Lauren Platman’s article in last week’s paper on conservation inspired me to share more ways to reduce our usage.
It may seem hard for a long haired woman to shower in five minutes, but it is easy to soap dishes without running water; put some water in one of the dishes, to dip your sponge in and soap all or a few of the dishes. Then turn the water on only to rinse. It is also easy to conserve on toilet by letting the yellow sit and mellow. Even the modern toilets still flush huge amount of water. It is an incredibly wasteful system.
Likewise, we in America have very wasteful customs with electricity. 1) The water heater doesn’t have to stay on 24/7. We turn it on once a day for an hour or two, or just shortly before needing to shower. 2) Hang your laundry outside like they do in Europe. Dryers are not only wasteful, but they destroy your clothes. 3) On Orcas few of us use air conditioning, but if you do, consider opening a couple of windows in different directions instead. There is always cool air from the north and from the ocean.
As for red meat, we assume cows pollute, but actually there is much research to prove the opposite (when organic). It would be a long article to explain but you can check online, for example: Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel’s article: http://drkaayladaniel.com/earth-day-2014-should-your-diet-be-veg-centric/
However, one can conserve by minimizing packaged processed foods and body care products, which are unhealthy anyway. There are no lotion trees and shampoo fields because we don’t need them. Taking care of skin and hair can be done with so many natural items in your home. My rule is: If I cannot eat it, I do not put it on my skin or hair (it is absorbed).
Avoiding these mostly toxic ingredients and plastic containers (even if recycled, which require more delivery trucks,) can save your and the planet’s health. Another exciting direction is walking and biking on the island. I have wanted to do that for over 20 years of living here. But, other than close to town, we only have car paths. Breathing car fumes and risking life is not my idea of natural experience. If we want people to walk and bike, we must provide paths along all the roads.