“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
When Samuel Coleridge “spoke” these words, which are from the poetic verse, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” published in 1798, I wonder if he had any idea how often this verse would be repeated over the years. The poem, which describes a horrifying ocean voyage, also contains another verse, near the end, that certainly is an all-time favorite of mine. I will share it momentarily.
Can you imagine what life would be like without adequate and safe drinking water? That idea is not just a piece of fiction. Many people around the world deal with this problem on a daily basis. It is not absurd to think that we could one day be faced with this same problem.
Though water is our most precious resource, we often take it for granted. During the summer especially, we tend to waste water. Southerners love their yards. We garden in them. We relax in them. We entertain in them. But did you realize that up to 60 percent of all household water used in the summer is for landscape purposes? By taking care of our lawns and gardens properly, we can save money, time, and protect the environment.
Here are some tips from the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenscape site for conserving water outdoors this summer:
• Build your soil with compost and mulch to hold water and reduce evaporation.
• Choose low-water-use plants. Once established, they can often thrive just on rainfall.
• Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation on beds — they can save 50 percent or more compared with sprinklers.
• Use an outdoor water timer (available at garden stores) to water just the right amount, frequency and time of day. Try one with a sensor that shuts it down when it rains.
• Water lawns separately from other plants. Make sure sprinklers aren’t watering the pavement.
• When soil is dry, it won’t absorb water quickly. If water puddles, stop watering a while and then restart so the water can soak in.
• Water in the early morning. If you water at midday, much of the water just evaporates. Evening watering should be avoided because it can encourage the growth of mold.
• In a dry spell, allow an established lawn to go dormant. Water just once a month and brown areas of the lawn will bounce back in the fall.
These ideas will save water and reduce your water bills.
I think this other verse from Coleridge’s poem is a simple reminder of how to take care of things on this Earth. If we all followed this advice, the world would be a safer and healthier place for all:
“He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”
Upcoming KLB activities:
• July 19, 2-6 p.m.: FPCA’s iWin event will collect CDs and DVDs (in the original cases with original artwork covers) for recycling. The proceeds will help put iPads and Kindles in classrooms. Call 876-0441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Stop using the ground as an ash tray! To receive free car ashtrays and pocket ashtrays, call KLB at 880-4888 or email email@example.com.