Waterwise Wednesday: Drops to Watts

Graphic: EPA.gov/Watersense

Saving water saves energy. Simply running a faucet for five minutes uses about as much energy as a 60-watt incandescent light bulb staying on for 14 hours, according to the EPA.

How can you save both water and energy?

1. Use less water or use it efficiently – shorter showers, full loads of dishes, turn the tap off while brushing teeth or washing dishes, use a hot water kettle or microwave to heat only the water you need.

2. Find and fix leaks in toilets, sinks, sprinkler systems and appliances.

3. Use cold water instead of hot when possible – laundry, washing fruits and vegetables (use the rinsewater for house plants), rinsing cleaning products

4. Install low-flow fixtures and faucet aerators in showers and sinks.

5. Replace worn out and older inefficient appliances with Water Sense and Energy Star labeled products tested and designed to use water and energy more efficiently – toilets, washing machines, and water heaters are big ones.

Waterwise Wednesday: Handwash vs. Dishwasher

Photo © Ctacik Hands in gloves washing dishes at the kitchen

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.


Waterwise Wednesday: Water Harvesting

Capture and reuse rain runoff to supplement regular watering and reduce demand on the public water system with these ideas.

1. Gently mound dirt along a plant’s dripline to hold and infiltrate runoff.

2. Re-use household wastewater from dehumidifiers or air conditioning condensers for irrigation.

3. Install a rain barrel or cistern. Rain barrels can store the water until the weather turns dry and is needed.

4. Plant a rain garden – the basin will hold runoff while providing the yard with color and pollinator habitat.

Photo via gilintx via Flickr CC

Waterwise Wednesday: Truly Green Lawn Remedies

Problem: Lawnmowers create 5% of US air pollution (EPA)

Remedy: Buffalo Grass tops out between 4-5 inches and has a growing shorter season; thus requiring less mowing.

Problem: Lawn owners use 10 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers per acre than farmers use on their crops (National Academy of Sciences).

Remedy: Native grasses are used to drier conditions. Even traditional grasses can be trained to use less water.

Problem: Traditional grasses use more water

Remedy: Native grass species require less chemical input since they’re already adapted to succeed in our soils and climate.

Problem: Native grasses aren’t as pretty, soft, green, etc.

Remedy: Check the different types. Tatanka buffalo grass is actually used on golf courses. (Which is an activity you’ll have more time for by raising a sustainable lawn.)

Water Wise Wednesday: Another Way to Tell Time

A drip a second from a leaky faucet sends five gallons of water down the drain in a day. An hour could be measured as 3,364 drips or about 3 3/4 cups of water.

According to the US Geological Survey, a typical drip is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

In the end, it’s probably easier (and cheaper) to just set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday.

Copyright: Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Water $avings

Photo © Vladimir Kindrachov

“If all U.S. households installed water-saving features, water use would decrease by 30 percent, saving an estimated 5.4 billion gallons per day. This would result in dollar-volume savings of $11.3 million per day or more than $4 billion per year.” – USGS 2015 Water Census

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Business

Water conservation ranks as a “top five” priority for the next decade for 99% of business managers surveyed according to WaterUseitWisely.com.

Try these tips and see how much your business can save:

1. Learn where your company uses water – landscape, restrooms, break rooms, and create usage goals for those areas.

2. Shut off water to unused areas to eliminate waste from leaks or unmonitored use.

4. Create a goal of how much water your company can save and publish the company’s monthly water use to show progress toward those goals.

5. Educate employees on good water habits through newsletters and posters.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: Kid Games

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.

Games

 

Waterwise Wednesday: Party Primping

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.

Photo © Pavel Losevsky

Waterwise Wednesday: Winter Prep

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.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

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