with. So I don’t.
So, over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest obstacles that hold us back from making green changes that we know we should make. If you have an obstacle that you’d like me to cover, just leave a comment or shoot me an email, emilymcclements at yahoo dot com.
I’m looking forward to overcoming obstacles with you!