Tag Archives: UU Ministry for Earth

Halfway Through the Challenge

Back on Earth Day I posted about the UU Sacred Waters challenge. We are about halfway into the forty day challenge, so I thought I’d post an update about how I am doing.

I committed to using a reusable water bottle rather than picking up a new plastic bottle every time I went to the gym. I don’t know why I grabbed the bright blue ugly thing I did on that first day, because it is all dinged up and sort of nasty looking, but it’s functional. Three weeks in, and I’ve only failed to bring it with me to the gym once. I keep it in the car next to me and have even washed it several times to keep it clean. In the last twenty days, I would have used roughly nine plastic bottles from the gym and they would have all been piled up on the floor of my car. It’s a double bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’d say I get an A- so far.

Another thing I said I would do is to use a sponge rather than running water to pre-clean the dishes as I load the dishwasher. We have a funky European dishwasher that doesn’t do well with any food particles on the plates, so they have to be pretty well wiped before going in. I’ve managed to do pretty well on this. I’ll give myself an B- on this bit because I still find myself consciously shutting off the tap and picking up the sponge.

Blogging about the challenge is another thing I said I’d do, so…here’s blog post number two. I didn’t say I would do a daily blog, so I’ll give myself a shiny A for that.

Now for a few bonus points. I’ve been thinking about water usage more often by making sure my laundry loads are as full as possible without over-loading the machine, shutting off the water while brushing my teeth and reducing the water I use during showers.

And now for Thursday’s bonus moment… Gilgamesh is a water kitty. He has always curled up in our smaller bathroom sinks and he has always been fascinated by running water. He’ll come into the bathroom during bath-time and put his paws up on the edge and look over and into the pool of water. Some of you might recall that the cats had flooded our house once and that they just like water. Recently, Gilly has been spending time at the art room sink, literally crying for us to turn it on. I posted a video of it on facebook and you can see the little image from that here. So, we’ve turned on the water to a drizzle and let it run for a while. Over the last week or so, I’ve let it run for a long while and felt guilty the entire time even though watching him play with it has been rather cute.

While shopping for kitty litter at the local Petco, I came saw the Raindrop Design Stainless Steel Water Fountain for cats. We had a plastic Drinkwell for a long time, but, frankly, it got rather gross and seemed like a health hazard after a while. This fountain comes completely apart and goes into the dishwasher with ease. I put it down for Gilly this morning and he circled around it half a dozen times, his ears perked forward with clear interest. It only took him about a minute before deciding he might like this new thing. The fountain uses a quart or so of water and gives our kitty the running water action he enjoys so much while saving gallons of water from flowing down the sink.

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A Sacred Challenge

Just as Lent ends for the Christian folks around, we hit Earth Day and the start of a forty day challenge that I’ve decided to do. It’s not a difficult challenge, but as I look at the destruction in my backyard I’m moved to make myself more aware and conscious of water use. The county has told us over and over that the salmon stream running through our property will be better off after the project is completed than it was before. Our little bit of “Stensland Creek” has been what’s known as a “spa” tributary–a place for those tired salmon to take a little break from the relentlessly difficult trip upstream. They get to rest and relax in the relatively warmer and more gently flowing waters for a while before going back into Bear Creek and their ultimate end.

We’ve seen the exhausted and worn out bodies of salmon after they’ve spawned at Farrel-McWhirter Park, not more than a mile from our house, so our little bit of water is likely their final day of rest before they spawn and die. I like that image for some reason. I would like to believe the county is right. That we give up some of our little bit of paradise and the salmon will have an even better little day trip to the spa before they do their final duty to the planet by procreating.

The Challenge by the The Unitarian Universalist Ministry For Earth comes at a good time for me personally. I’d like to think that forcing myself to use all those fancy metal water bottles I’ve purchased will help me focus on the big picture. Rather than grabbing the free water bottle from the gym, I’ll take mine with me.

The forty for forty challenge is one that tries to get forty people in each congregation to say yes to the challenge. If you’re a member of the WUUChurch, I hope you’ll join me in the challenge. And, if you’re not a UU, maybe you’ll look at a few simple things you can do anyway…just because.

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