Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thanksgiving Dilemma

My dad is a water addict. Don't get me wrong, I'm no water conservation hero either. I have many a 'let-the-water-run slip-ups, however my father is an H2Ohmygod do you really need those twelve gallons of water to wash that spoon person. After beginning "What You Can Do", watching my father's water consumption in the kitchen sometimes causes me to have heart palpitations. He's a full blast, dawdle while you wash dish washer.

Since my dad would likely assume you could cook a pot roast in the blender, he puts in his share of the holiday workload by doing the dishes. He does them every year and it's always assumed that it's his gig. This year though, I've decided to ask him to be more mindful as he hand washes the plates and such. To shut off the faucet if he needs to walk away from the sink to grab a dish. To shut the water off again if he needs to scrub something for any length of time. What do you think - is that judgmental or is it environmental of me? I myself have resolved to be more aware of when I'm turning the sink on and off as well. DO turn the sink on when rinsing a dish. DON'T turn the sink on when scrubbing a dish. And I know my dad won't want me to co-opt his dish duty, since traditionally, my dad does the dishes, my mom and I cook and my sister clears the table.

So is his water usage my business?

Before you answer, check out this statistic: according to the EPA, if every household in the US reduced their water use by ten gallons on Thanksgiving, we’d save more than one billion gallons of water.

Does the environment trump politeness? Should I risk it?


  1. if there is a double sided sink fill one side with hot soapy water for washing for him. let him read the blog. Express your concerns. Let he dishes be his gig regardless... it is his contribution.... but help by rinsing.... if he protests then say "I had great together time with Mo this morning and now I want some with you.....

  2. Sometimes..well ok almost daily, we who see the problem have to take on more of the burden of conservation. So many either don't understand or don't believe that we need to care for our precious resources. I am encouraged however seeing that more and more people are becoming "Green" everyday. Thanks to sites like this!! Thanks 'What You Can Do'
    signed - Green Dude Scott of The Green Divas Radio Show

  3. First I applaud your commitment to the environment.
    Secondly, am impressed that you wish to raise awareness within your family.

    One should be so blessed to have a family in which to share Thanksgiving with in the first place.

    A gentle way in which to encourage mindfulness in others in Your Home would be to have a small sign, plaque etc. at the sink area (you can make one or buy one) saying something like this:

    The Planet Thanks you for Conserving Water
    Turn Me On, Turn Me Off

    you get the drift. Be creative, polite AND raise awareness. Mostly be Thankful that you have a family to share your commitment with.

  4. Yes, I think you should speak up. When that much water is going down the drain, it is everyone's business. So many people don't realize just how important water conservation is. Worse, a lot of people don't care. Thank you for the statistic...I will be passing it on =)

  5. I personally think this is one of the dumbest articles I have ever read. Your DAD is trying to help out. Big F***ing deal if he leaves the water running. One of these days, he's going to be dead and gone and you are going to be real sorry for all the fussing you did at family gatherings...and miss all that running water. My Mom and Dad used to do some "quirky" things on holidays and I would give anything to have her back here with me doing those same, old quirky things. BE GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL, HE'S STILL ALIVE....LEAVE HIM ALONE AND ENJOY THE TIME HE STILL HAS WITH HIS FAMILY.