Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Plans

You know those people who go through life without a plan? Just make it up as they go? And when life goes awry they expect someone else to come along and flip them over? The following is a perfect example of bad planning. The turtle must have believed the water would always be there. But what if someone pulls the plug? What if the water runs out?

We filled the pool back up and Mr. Red-eared Slider flipped himself back over. He probably could have done so without the water. Turtles have long, strong necks and are quite flexible.

What will we do when the water runs out? There are over 6 million people in south Florida. Most of our drinking water comes from an shallow aquifer that is recharged by rainwater. If we continue to consume more water than is replaced in the aquifer we face certain ecological disaster. Some have suggested we need to sacrifice so that the environment might benefit. I disagree. I think we simply need to live responsibly. Here's a few ways (from the South Florida Water Management District) and they work pretty much anywhere you may live.
  • plant native vegetation that does require excessive watering. Fabulous, lush green lawns are still the costly, wasteful norm and people get so upset when it browns
  • wash your car less often. If you use a car wash - make sure they recycle water
  • make sure your home is free from leaky pipes and dripping faucets - one drop per second wastes 2700 gallons of water a year. Plus the dripping is torturous
  • since I replaced the flapper on the toilet the water bill has been halved each month
  • get out of the shower sooner and use a low-flow showerhead. 4 out 5 people are clean within the first 4 minutes.
  • collect water during your shower to water your plants. Don't pee in the bucket.
  • turn the water off while you brush your teeth. or don't brush your teeth. I'd rather someone was toothless than have them waste water.
  • Don't flush just because you tossed a bug in the toilet. Come on! ("But it was a spider") They will crawl back up.
  • use a rain barrel to collect water for other uses. My family did this when I was younger except it was to collect water that was coming through a hole in the roof.
  • ask restaurants to only serve water on request or simply don't go to restaurants that put water out for every guest.
  • Encourage responsible growth in your community that minimizes paved surfaces that prevent water from percolating into the aquifer.

The water will run out at the rate we are going. There are far too many people here and most have bad habits. It's not a sacrifice to do any of the above. It's simply responsible. We have to plan for today and tomorrow or we end up turned over on our shell and sitting in the sun.

Have other water saving ideas? Press the COMMENTS button on the bottom of the page.


  1. I agree except it is politically incorrect to point out that the fifth person isn't clean in 4 minutes. They just need to lose some weight and their surface area would be greatly reduced.

    We did recycle our rainwater by shortening our downspouts and catching the runoff in large buckets which we used to water plants.

    Plant Bahia grass if you have to have a lawn. It is drought tolerant, greens up with minimal watering, uses far less chemicals to maintain and is more comfortable to walk on. St. Augustine may be banned in the next few years anyway.

    Xeriscaping can be beautiful. It's not zero scaping. It's choosing the right plants which live longer and healthier because they belong here!

    Okay. That's my two cents. For a nickel you can have more.

  2. I'm surprised you didn't suggest we all shave our heads like you to reduce shower time. Now THATS an idea! Did you see the new system they installed on the ISS (International Space station) Endeavor just dropped off a second unit it recycles fluides like urine and turns them into fresh drinking water!!

    I'm proud to say that not only do i NOT water my lawn, I encourage its growth by not wasting fuel to mow it :) hee hee

  3. and that's entirely fair. people over mow their lawns. let it grow! the butterflies will love you for it. drop a tire in the front yard and you're well on your way to a fancy lawn.

  4. Perhaps we can use a program that this person purposes...

  5. Humans very rarely change their selfish behaviors until they are confronted by an imminent, powerful and dangerous threat.

    Having seen shocking waste, pollution and brutality all over the world, I can assure you that nothing less than a lethal crisis will substantially change majority behavior.

    We in the U.S. are so addicted to personal comfort that he can't even begin to imagine the insane waste we generate.

    Think I'm a cynic? Think we can slowly "educate" people? Think there is any evidence at all over 10,000 years that with all our "knowledge" the human actually improves?

    Wake up and start spending time with people outside your culture and socio-economic class. It's easy to be high-minded living in a 3,500 square foot house with an advanced degree and a fat paycheck. It’s even easier, and you can add in self-justification, when you’re struggling for a “cause.”

    The real question, in fact probably the only meaningful questions, is: Can anything at all be done about the human condition? Or are we simply doomed to endlessly repeat cycles of brutal destruction and naively optimistic building?

    Of course this can't be about YOU. You shut your water off while you brush your teeth. It's EVERYONE ELSE. HAHAHAHA.

    And now... don't waste time with introspection, just roast me for being extreme! It's the American way!


  6. I don't think it's extreme. That's the problem. Common sense is considered an extreme stance by the common person. If we all start to think about the consequences of our actions we might be able to change the human condition but the operative word is "think".