Water is the most important of all of our resources. Peanut butter is a close second.

This water post came about because I have a torn bed sheet that I don’t know what to do with. I can’t donate it with a tear or use it for rags because it’s sateen. So it looks like the trash for the sheet. But where I used to just chuck it without a second thought. I now hesitate and feel slightly desperate with my situation. Why?

Leachate. The thing I learned about in worm composting class of all places. Besides leachate I also learned that western Washington is filling up landfills at such a rate that we won’t be able to contain any more trash in about 5 years and it’ll have to be hauled 6+ hours away. I can’t fathom the effect on trash prices! Let’s get back to leachate. What is it and why does it scare the beejeezus out of me?

Leachate: a solution resulting from leaching, as of soluble constituents from soil, landfill, etc., by downward percolating ground water.
Leachates in the town’s water supply have been traced to achemical-waste dump.

What this means is that whatever goes in the trash, down the drain or on the lawn ends up in the water. That Roundup on the lawn, the Xanax that’s flushed, and the Drano for that hair clog? In our coffee, tea and water. The cell phone from 2 years ago? Leaching mercury and other junk in the air and water. Water never truly disappears and it never gets 100% pure again either. I may sound like a green freak, but waste water ends up in your body as part of the cycle. There is no system set up to handle the filtration of pharmaceuticals and other junk that we have yet to discover in the water supply. That kind of science doesn’t come cheap!

Water is special and people dedicate their life’s work to help us understand. Water crystals are affected by chemical purification and even music and words  in a way that is picturesque and hard to argue.

An amazing book that really informed me was What’s Gotten Into Us? Jenkins discusses the fact that if America were organized by watersheds instead of state lines, we would care a lot more about where our water comes from and what goes in it. Because then, it’s real and you watch your neighbor spray his lawn with pesticides, and you know that the stream of water in the drain ends up in your watershed.

John Wesley Powell, scientist geographer, put it best when he said that a watershed is:
“that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

What to do?
Be aware! Locate your recycling center. Take stuff to the recycling center even if you aren’t sure. You may be surprised!
Recycle that phone! Even Best Buy has a bunch of electronic recycle bins at the entrance.
Use natural methods to clean your drain, toilet, etc. Vinegar will clean just about anything and for pennies! Baking soda, vinegar and hot water works miracles for hair clogs! Your kids and pets will thank you! Imagine those little paws soaking up all that Swiffer solution…YUCK!

About Sarah Hiller

Eco-maniacal! I love learning about food and health, and then sharing! I'm also an aspiring photographer, lover of kale, dogs, yoga, anything fitness, sunshine, rainbows, unicorns and heavy metal. It is my goal to empower and support people through nutrition and attitude. I have an Etsy store you can check out as well www.etsy.com/shop/ironballoon

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