Dan Ruth - Among the Collectors

Dan Ruth - Among the Collectors

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015 - Conserving and using Wasted Water

To some, water that's pouring out of our faucets is a given.  It's almost like a parlor trick - we don't know exactly where it comes from or where it goes, but we know that we need it to survive and we always expect it to be there.  In the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the sprinklers, there's always water. The more I read up on Sao Paulo, Brazil, Las Vegas and the rest of the world that's parched and on the verge of a drought-induced collapse, I think of my little apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and what I can do.  Well, I learned something today.  Water is a parlor trick, only until you capture it.  Then it becomes real.  The water that we take for granted is real.  And we are all wasting it, myself included.

I like to drink Seltzer water, because of the bubbles and I drink it a lot of the bubbly stuff.  I've tried to use the "spritzers" that are Made in China, that "effervesce" your tap water, but for me, it doesn't do the trick.  As I looked through my recycled plastic bottles a few weeks ago, I tried to think of what I could do with the empty bottles, so I stopped crushing them and I held onto them.  I thought of something pretty useful, especially if you have cool storage.  I discovered that while I'm running water in my sink to bring up the hot water etc, which in old NYC buildings can take some time, I started saving the water in the empty Seltzer bottles.  Now, I use the water for my coffee, for ice cubes, for watering my plants, making sun tea, etc.

This is simple and for those with a water bill, it can be quite cost-effective.  I didn't start doing this to save money, because I don't pay the building's water bill.  Perhaps it's not even to conserve, I just wanted to stop wasting all of that run-off water and to see how much water I actually waste. If you use large plastic bottles at home, you can store your water in a garage or basement.  Just be sure it's a cool place and not in a place where the sun can heat the plastic bottle.  Go ahead and try it, it's not a parlor trick.  Even as an experiment, you will be floored by how much water has been going down the tubes.  Happy Earth Day, are you helping or hurting?