Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Speaking of things wet...

As of this coming Friday, my city is implementing stricter water restrictions. Hey, I'm all for it, but there's little on the list that I'm not already doing. I don't wash my car at all (it's noticeable), and I even parcel out the toilet flushes, as long as I don't have company. I recently witnessed a tooth-brusher leave the water running, and I lasted all of 20 seconds, maybe, before compulsively interrupting the tooth-brusher by turning off the tap.

Some of the restrictions make me cringe. Why do we need to remind people that washing off concrete is unnecessary? Do that many people regularly hose down their patios, sidewalks and driveways?

Related tangent: A couple of years ago, there were some acute water problems that led a nearby restaurant to switch to disposable plates, cups, silverware and such. The motivation for the change seemed to be that minimizing water used on dish washing would be a Good. Thing.

Is it?

I hate how hard it is to get enough information to make choices that work as best as possible with my beliefs and personal limitations. Water conservation or tree conservation? Paper or plastic? Local food or Ethical food?

Some of these choices are easy, of course. All other thing being equal, I'd choose to conserve trees AND water. Use no bag at all. Eat local food produced ethically.

But not all things are ever equal. I went to the grocery store this weekend for something other than milk for the first time since the Farmer's market and my garden ramped up. I bought a $1 cauliflower. A $7 beef roast. A $1 pound of carrots. A $3 5-lb bag of potatoes. Onions, when there aren't any available locally. (I was craving pot roast, can you tell? Oh, CROCK POT!)

It felt really wrong to do these things, but I was seduced by the price. The cauliflower is what really got me angry. ONE DOLLAR. *If* I can coax the cauliflowers I've planted to actually produce, they've already cost at least twice that. Economy of scale.

And what's with the damn limitations on watering applying to vegetable gardens, anyway?

Oh, and BTW, aren't I cute? Modest, too.