Getting ready for a holiday party? Use these tips to save water while you prepare now and throughout the year.
1. Collect the cold water while you wait to shower to warm up. Use to water pets or plants.
2. Shower in 5 minutes or less – this can save up to 1000 gallons per month if you’re used to taking longer showers.
3. Shorten the shower and water waste by turning off the shower while you brush your teeth, shampoo, and/or shave.
4. Rinse wisely: If you don’t shave or brush your teeth in the shower, rinse razors or toothbrushes in the sink with a little water or in a small glass of water. Rinsing a razor under running water can waste up to 300 gallons a month.
Winter officially begins this Friday. Make sure your house is ready to prevent freezing and flooding.
1. Know where your property shut-off valve is. The faster you can turn off the water when a pipe breaks, the less water wasted, water damage, and repair costs.
2. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas. Wrap water supply lines in unheated areas with insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. The most susceptible pipes freezes are those exposed to frigid temperatures such as outdoor hose bibs and water supply lines in unheated interior areas like basements, crawlspaces, and even kitchen cabinets.
3. Drip your faucets. Contrary to popular belief, dripping faucets during freezing temperatures can actually save you money on water by acting as inexpensive insurance. Pulling water through the entire system by turning on faucets keeps the water moving, reducing the likelihood of freezing.
4. Check for leaks after the first thaw. Winter’s temperature changes between night and day cause pipes to expand and contract. When the spring thaw occurs, weakened pipes are likely to break.
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Thanks to Ask HR Green.org for these nifty water-minded gift ideas . . .
Holidays often increase water use for meals, laundry, dishes, and bathing which also increases the risk of clogs. If you experience a clogged drain here’s the DIY green tips to try before calling the plumber.
1. Plumber’s snake: A plumber’s snake can be inserted into a clogged pipe to either push or pull through a blockage. Clogs are either pushed or pulled up can then be disposed of safely in the garbage.
2. Vinegar and Baking Soda: Simply sprinkle a little baking soda into the drain, follow with equal parts of vinegar and you will notice it fizzes up, dispersing any fatty deposits. Let sit for 10-15 then follow with a flush of hot water.
3. Plunge it. A change in pressure can often shift a stubborn clog. Create a strong seal round the edge of the plunger. Keep water over the cup of the plunger and move it back and forth a few times. Periodically check to make sure the blockage is coming loose. Then remove and dispose of the clog in the garbage (if it is in a solid lump).
4. Use drain cleaners with chemicals as a last resort. Drain cleaners contain a number of chemicals, including bleaches, lye, caustic soda and sodium silicate. When these substances react with water they can release fumes that cause breathing problems, running eyes or skin irritations. Drain cleaners can also change the pH of water, in turn affecting organisms living in our waterways.
Here’s some ways to save water as you celebrate the holiday . . .
1. The Big Thaw. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator instead of cold water. Remember, to put it in pan to catch leaking juices.
2. Bathe instead of shower. Wash vegetables in a large bowl of water, instead of under running water. Then use the water to soak the roasting pan or dirty utensils before washing them.
3. Steam instead of boil – not only will you use less water, you’ll also preserve more nutrients and vitamins.
4. Track the glass. Use wine glass charms, ribbon, or different color yarn to keep track of your glass throughout the day instead of reaching for clean one each refill. K
5. Easy reach. Keep one pitcher of cold water on the table for water glass refills. Keep a second to collect the half-full glasses at day’s end for plant or pet water.
6. Scrape dishes into the compost or trash rather than rinsing food scraps down the garbage disposal, which clogs pipes with oil and grease.
7. Thank goodness for dishwashers – ENERGY STAR – rated dishwashers can use as little as three gallons per load. If you have to wash dishes by hand, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
To see more of Alison’s creative global environmental accomplishments check out her website below.