Saving Natural Resources
Living in the United States is a very contrasting experience as far as natural resources and utilities are concerned, for me, as I grew up in a town called Summer Hill, located in Shimla, India. Every time I brush my teeth, shave, take a shower or even drink a glass of water, I can't help thinking about how I spend the first 21 years of my life in a place where you would only get water supply for one hour a day, that too between 6-7am. So Every day we would brush our teeth without any running water. We had to use stored water and use mugs to brush, shave, etc. We had buckets full of water that we had to use to take a bath and that too, since I had a family of 5 members, we had to share. So you were pretty much limited to how much water you can use.
My father used to wake up early and fill as many buckets as he could in that one hour, also he would store water for drinking, which was boiled and then kept in the water filter so we could drink it during the day.
Electricity, well, fortunately Summer Hill was like an air conditioned city and the temperature NEVER went higher than 80deg. We did not have air conditioners, neither ceiling fans in our house. Rather no one there had a fan because you didn't need it. Summer Hill was a hill station located at 1283 meters above sea level, so we were blessed with a continuous cool breeze.
However we had some natural situations that were bad. Like the winters were too cold, and since you know unlike other metals, water expands with cooler temperature and contracts with heat, so during winters, the water used to freeze in the water pipes and never used to reach our home. So every year, we had at least 1 or 2 weeks, when we used to collect snow from outside, bring it in our home, and heat it to make it water, and then use it.
Alternatively, due to storms and a dense forest environment, trees used to fall on electricity lines sometimes causing a power cut. And sometimes we would not have any electricity for days.
Ever since I moved to US, I felt great about such an abundant water supply, hardly any power cuts and a continuous supply of cooking gas. But when I brush my teeth, shave, take a shower or wash my car, I remember how life used to be back in Summer Hill and feel that there is every possibility that if we exhaust these supplies, we might again land in a situation that we have to ration these supplies.
For me, a water shortage was not a problem because I was born in that situation, but just imagine, if you had to live like that, after you have spent your life with an abundance of these resources, it will be so depressing and uncomfortable. Can you wash dishes and clothes without running water? Just imagine once if you were given one bucket of water to clean up all the dishes and one bucket of water for all the clothes, can you do it?
Even if your answer is "NO", I can assure you that you will be able to do it if the need be, but yes, I can also assure you that you will not be able to help but think "I wish, we all saved as much as we could, when we had an abundance".
I am not a participant or volunteer for any nature conservation organizations, neither do I picture myself being one. The organizations I would love to volunteer for are wildlife conservation groups because I know how change in habitats and life cycle can totally eliminate a specie.
But to tell you the truth, in the first few weeks when I came here, I used to just let the water flow as I brushed and then shaved, etc because I knew there is abundance here. That is when I thought, that there are so many places in the world, where people are still living the lifestyle that I just mentioned. Just give it one thought, for yourself -
"What you do not use, is saved for the future, for yourself or for others."
Through this message I just want to ignite the light of hope in your minds and hope that you contribute by just saving as much as you can, while enjoying the abundance.
Here are a few tips that can save so much without changing your lifestyle.
- While brushing your teeth, close the tap till you need to rinse.
- While shaving, close the tap till you need to water and close again.
- If you use dishwashers, just put the utensils in there without rinsing.
- Try cutting down a few minutes while taking a shower, even one minute will help you save water.
- Turn off the lights in the room which is not being used.
- If possible at all, reduce the wattage of bulbs where you can.
- Spread the message and contribute by helping others save as well.
That's the least you can do to help mankind, and preserve these resources for yourself in the future. It is not a joke, our natural resources are being reduced significantly and we will not be able to enjoy what we do today, a few years later.
Unfortunately, we Humans do not realise the value of anything till we lose it, may it be people, or other valuable things like Natural Resources.