November 14, 2007

6. Change #3 - composting.

Is it actually possible to waste water? I know that sounds wierd but I have been thinking...now I may be an arts student but I do remember my grade school science lessons. One thing I remember in particular was a cycle about the continual conservation of resources. ie things that exist in nature [like water] cannot cease to exist, they can only change. the diagram went something like this: there is water in the ocean. it evaporates and goes into the clouds. the clouds get full and rain. the water evaporates. and so on. I don't understand how water can cease to exist entirely, like it can't dissapear into outer space, it is always somewhere, isnt it? Isnt there always the same amount of water on earth in some form? Perhaps they mean wasting clean water. so take the dirty water and clean it. The water we drink from taps is cleaned and purified sewer water pretty much [Ottawans dump their sewage in the Ottawa river...which is also our drinking source] so if we can purify water, why worry about wasting it? We should be more worried about polluting the water ecosystems and the water things live in! If anyone disagrees or would like to explain this to me, please post, I'd love to hear it!

That said, I love the new place I live. The guy even has a compost bin. I have never had a compost bin before but I remember to put all my banana peels and apple cores there.
I am saddened because when I moved I generously left a lot of furniture that personally belonged to me, and left it in the common room of my old townhouse so the other two occupants could use it, and just recently found out that this one piece of furniture - I am not sure what it is exactly, just a large wooden thing with shelves that I had been using as a bookcase and is still fully functional to hold any number of things - is being thrown out. They have no use for it and instead of doing what I would have done - ie given it away or freecycled it on the Ottawa FreeCycle group I am in - they are putting it by the curb to be taken to the trash. I cannot control the fate of this because it no longer belongs to me, but this saddens me because it happens all to often that perfectly useful objects are thrown out. We are so wasteful. In the olden days they would never throw things out. Just yesterday I threw out a pair of socks when I noticed a hole in the toe of the left sock. Now socks are only $5 a pair or so but it was a waste to throw them out. If I was living in the 1800s I would have likely patched the toe - a few simple stitches and it would have been as good as new. But we don't think of those things in our day and age. Everything is disposable, because we can buy more for so cheap, even if it adds to our landfills.

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blitzer68 said...

Hi Shawna,

Think of fresh water as a renewable resource. Yes the world produces a continual supply of fresh water, but it is possible to over tax the system and run out of fresh water in certain areas of the world.

For example, the great lakes are managed to ensure that they aren't drained beyond what is replenished each year. However, there are various aquifers in the U.S., especially the southern U.S. like Texas, that are being drained through wells faster than they are being replenished through rainfall. Think of them as underground lakes. Lawns are a big problem because water used to water the lawn ends up evaporating. Unfortuately the evaporated water doesn't all fall back as rain to replenish the aquifers. Some of the evaporation goes elsewhere, like back into the oceans where it is of less use to someone in the middle of Texas.

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