Saturday, June 18, 2016

Become More Water Smart

--  Water Smart -- 

To be honest - every year - I put out a series of posts, articles and such in the genre of improving water issues awareness. This includes the use of water, you know - "reduce" and "reuse". 

Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to drop in a local FaceBook group where I was inspired to start a conversation where people could share their water conservation tips. I'd like to share this same post with you again here - yeah, I know it is repeated content, which I rarely do. However, it is that time of year again and every year water issues are more on my mind again. 

My hope is that our readers will share our posts on the topic -- but also, we ask that people comment on the posts sharing their own thoughts, experiments, ideas, etc.

I'll start with last year's post this week, and I'll follow that up with a great article written by Lauren Thomas re: her thoughts on effective watering techniques. (*Look for it to be published on June 20th.) OK - here's my previously published article...

Water conservation
(originally published on July 22, '15)

... 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 out the front door onto plants or the 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. We do 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 in drinking glasses are put in one of the pets' water dishes, and when those pet dishes get a bit dirty 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 sprinklers 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. O
ne 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.  

Here are some of comments that people from the FaceBook group posted: 

- 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 

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