It may be surprising, given that I’ve been writing a water-conservation blog for the past six months, but to be totally honest, I’m not the greenest that I could be. I could fill this post with my various excuses for why I don’t do all I can to reduce reuse and recycle, but one big reason is just that keeping track of the various ways to go green is, if nothing else, a lot of work. After all, there’s so much to keep track of. What are the manufacturing processes that go into creating the products I buy? What about their packaging? Are they reusable? Will they end up in a landfill? Or a recycling plant? Will their usage harm the planet?
When I go to the store to buy a jacket, should I get the 100% organic one, even though it may not last as long and I’ll need to buy a new one later, or the completely unnatural one that will last longer? If I drive an extra twenty-minutes to shop at a store that sells recycled goods, will the extra gas off-set what I buy? Is the energy burned by using my computer continuously more or less harmful than printing everything out on paper?
Luckily, when it comes to “going blue,” i.e., saving your water, you can have some unexpected side-effects that also help the environment. While this blog focuses almost exclusively only water conservation, many of the things that you can do to save water, especially when it comes to virtual water, are green in other ways, too. Let’s look at some of the green side-effects of water conservation:
Saving virtual water is all about not using products that require a lot of water to produce. When you reduce your usage overall, by using reusable products or just doing without some extravagances, you’ll also reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, and cut back on wasteful production activities.
Want to save energy? Insulate your water pipes. If your water gets hotter faster, you’ll waste less water waiting for it to heat up, and you’ll also waste less energy to heat up that water in the first place.
As noted in earlier posts, a virtual-water friendly diet involves little-to-no meat, and mostly locally grown native fruits and vegetables. If you do your own grey water gardening, even better. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to adhere to a local, native, vegetarian diet. Avoiding the fertilizers, chemicals, and wastes associated with unnatural growing cycles and animal agriculture will help preserve our natural soil.
Of course, this list is only the beginning. I’m sure anyone reading this post can think of plenty of other ways that water savings trickle down (pun intended) into other green lifestyle practices. Share your own tips in the comments!