Do you have an organic vegetable garden? After the stock market crash of ’08, chances are considerably higher that you do. The home and garden division of Target and other various megastores are reporting an unprecedented increase in the sale of gardening equipment, plants, and seeds, as people try to cut down on their food bills. Numbers have it that the cost/benefit analysis, once you get your garden turning on all cylinders, is about 15 to 1. So here’s a simple idea for those of you who want to do even more to organically cut corners and save even more for the environment: Get your hands on a giant bucket, reroute your laundry pipe to the bucket, cleverly acquire some biodegradable laundry detergent, do a load, and water your garden with the runoff.
This is also especially useful in drought-stricken areas like Israel, where watering your garden these days will cost you about $5 for every cubic meter you use beyond your quota. I hear things are getting bad in California as well.
But why biodegradable? I found out why yesterday, when I absentmindedly suggested to my wife that we pull the laundry hose out of the drain in the floor and put it in my giant empty bucket which I normally use for the primary fermentation stage of home brewing beer. (More on that later.) “Why?” she asked me, as wives often do. “So we can water the garden with the runoff and all the neighbors can be in awe of our giant and firm vegetables,” I answered proudly. Granted, the only thing we have in the garden right now is a budding tomato plant we accidentally planted there after burying compost, most likely including a tomato, in a hole 3 months ago.
I figured the replumbing operation was a good idea, until she informed me that toxic heavily-chlorinated, non-biodegradable detergent doesn’t do well for plants, contaminating groundwater, or keeping DNA generally unmutated, and do you want our accidental tomato plant to die in a hell storm of detergent chemicals?
I said no. And that’s when I knew, somewhere deep inside me, that purchasing an organic biodegradable detergent would solve the entire problem. So pick one up. Do some plumbing. Save some water. Grow a garden. Laugh at your neighbors in contempt for not being as thrifty and environmentally conscious as you. Revel in your victory.