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Posts tagged ‘water’

drawn to water

morning paddle

I am still here …

The temperatures have just been unseasonably (and unreasonably) hot, and I have been like some seminocturnal creature – out on my bike in the early morning or into the evening, in search of water to slide into, and avoiding the blinding heat of mid-day.  Some of you may love to see the mercury rise into the upper 90’s (F) each day.  Not me.   I’ll take riding in a snowstorm any day.

if only bikes could swim...

I’ve been drawn to the water.  A little paddling, early morning swimming at the Y, riding to the river.  It’s all a necessary alternative to riding through the rippling, shimmering heat rising from the pavement.  Simply looking at water cools me off.

Ironically, Mark and I are about to set off on another bike touring adventure – nothing as exciting as Italy, but we are really looking forward to it, just the same.  Except for the heat forecasted heat, of course.  Along with possible flooding along the route (that may be a story for another post).  Our timing is obviously not the greatest.  If nothing else, it will be some fresh scenery for my camera lens, as well as a chance to really put some mileage on the Xtracycles.  So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, summer is here in full bloom – and full heat.    Remember to drink plenty of water.  (Or swim in it, or bike alongside  it 😉 )



late hour glare

signs of summer

#30daysofbiking Day 26: earth wind fire water

Earth and wind ... a blustery bicycle day

Elemental day.  The earth and wind part came by bike.  A front moved through bringing more wind and cold(er) and blustery temperatures. Not much rain, but pretty threatening skies.  Wasn’t the nicest day to be riding, but I headed out for a local trip on the Xtracycle.  Took the camera along, but my eyes felt “broken” – just didn’t see anything to shoot (except usual group of cows far out in the distance).

Afternoon brought another tennis match for Grant; today’s home game was at Lee University in town.  It was uncomfortably cold and windy to be sitting still watching the match, so I walked around a bit – which is where the fire and water part come in.  Lee University’s athletic teams are the Lee Flames, and they have a neat flame-topped fountain adjacent to the tennis center.  Going through the photos upon getting home, I couldn’t help noticing the elements.

Pretty lame correlation … but I cannot explain how my brain works some days. 😉

... fire and water (Lee University)

... fire and water (Lee University)

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no impact experiment – day 6: water

heading home along the Greenway, after heavy rain

heading home along the Greenway, after heavy rain

Water – sometimes it can seem as if we have too much … but I know that in the end, we have too little.

I think alot about the water we are consuming.  Laundry, dishwashing and showering probably top our list in water consumption. We’ve done what we can to improve efficiency and lessen water usage around the house.  We have an efficient front-loading (low water) washing machine.  We’ve installed flow inhibitors on a few faucets.  We turn the faucet off when brushing teeth, and try not to let the water run while hand-washing dishes.

Roadrunner energy/water-saving shower head

Roadrunner energy/water-saving shower head

One of my favorite energy-saving/water-saving devices we have installed in all of our showers is the Evolve Roadrunner showerhead.  It saves water through the 1.5 gpm flow-rate, but the built-in “pressure compensating technology” makes it feel like a more substantial flow-rate.  The real innovation lies in the temperature sensor/trickle-savings mode.  When you first turn on the shower, it will run at full-flow until it reaching 95’F – at which time the flow will be reduced to a trickle, saving hot water.  When you are ready to hop in, you simply pull the “resume flow” cord, and the water will run at full-flow until you turn it off.  You save water through the low-flow head, and you conserve energy/electricity by not wasting hot water waiting for the water to heat up.  Great little device, works like a charm.

I’ve posted previously about my loathing of bottled drinking water and the whole bottled water industry (Obscene Water, Sept. 13), so I’ll skip that for now, except to say: please don’t buy or drink bottled water.  In the Experiment Guide, I found this little quote interesting – something that I had not considered before, especially when it comes to dining out.

Drink water instead of other beverages!  It’s the least processed drink you can consume, and actually uses less water (and energy) to produce and trasnport than any other drink.

It makes sense … although I’ll admit it might be a difficult “habit” for me to break.

One of the most revealing results of this day in the Experiment was using an H2O Conserve online water calculator to discover how much water I (and we as a family) actually use during the course of a day – which includes everything from the water I am physically using (washing, drinking, bathing, etc.), to water indirectly “consumed” through the fuel I use, the plastics I consume, etc.  Even if the number might be slightly off (per their disclaimer on regional factors, etc.), I found it to be quite staggering:  559 gallons per day – for ME alone!

Consider these water footprint numbers from the Experiment Guide:

  • 1 lb of plastic = 24 gallons of water
  • 1 lb of cotton = 100 gallons of water

I have to keep reminding myself that every little choice counts in the end.  But it’s often difficult to sort through it all.  Awareness and education are the keys to success when it comes to conservation.  All I can do is try my best to become informed and make wise choices.

obscene water

Why, exacly, do we need to be importing this from halfway around the world?

Earlier today, Mark and I rode to our local grocery store – Season’s Harvest Market.  While we were shopping, we saw this display of imported bottled water – designer bottles of “artesian” water from Norway, selling at nearly $5/pack of four bottles.  This goes beyond ridiculous.  Obscene is the word that comes to my mind.

The multi-million bottled water industry makes me ill.  From the tremendous amounts of resources used in the transporting and packaging of water, to lack of regulation and quality testing, to the destructive and abusive practices of the leading water bottling/privatization corporations – there is nothing palatable about the industry, least of all its water.

Check out these websites on bottled water:

Stop Nestle Waters

Inside the Bottle

NRDC: Bottled Water Contaminants (chart of contaminants, bacteria and viruses found in common brands of bottled water)

While Season’s Harvest Market will probably remain my local grocery store of choice, it’s disappointing to see them carrying items like this.  They try to promote their store as being the “healthy alternative” for groceries, and have one of the better selections of organic and locally grown items, but recently they seem to be slipping further and further into the mainstream highly-processed/junk-food inventory choices.  Fewer organics, lots of plastic packaging, and now ridiculously packaged “chic” imported water.  Green-washing at it’s finest.

The “story” behind the Norwegian Voss designer water – from their own website:

With the persistent conviction that they (founders Ole Sandberg and Christian Harlem) should provide only the highest quality water – to only the highest quality accounts – in the highest quality package, an idea was born: share this naturally tasting delicious water with the rest of the world in a bottle equally unique …

… They secured this artesian source in the middle of their beloved wilderness in Southern Norway.

Because we all know that we need another “beloved wilderness” spoiled by a designer water bottling corporation…

Voss goes on to point out how “green” and sustainable their product is – by their contribution to two carbon offset projects.  The more sensible carbon offset project?  Don’t export water around the globe in designer disposable plastic bottles!

Disappointing from every level – from the fact that people will buy and consume this stuff, to the fact that my local “green” market has stooped so low as to stock it.

If you want a “designer” bottle for your tap water, here’s an option I prefer:

Kor Hydration Vessel – BPA free, reusable, attractive

Finally, two excellent documentaries about water – from privatization to the highly unregulated bottled water industry:

Flow – the film

Tappedthe film