Scottsbluff’s downtown parking lots provide more than just parking and pretty greenspace.
The gardens are designed to help curb pollution from snow and rain runoff through infiltration and phytoremediation (the use of plants to fight pollutants), make snow removal more efficient in the winter, reduce reflective heat in the summer, provide pollinator habitat, help recharge groundwater reserves, and feature regionally native plants and trees for the Nebraska Panhandle.
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.
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.
Can you take a two minute shower? South Africa’s top music artists recorded two-minute versions of some of their most popular songs to help Capetown resident’s stick to recommended two-minute shower. Check out the music and the website to see how well you can soap and sing at the same time.
Thanks to extreme conservation efforts, a dose of heavy rains, and continued adherence to water restrictions, Day Zero has been pushed back to 2019.
Day Zero loomed ominously over Cape Town, South Africa, when all water taps to the would be shut off for 3.74 million residents due to three years of drought, population expansion, and insufficient planning.
Residents still limit themselves to 50 litres (13 gallons) of water each day, complete entire showers in 60 seconds, flush their toilets only once a day, and minimize dish washing and laundry all on reduced water pressure. In the process, Cape Town has become an international role model for urban water conservation.
Consider these tips from conserveh20.org as you prep the sprinkler system for the season for effective and efficient watering.
1. Look for signs of leakage, especially damage to sprinkler heads or piping which could have occurred over the winter. Repair and replace as needed.
2. Look for accurate spray patterns. Adjust your sprinkler heads so they water your landscape and not sidewalks or pavement. Also make sure their spray isn’t blocked by plants or other materials.
3. Clean clogged nozzles and sprinkler heads.
4. Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch. Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky – minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris from blocking the sensor.
Recent research suggests rain harvesting may have provided the 800 Roman soliders manning Hadrian’s Fort with 10 liters (2.62 gallons) of drinking water per per capita per day during their deployment.
Evidence at Hadrian’s Fort, a strategic Roman outpost along Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, indicates building rooftops were constructed to capture rainfall. The runoff collected in stone-lined tanks, two to six tanks per key building, capable of holding 2 cubic meters (about 528 gallons) of water each.
It’s an amazing feat of foresight, considering Hadrian’s Fort has no internal springs or wells, access to springs or waterways in the region, and an aqueduct supply would have been extremely impractical.
Photo by David Ross
Hadrian’s Wall at Steel Rigg
Twice Brewed, Northumberland, England