Friday, June 25, 2010

Think Green – Act Green

Elephentra - The Giant Green Leaves The climatic changes have recently had a profound effect on our reservoirs that provide water to us the year long. Not only there are fewer rains, but the increasing mercury is also melting the glaciers at a very rapid pace. This melting on one hand is creating unprecedented floods, and on the other hand making the glaciers shrink, meaning by the depletion of our head reservoirs to provide us consistent supply of water in the near future and acute water shortages in the not very distant future.

While governments are holding seminars and conferences to find ways and means to reduce generation of heat which is causing the global warming and changes in weather, what do we do as individuals? We can do a lot. Think Green – Act Green.

Here are some measures that we can adopt to conserve water we so mercilessly waste many times everyday. The less we consume, the more we store in our dams which can be used for tomorrows and generation of cheap electricity rather than generating electricity by burning coal or oil, which not only releases harmful gases into the atmosphere but also raises the overall temperature – both complementing to increase the global warming, which means lesser rains and more melting of our glaciers and ice caps on the poles.

We start from our morning rituals when we tooth-paste our teeth or shave our beards. Generally most of us keep the faucet open and let the water waste for the entire duration of our morning rituals. It would be worthwhile if we intermittently open/close the faucet when needed. Or best would be to fill a plastic mug for rinsing and shaving. We will surely consume less water.

Secondly, stay less under the shower. What is seen is that we take more time under the shower than need to take the dirt and stay under the gushing water for enjoyment, whistling and singing. The use of bucket and mug combination to bathe is more economical than a shower. At the same time keep the thermostat of the geyser at a medium level whish means not mixing more cold water to make it ready for body requirement. 

Thirdly, use water efficient flush tubs that have two depressants – one for full use and the other for casual sue. Still better is the waterless composting toilet (read more about it by clicking on the link) – something which has not found our way so far. But we need to talk about it and may be our importers one day start importing such units. 

Fourthly, beware of the silent leaks. Silent leaks can waste up to 200 gallons a day: drop a little food colouring into your tank and wait 15 minutes—if the colour turns up in the toilet bowl, call your plumber.

Fifthly, use recyclable tissue papers rather than the expensive two-ply toilet papers. Although in Pakistan toilet papers are used less since all washing is done by water, it would be eye opener to know that one ton of tissue paper (if recyclable) can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 4,000 kilowatts of electricity, 3 cubic yards of landfill and 7,000 gallons of water.

This is just a small leap forward if we take it seriously. A collective approach can save millions of gallons of drinkable water much needed elsewhere. So shouldn’t we Thank and Act Green?