When a Little Is A Lot: Drippy Faucets, Litter, … and Small Courtesies!

A drip of water seems like nothing, but those drips add up fast. One plumbing company, using USGS data, calculated that “if your faucet dripped once every second every day, all day, it would only take four and a half hours to reach one gallon. Every day you would waste 5 gallons of water or 2,082 gallons per year.

One straw in the ocean, one plastic bag littering the street … We’ve seen how those add up, with horrific consequences.

Fortunately the reverse is true too. Fixing that drippy faucet; picking up that piece of trash. It adds up!

Another thing that adds up is little kindnesses that make people’s life easier. This morning I had an email newsletter from Zazzle, one of the online services I use to make prints of my art. “We’ve updated our Zazzle user agreement,” the email informed me. But instead of simply providing a link to the full-length document of the updated user agreement (which they did), Zazzle additionally provided a link to just the highlights. To me, reading this capsule summary was a great way to start the morning. I felt disproportionately happy.

Or maybe my happiness wasn’t disproportionate at all! Maybe it was perfectly appropriate. Have you ever had someone send you a link, and it turned out to lead to some 80-page document or hour-long video, and it was obvious the person expected you to wade through the whole thing? Is it only me, or is that frustrating?

Whether it’s a friend or a service provider wanting me to view this content, a nutshell summary is a much desired, but all too often absent, accompaniment to a link. It may even be a lost art; a casualty of the social-media age.

Anyway, thank you Zazzle! When someone is considerate is a seemingly small way, it can have a huge impact. And the impact ripples out to everyone the recipient of the courtesy interacts with, at least for the morning and maybe for the whole day, or longer. And although I’ve never done the math, I’m pretty sure this kind of considerateness reduces our collective eco footprint, in as significant a way as fixing a drippy faucet saves water.

Further Reading and Action:

USGS – Faucet Drip Calculator – Got dripping faucets? Calculate how much water you can save by fixing them!