Water is used in many rituals of blessing and cleansing in the Christian tradition. So it is coherent that we take care of "sister water who is useful, humble, precious and pure". (saint Francis of Assisi) You can also celebrate World Water Day (March 22) during the Sunday service.
Some water is used for rituals; even more water is used for maintenance. Consequently, it is useful to reexamine the amount of water we use and what we pour down the drain. That is why cleaning products are so important when talking about water.
Reducing Water Consumption Outside
- If you water the lawn and plants of the church, try to reduce the quantity used to a minimum. Only water after sunset and, obviously, not on rainy days.
- Consider getting a rain barrel. This barrel connects to a gutter and reduces the amount of drinkable water we use for watering outside. www.rainbarrel.ca
- Avoid hosing down the sidewalks and driveways.
- Spread mulch on flower beds to reduce evaporation.
- Replace annual plants with perennial shrubs which are more drought resistant
Reducing Water Consumption Inside
- Make your church into a "Bottled Water Free Zone". A nice poster can be printed out from the Posters.
- Serve pitchers of water (from the tap) with reusable glasses during meetings and gatherings. To improve the taste, add a slice of lemon or cucumber in the pitcher.
- Suggest trading the old one-use bottles for a reusable water bottle. It is reusable and much nicer. Your faith community could even sell some with your logo on it.
- The kids could colour little posters for the washrooms that encourage people to reduce their water consumption.
- Repair leaky faucets. Did you know that a single drop every second wastes 25L of drinking water every day ? That's 750 L per month !
- Time to renovate the washrooms ? Think of buying toilets with smaller reservoirs. Many cities offer grants to those who buy this type of toilet.
- Install urinals operated by motion detection (avoid rinsing cycle systems).
- In church and at home, use cleaning products that are marked in accordance with the OECD tests that confirm the product is better for the environment. In North America, the most recognized certification is ECOLOGO.
- You could also make your own cleaning products with mixtures of vinegar, baking soda, lemon and pure soap.