The Orion

A conversation about conservation

Zachary Phillips

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Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks, you’ve most likely heard that California is in a bit of a water crisis.

According to the US Drought Monitor, about 99 percent of California is “abnormally dry” or worse. However, that statistic really doesn’t do the drought justice as about 50 percent of the state is not simply “abnormally dry,” but actually falling into the category of “extreme drought.”

In light of these recent statistics, some tips for surviving the drought might be helpful.

First things first, the best thing you can do in preparation for the drought is to assume responsibility.

Anyone who has taken a psychology course or listened to a TED talk has heard of the bystander effect, the mind’s tendency to disperse personal responsibility amongst a crowd and away from one’s self.

Although it seems like an obvious one, the first step to take when it comes to a lifestyle change is recognizing that we each have a part to play.

Now that your mind is in the right state, you can take action.

When it comes to doing your part in preparation for the drought, always remember to sweat the small things. It may not seem like it matters, but common trivialities like leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth or while cleaning dishes can really add up.

Also, if you have any leaky faucets or shower heads, you might want to see about getting those fixed up. Think of it as an opportunity to show your landlord how mature and environmentally conscious you are.

For those out there who are made of a stronger mettle, I fully endorse putting into practice the age-old “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” saying. Although it’s a bit unorthodox, a few less flushes a day can save a lot.

Besides, if you stay really well-hydrated, your roommates will be none the wiser.

My last piece of advice is to make a game out of water conservation. Competition always forces people to rise to the occasion, and in this case the occasion is environmental awareness.

For example, you could time yourself while showering and try to whittle down a few minutes each day. It may not be as glorious as shaving a half-minute off of your mile time, but someone wise once said that it is the simple things in life that yield the most pleasure.

All in all, being more water conscious really doesn’t require many drastic changes. In fact, the concept is rather self-explanatory.

By being more conscious of where water comes from and how it’s put to use, it’s possible to cut wastefulness without any significant inconvenience.

Whether your contribution is a huge one, or as small as fixing a leaky faucet, everyone can do their part in preparing for the dry season ahead.

Zachary Phillips can be reach at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.

 

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A conversation about conservation