It happens without monument but its mark is enduring, touching every member of our busy office. The water, it is announced, is off. It is off for the sake of construction, arguably a good reason, but should be restored soon. We process the information then, following the advice of the British government in 1933, we:
The short interruption of water alters our way of life in the office moderately, requiring those who seek to quench their thirst to procure it at a cost or descend a flight or two of stairs to fill a jug from another more water-endowed level of the building. It is an annoyance that we cannot readily drink from our taps and creates an unappealing stack of dishes in our kitchen.
Those of us living in Southern Ontario have the incredible privilege of having easy access to clean water. And while this minor interruption may’ve created a fuss, it also got me thinking inventively about small steps I can take to reduce my personal water use here in the office.
Never pour clean water back into the sink. I know this seems pretty simple, but in actuality, I know in my life I’ve poured unfinished water from the kettle or from an event back into the sink. Wait! It’s still usable! Feed plants or clean dishes. That water travelled long and far to get to me.
Take care when washing dishes. My preferred method is to set a cup of soapy water aside for my sponge, and to clean and rinse less dirty dishes first so that the dirtier ones can soak in rinse water.
Pair up with a cup! All cheesiness aside, keeping to one cup, mug, or container reduces the amount of washing you get up to and therefore the amount of water you use.
There are plenty more ways to be a steward of water, including helping protect the Greenbelt because it is, in fact, is also a “blue belt!” It protects around 535,000 acres of lakes, wetlands, river valleys and forests that help to filter and recharge water. And now, with the new Urban River Valley designation, the Greenbelt could protect even more.
So, this hairline fracture in my relationship to water is the most I’ve had to worry about water recently, but I can promise you that it’s got me thinking, thanking, and most importantly, working… towards water change!