Why Conserving Water Is a Spiritual Discipline
This past weekend we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. One of the benefits of living in western New York is that we live within easy driving distance of a natural wonder. Given the number of times that we’ve visited the Falls, we sometimes take its beauty for granted, but it’s a great reminder that conserving water should be a spiritual discipline.
After watching over 750,000 gallons of water pour over the Falls every second, I was reminded that we are fortunate to live in a part of the world where we have fresh water in abundance. But there are many places throughout the world where water is scarce and clean drinking water is even scarcer. Life can be challenging and precarious in these places.
One benefit of getting over 100 inches of snow a year is that our region rarely experiences droughts. However, there are still good reasons to be more intentional about conserving water, even here in Western New York.
First, using less water conserves the water itself as well as the energy that it takes to clean and provide pure drinking water. Secondly, even when water is available in abundance, we need to protect our water sources to ensure that they remain clean and pure enough for good health.
We have been entrusted to care for God’s creation in all its forms. It’s time to stop allowing politicians, businesses and lobbyists decide what is best for creation and live up to our God-given responsibility by becoming more international about conserving water.
Practicing the Spiritual Discipline of Conserving Water
There are many ways to practice the spiritual discipline of conserving water and ensure that the water supply remains clean and pure. Here are just a few simple tips to help you get started.
Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
Hopefully you’re brushing for the recommended 2 minutes or more. But you don’t have to run the water the entire time you’re brushing. A family of four can save over 800 gallons of water a month with this one simple discipline.
If you drop an ice cube, don’t throw it in the sink.
The ice cube may be too dirty to eat, but you can give it to your indoor plants. They don’t care whether the water they consume is cold or warm.
Men: Stop up the sink when you shave.
Rinsing your razor in the sink instead of running water will save up to 300 gallons of water a month.
Reuse your bath towels.
You just got out of the shower. How dirty can you be? Reusing towels will reduce water used for laundry, while also reducing the use of potentially harmful detergents.
Take shorter showers and use a water saving shower head.
You may love long, hot showers. But shorter showers will save time, money, and possibly your relationship. (Haven’t we all fought over who used up all the hot water?)
Wait until your dishwasher is full before you run it.
Seems simple enough. Who wants to unload the dishwasher more often than necessary anyways?
Exchange your hose for a broom.
Sweep or use a blower after mowing. Did you know that a hose uses 8-12 gallons of water a minute?
Water Conservation and the Christian Life
This list is just a start. Even a simple awareness of how much water we use every day can help us to be more careful about how long we run the tap.
God has entrusted us with the care of this awesome life-giving resource. Let’s not forget that at the end of the day, conserving water is a spiritual discipline.