So in my Biology 240 Natural Resource Conservation class we have a large sustainability group project due this semester and recently my group and I decided to make the topic of our project: Water Conservation. Since this decision was made I have really been looking deeper into the role water plays in my life and how much I work to conserve it. While exploring all the ways to conserve water in my daily life on campus I began numerous conversations with my roommates and friends on the topic.
…this is where things may get awkward…We all agreed on little things like turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth or washing the dishes, we agreed that shortening showers could be a way to help and then I mentioned what I thought was a normal water saving method, but was not as well received by my peers as I had anticipated… If I am preparing to get in the shower and realize I have to pee I always hold it and just go in the shower, I feel like it is wasteful to have to flush the toilet when I’m going to be turning on a faucet of free flowing water, dumping gallons of fresh water anyways. My friends thought this to be the grossest thing, but I honestly think it makes sense to preserve that flush worth of water and use the water you’ll be turning on anyways.
At first I was a little put off by my friend’s foul reactions, but then I realized that things like this are what separate me from them in an environmentally conscious sense. Yes we all try to turn the water off when we brush our teeth, but not all of my friends have the well-being of the environment at the forefront of their minds everyday. It’s not a negative reflection on them as a person, it’s just not where their passions lie. This simple fact wasn’t very evident to me until I realized the small differences, like my purposeful effort to use less water when I cook and *ahem* peeing in the shower, I find necessary to fuel positive environmental change that my friends view as silly/gross/too small to make any noticeable impact.. Realizing this has made me exponentially less self-conscious about their opinions on my practices and also made me realize that I don’t plan to stop these actions. I’m actually pretty grateful for the conversations we had that lead me to this conclusion, I feel as though I have reached an important point in the journey to restoring the sustainability of our precious planet, the point where I care more about the outcome of my actions than the opinions others have of my actions.