Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Water conservation

Water conservation

... I thought it would be interesting to start a discussion on what people are doing to conserve water at home or at work. I posted the following on a local FaceBook group for our valley and had some great responses from people offering tips on what they do... I won't share names for privacy issues nor quote from them, but I will share their tips. I would like to encourage our readers to also share what they are doing here via the comment section and to also share this post online so that more people will be inspired to conserve this precious resource.

So here is what I posted originally:

I've been keeping a bowl handy for when doing everyday sink activities from washing hands to rinsing veggies - taking that water and dumping over the deck or front door on plants & or lawn, depending on where I "watered" last and what needs it most. I do the same thing with a bucket, for when I've washed floors or something... of course I only use eco-friendly all natural products. Over the last 4.5 years in this home we've updated all our appliances, faucets, etc. to water savvy ones. Also changed 2 of our 3 toilets to dual flush. Want to do the other toilet but can't afford it just yet so we use the other toilets as much as we can instead. We've got drip hoses on timers for the plants on the deck, we've got soaker hoses on the landscaped beds with perennials, trees, shrubs (planted just 1 year ago) outside the fence, and soaker hoses in the veggie garden too. We dump rinse water from rinsing dishes or rinsing out recyclables, any liquids left over in cups, jugs or glasses in our compost bucket. Any water left undrunk in glasses are put in the pets' watering dishes, and when those pet dishes get a bit mungy we dump that water on plants or lawn. We've never sprinkled after 9:30 AM no matter what the water levels are at. ...I also save cooking water; once cool, I spread it around the lawn or on a plant or two that needs it. And we used to wash our vehicle by hand, using a bucket and a sprayer on the hose - on the lawn... before the fence went up. Now we go to the local car wash place which reportedly recycles their water. I hope one day to have underground sprinkers put in so the property is automatically watered between 5 and 7 AM - the most efficient time to water... but that is one day in the future.

Here are some of things people from the facebook group shared for either conserving water, using it responsibly or capturing water they then use to water plants, etc.:

- placing buckets under taps while waiting for the water to get hot (kitchen sink, shower, etc.)  
- collect rain water
- mulch the garden/landscaping
- place a jug of water in the fridge so people don't run the tap waiting for the water to get cold
- place a bowl in the sink to capture water from hand washing, rinsing veggies, rinsing dish rags out, etc. 
- collect and save the water dripping out of air conditioners
 - refrain from mowing the lawn unless you see weed heads forming seeds; longer grass shades itself, stays greener longer, and needs less water.
- take shorter showers, or share showers :)
 - save dehumidifier water for watering plants
- re: toilets... if it is yellow let it mellow - if it is brown flush it down 

* ... one more option that I have learned to do recently is to place drip trays under hanging plant pots so that when the water drips out the bottom through the holes in the pot, it is captured by the trays and you can use it to water other plants. I just started doing this the last couple weeks and found that I capture enough water from 3 hanging baskets to serve the watering needs for two outdoor plant pots on the deck.  

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