I began running our dehumidifier this week, and I changed a practice that bothered me last year: pouring the water from the tank down the drain, where the water enters the sewer system and must be treated. What started out as perfectly clean water mingled with sewage when it could easily be returned to nature.
One reason I poured it down the drain was my temporary limited mobility, requiring the use of a cane, but I found an answer. I started pouring the water into jugs and pitchers that I can carry more easily than the heavy tank. One glass pitcher holds water for the outdoor cat bowls, so I give them pure water rather than drawing water from the spigot. Today I will use the water to rinse recyclable cocoa containers outdoors, returning the water to the ground and avoiding use of tap water.
Finding ways to preserve resources requires not only not disposing of things, but not using things when something else will do. In this case I am using clean water, thus reducing electricity use — we have well water and thus use electricity to run the pump — and reducing the amount of water going to the sewage treatment plant. It also requires some thought and creativity, rather than blindly doing what you have always done.