“Drought conditions straining state’s water resources; DNR urges conservation”. This is a headline in the last issue of our little Morrison County Record. Wow! People in the southwest have gotten used to conserving water, but not Minnesota which is among the states clustered around the Great Lakes and dotted with 10,000 little ones.
Well, I am ready to conserve. I already conserve although I’ve gotten a little loose over the years. I just need to tighten up a bit. But I have to say, I think conserving water can be quite a burden to lots of people.
When I am in the homes of my children, I often am drawn to do their laundry. I like to be helpful and need to keep busy even though they might say, “Oh, Mom, relax.” I am bored if I sit around and do nothing. My mother, when she moved close to us in her last years, always did my laundry. I understand why now. It is one of the less intrusive things a person can do for another unless having someone wash your unders is too personal for you. What I notice as I help them is that people nowadays wash clean clothes. In my day, we only washed dirty clothes. Do you think I am kidding? I mean, really, if you wear a turtle neck under a sweatshirt, is the sweatshirt all that dirty? In fact, the turtle neck isn’t necessarily dirty enough to wash after each wear, in my opinion.
I use the “see and sniff” method to decide if something should be washed or not. I look to see if an item is actually dirty or has spots on it. Then I sniff it to see if it has an odor. If it does not stink or look bad I do something really, really radical: I HANG IT UP.
Now we get down to the truth of the matter. When a person is used to undressing at night it is easier to drop their day clothes to the floor or into a basket and then throw them into the washing machine instead of taking the time to see, sniff and hang each item. (Unders don’t count). I get it, I really do. I am not judging. I am not looking down my nose at anyone. I am retired and rarely in such a rush that dropping my clothes to the floor and rushing off is necessary. This is not true for young families. In in my younger days I, too, dropped my clothes rather than hang them up. And I think with children’s activities, time is even more crunched today than it was for me. Knowing this, I haven’t felt any urge to say anything to my kids.
But the DNR is inviting us to take a look at our water usage and maybe we all need to inconvenience ourselves a little. The consequences of not doing so may mean some people having their wells run dry. Ponds and lakes drying up could bring disaster to our wildlife. Our farmers need water if they are going to provide food for us.
Changing the way we do laundry is only one way to conserve water. I am curious about what some of you have done. I’d love to hear…I’d love to share your ideas with others.