Water Epiphany: How can I conserve water every time I use the faucet?

It is 2008. Three years before, I sold my successful natural products small manufacturing business and retired. I am finishing up a multi-year financial services consulting project, wondering what to do next.

I am at my kitchen sink, experimenting: Can I train myself to shut off the faucet water every time I’m not using it? The short answer: No! It’s psychologically gruesome. Frustration and mental defiance surge as over and over I am forced to spend 10-15 seconds turning the faucet on, readjusting temperature and flow, then off – sometimes to save just 2-3 seconds of water. Every time, every sink activity. After a short while, unbearable cognitive dissonance compels my return to old, wasteful sink habits and behaviors – but feeling guilty wasting water, I try again later. Same results.

I’m driving. An epiphany! I realize my feet have an intelligence of their own! I don’t consciously tell them what to do – they hit the gas, the brake in response to my thoughts, my high-level objectives: On their own, they slow to turn right, accelerate to merge, even screech on brakes to avoid a child darting into the road. My feet — a pedal — responds to my intentions, not just conscious thought! And all the while my brain is occupied surveying the road, or with other thoughts, overseeing other activities.

AH HA! I realize I need a pedal to control water flow in my sink! Goodbye frustration and cognitive dissonance! It is 2009. The AquaPedal™ spark is ignited; shortly thereafter, quick research into water, energy, and societal issues fans the spark into a flame. More research, plus the enthusiastic support of environmentalists, the socially engaged, and frugal friends explodes the flame into a small conflagration, still growing today!

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