Today is one of those Blog Action Day things, which I do or do not, depending on whether I actually have something to say. Regarding water, one of their bullet points is this:
The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world.
From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.
Pet peeve #1 is that damn American obsession with the lawn. The sprinklers, on in the middle of a hot summer day, when they are least efficient, and about 30% of the water ends up on the sidewalk rather than the grass.
Pet peeve #2 involves flushing prescription medicines down the toilet or pouring them down the drain, where they end up in the municipal water supply. There are still drug companies who recommend this method on their packaging. The optimal thing for the consumer would be for pharmacies to take back expired medicines, lest they get into the hand of unintended users, but this not happening on a large scale. Seems to me that the best way to dispose of them, between any local collections – the Albany College of Pharmacy conducted one recently – is to dissolve, if possible, any excess pills in water, then put them in non-consumable items, such as coffee grounds or kitty litter. But I don’t drink coffee and don’t have a cat, so I’ve just tossed them in the trash. Do you have any better suggestions?