This month's Popular Science magazine, which is in the main bathroom, has the annual Best of What's New awards. One of the new things is this Nanosolar solar film, basically a photovoltaic cell the thickness of aluminum foil that costs about 30 cents per watt to generate electricity. That's less than half the price of coal people. Holy shit. I'm looking up how to invest in this company right now. You could coat your car with this stuff, your roof... you could coat your sidewalk in this (although I doubt you'd want to walk on it). Got a dead patch in the lawn? Use it to generate enough electricity to power your water heater! I mean damn, this is cool.
Another thing that caught my eye was the AQUS Watersaver, a device that goes under your sink which treats your sink water and runs it into your toilet, saving water. The copy says the device should save 10-20 gallons a day in a 2-person household; Popsci's article says 14 gallons. I was curious about this. 14 gallons a day. That's 5110 gallons per year. The device costs $295, and I was curious how long it would take you to pay for it, at the rate of 5110 gallons per year. So I wondered, how much does water cost? I decided to look up the price of municipal water; I used Greenville, SC, as my test market for reasons that I may discuss later if I feel like it. Turns out, if you live outside the city limits but use city water, they charge you $2.03 per 1000 gallons. So this device will save you $10.37 per year. You'll pay for it, then, in about 28 years.
There's also sewerage, of course. I don't pay for water here (it's part of the homeowner's fees), but if I recall from water bills in North Lauderdale and Clemson, sewerage is about five times as expensive as water itself. Still, in Greenville County at least, city sewerage will only cost you $10.15 per 1000 gallons (roughly). That's $51.87 in savings per year, added to the $10.37 gets $62.24. So then the device should pay for itself in less than 5 years. That's not so bad.
After doing all that calcution... I decided water is way too damn cheap. First of all, bottled water runs you at least $5/gallon. City water runs you less than a penny per gallon. And it's treated, filtered, and fluoridated.
And there's a damn 100-year drought going on in South Carolina right now. And water still only costs a fifth of a penny per gallon? What the hell is up with that?