Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Green Challenge #2

With meditation, the goal is not to relax. It is to become aware. You become aware of your breaths, sensations, thoughts and surroundings. Because what good is trying to change something you have no awareness of?

Similarly, the Buddhist percepts are studied by first becoming aware. Before you can say, “I will not lie” you have to know all the ways you lie in life. You have to study yourself and become aware of these things, only then you may decide how to change them.

When habits are changed by first becoming aware, then mindfully changing every aspect of that habit, they are bound to stick around.

This week, I challenge you to become aware of how much water you consume and how much is wasted. Bring awareness to the activities in which you waste water (mine is while doing dishes and wiping counters). Write it down if you have to. At the end of the week, take a look at all you observed. If you found that five minutes of your shower time is spent just standing there, or that you leave the water running while you wipe down the table, take that information and use it to mold your habits. Remind yourself every time to turn the water off when you aren’t directly using it.

I’ve been practicing this the past few weeks (it’s hard!) and I’m constantly catching myself letting it run and immediately turning it off. When I’m lingering in the shower ‘just because,’ I tell myself to get going with the day. It’s probably going to take a long time before I actually change my ways, but every little bit helps. Right now, I’m probably using about half to three-quarters of the water I (personally) was using before. I’ll let you know when I get my next water bill.

Other things you can do to save water:

~Use Gray Water. ~Read Ideal Bite’s shower tips. ~Check out these tips.

~As a bonus to the challenge, I also hope you will consider environmentally friendly cleaners the next time you are shopping for them. An apparent “Good Buy”? Method Cleaners.* I totally thought this was just the Target brand. I had NO IDEA that they were *special*. I am definitely going to try their all-purpose spray when I replace my Lysol next week!~

* Thank-you, Wanderer, for the recommendation and I’ll take all the tips you’ve got!



Undercover Angel said...

I will honestly try to be a little more environmentally friendly with my cleaners this week. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to Mr. Clean - he and I have been an item for many years...

Kristina said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Method brand! You can also get it at linens n'things I think...my favorite is the orange kitchen spray they (of course) quit selling at Target, but I find at L&T! The window cleaner smells really good too!

sillychick said...

I've already employed some of these methods, but have been trying, trying, TRYING to get my husband to do the same. He leaves the water running while going into the living room to get something or will turn on the shower and sink while he prepares to shave. It drives me nuts!

Also, I started unplugging anything that we don't use at least 2x a day (ie, the stereo downstairs, the microwave, etc.) I'd like to say it's for the environment, but really...I'm sick of high bills!

exskindiver said...

does unplugging appliances really save electricity?
i did not know that.
also, i like the gray water idea.
but actually, i am still fixated on your tip:
you must study yourself and be aware
before you can decide to change.
forget the environment...
this speaks to me right now.

Brillig said...

I have used the grey water idea in the past, but somehow let myself get in to my old bad habits. I love your blog because it helps me to remember to look at myself and see what I can be doing better. Life is so crazy and complicated that the craziness becomes an excuse to just stop caring about recycling and water shortages and energy conservation. But one day we're going to reach a crisis and we'll all be smacking our heads saying, "what was a I THINKING???" Thanks for the reminders.

Sugar Kane said...

I've been completely shocked by the amount of water I waste. I'm trying to be better, so hopefully that counts for something!

I love trying new cleaning supplies. Can't wait to check these out!