Spring is just around the corner. Learn to mimic nature in this year’s landscape to capture, treat and reuse stormwater which also conserves, preserves and protects our water and water quality.
– Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees that won’t need as much watering once established. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
– Explore alternatives to a lawn-based yard. Consider adding a bioswale or rain garden to capture and infiltrate runoff.
– Disconnect down spouts and direct roof runoff to gardens and lawns instead, putting runoff to good use.
– Convert paved areas to more permeable surfaces to promote infiltration and groundwater recharge.
– Use compost or weed-free mulch on your garden to hold soil moisture and help keep soil from washing away.
Wasted food is wasted water.
From birth to table, turkeys can use over 450 gallons of water a piece for their care, slaughter, and transportation. A holiday ham can use up to 550 gallons.
Respect the resources that make a meal possible by avoiding food waste. Prepare an appropriate amount of food – not an overabundance, take only what you’ll eat, and divvy up leftovers for sharing or freezing.
Dishwashers use half the energy, one-sixth of the water and less soap than hand-washing according to research at the University of Bonn, Germany. Dishwashers beat the hand washers in both efficient water use and cleanliness level.
Need a dishwasher? Consider these tips to get the most efficient and effective:
1. Choose an ENERGY STAR dishwasher
2. Scrape food into the compost. Don’t iwaste water rinsing.
3. Choose an eco-friendly dishwasher detergent.
4. Run full loads, on the “light” cycle and turn off the “heated drying” option.
5. Repair a dishwasher before replacing it.
Need to keep the kids occupied while they’re home for break?
Try some of these water conservation games rounded up by Water, Use it Wisely.
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.
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.