Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Most Eco UNfriendly Thing I've Ever Done

Last year, Hubby and I got to looking at the front of our house and thought it came up short on curb appeal. So, we got out the shovels and dug a new flower bed. We spent whole weekends bringing in dirt and planting bushes and plants. We arranged an irrigation system from our gutters to some of the thirstier plants. We agonized over the cement bird bath or a colored ceramic one.
And we put in a fountain.
We thought the fountain would be eco-friendly. We put it on a timer to shut off at night and for a few hours during the day to save electricity and water evaporation. Birds and other animals could drink out of it. The babbling water sound would be soothing to ourselves and neighbors, therefore ensuring peace in the land. Yes, it would also add visual appeal, but we truly had the best of intentions when we put it in.

My owners are environmentally responsible and set me to turn off during the day so as not to waste water and electricity.

In the last year, we have discovered that the babbling sound IS in fact appreciated by ourselves and our neighbors. It is also appreciated by a very large crane that likes to stand up to his ankles in the fountain and then poop on our sidewalk. It is also appreciated by several outdoor cats in the 'hood who like to drink out of it and then use the flowerbed as a kitty box. Toads are lured in (I'm guessung by the chemical-hiding plastic lily pad) and then find they can't get out; so they drown. During the week of no electricity after Hurricane Ike, we had to empty the pond because it was quickly turning into a mosquito breeding factory. But most importantly, this fountain loses at least 3 gallons a day of water to evaporation!! Good grief! We could probably build our own thundercloud with what comes out of our pond every week. I don't know that we've actually noticed a difference in our water bill, but it just feels truly wasteful that we've got all this water going in and then disappearing, literally, into thin air. Well, now I know. My next attempt at a water feature will have to have a nature based water collection system. I'm thinking of some overly-complicated system of rain barrels and hoses. That'll be pretty. ;-)
"I'm a frog-strangling water hog!"

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