Far too many people have an all or nothing approach to environmentalism, which is why more people don’t take up the cause. I tell someone to bike to work if they can, and they assume that I mean that they should do it in all kinds of weather and regardless of the clothing that they need to wear for work. I suggest that people use less water, and they assume that I mean that they can’t shower now and that they should only be drinking rainwater from now on. I don’t know if they’re assuming that I really am that petty of a person, which I hope not, or if they are just trying to rationalize away doing anything for the cause.
People use a lot of water each and every day, and that water usage is going to add up a lot over the course of any person’s lifetime. Using one less gallon per day can add up really fast too. Turning off the faucet slightly quicker is often all the effort that it takes in order to save a gallon of water every day, since people will use a lot of water just when it comes to their sinks. No one is saying that you should never wash your hands, which wouldn’t ultimately be good for the environment anyway, since it would cause problems with diseases that society at large would have to fix in a resource-intensive manner. Making little changes to your lifestyle can have huge impacts.
The people who can make huge changes to their lives obviously should. However, lots of people are wasting water and energy for reasons that don’t actually make their lives any better. They’re using old-fashioned and inefficient light bulbs instead of LED bulbs just because those older light bulbs are the ones that they are familiar with, which is never a good reason to do anything. They’re driving to the gym to use a treadmill instead of taking a walk outside and getting an even better workout. They’re leaving the lights on at the other end of the house, and no one is even around to appreciate all of the energy that is being consumed at that moment.