Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tips to Reduce Water Waste [#CTWW]

This week's challenge:

To begin, test your water conservation knowledge by taking this QUIZ

THEN ... Install at least one low-flow aerator on a faucet in your home. These are relatively inexpensive from hardware stores and are easily installed (just screw them on).

OR ... If you've already installed aerators on your faucets, choose one other way to conserve water this week. Need some ideas? Eat no meat, pork or poultry (they all require a lot of water to produce). Reduce or eliminate spending (except for true essentials). Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. Review your water bill history to determine periods of high use and make plans to reduce during those times (it's also a good tool for determining leaks). Fix leaky faucets or toilets. Consider removing some of the lawn (or all of it) and planting native shrubs, plants, trees, etc. When refreshing your pet's water, or changing the water in a fish tank, use it to feed your plants. Get creative and find a way to reduce your water footprint.

I am starting off this post about water conservation by admitting that I have reduced focus on water conservation. It all started almost one year ago when I gave birth. Conserving water took a back seat to taking care of a baby 24x7. Ok, ok, for months, I stopped watching how much water we were using. We now had a little bundle of joy that required cloth diapers, washing dirty clothes, and baths. 

The CTWW challenges brought me back into focus though. The challenges are a little voice in the back of my head, reminding me to reduce my footprint on the world. This week's challenge sparked my thinking about water conservation. Here is a list of my action items to reduce our water footprint. Some of these have already been implemented and some will be implemented in the coming month.
  1. Reduce the amount of water used for washing cloth diapers by switching cycles.
  2. Reuse grey water to water indoor plants.
  3. Save grey water and add to water barrel for outdoor plants.
  4. Use rain barrel to water garden.
  5. Keep water pitcher in fridge.
  6. Vegetarian with a splash of vegan fast for lent (and potentially longer!).
  7. Do not water the lawn during the summer.
The most surprising action we already do is not watering the lawn during the summer. Why? Because in the 4.5 years we have lived in our house, we have never watered our lawn. How this slipped by my must-have-green-manicured-lawn husband, I do not know! But, I am not complaining!

My biggest goal for the Spring and the Summer is to fill the water barrel with grey water from household chores like water leftover from rinsing fruits and vegetables. I keep an old bowl and instead of running water and using a colander, I fill the bowl with water and wash everything in it. Sometimes, I have to refresh the water 2-3 times depending on how dirty the vegetables are, but the water will go into the watering can and/or rain barrel.

Awareness is the first step to finding creative ways to conserve water, our most precious resource. Just thinking about how much we use water on a daily basis, from hygiene to cooking and cleaning.

>> What are some ways that you conserve or can start conserving water??

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