We know that you understand how precious water is to life, vitality, and growth—for our communities, families, and farms. Keeping our waterways clean is only part of the battle; we also need to focus on conserving water. Every drop is precious, and wasting water is something that we cannot afford to do. Wondering how you can conserve water in your own home? Read on to learn how you can start today.
1. Turn It Off
When washing the dishes, consider filling each side of the sink—one with soapy water to clean the dishes, the other with fresh water to rinse. This is always a better option than simply letting the water run. It is also a great idea to turn off the water while brushing your teeth and soaping up in the shower. Don't leave the hose running outside while gardening or washing your car—the less water you use to perform these daily tasks, the better. And if you have leaky faucets or toilets, you’ll want to fix them immediately!
2. Reuse It
Consider purchasing or making your own graywater system. A graywater system can range from a simple, low-cost system to a highly complex, very expensive one. A graywater system collects water from sinks, washers, and dishwashers that can be recycled on-site for use in landscape irrigation. You’ll want to check with your state’s guidelines as to whether they allow use of a graywater system, and remember that graywater is not suitable for drinking.
3. Capture It
In the past, we’ve talked about the benefits—both ecological and economic—of harvesting rainwater. Harvesting rainwater is an ecologically beneficial way to irrigate your gardens and flower beds, wash your car, flush your toilets, or to purify and use as a source of drinking water. The 600 gallons of water for every 1 inch of rain that fall on your 1,000-square foot roof equal a significant amount of water that you can reuse each year, thus saving you a lot of money.
4. Xeriscape and Xerogarden It
This spring, when you start planning the gardens and landscaping for your yard, consider xeriscaping and xerogardening. Xeriscaping and xerogardening reduce and/or eliminate the need for irrigation watering by incorporating plants that grow well in your climate region. Choose plants based on the amount of water and light they require. For further conservation, use mulch and eliminate plants that require large amounts of water.
5. Don't Bottle It
If you are still purchasing water in plastic bottles, now is the time to consider an alternative. Although drinking bottled water isn't necessarily wasting water, it is wasting the resources used in its production, manufacturing, and transportation. Today, there are many fantastic stainless steel and glass water bottles available on the market that make staying hydrated quick, easy, and fashionable. Leave these refillable bottles in your car, gym bag, office desk, or any other convenient place and eliminate the need to buy bottled water.
Photo credits: “Clear Water” by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region, “Leaky Faucet” by VanDammeMaarten.be, “Urban Harvest Tour – Rain Water Barrels” by jbolles, “Retention Area” by dpatricklewis
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