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Monday, August 8, 2011

Water Conservation

I live in an area with apparently abundant water (it rains a lot here).
Water is also relatively cheap.
As a frugal person, I love this, but as someone who wants to protect our environment and natural resources, I think it should be more expensive. A LOT more expensive.
Though of course, I would also like financial incentives for those who conserve.
One kilogallon of water--thats 1,000 gallons, folks--costs $1.28. Does that seem a little crazy to you? It does to me.

This last water bill (July) I was happy to note that I used only 5 KG. This includes watering the flower and vegetable gardens, but it was an exceptionally rainy month so daily watering was not necessary. It was down from 7 KG in June, and down from 18 KG last July!

I find it much easier to spend time doing little things to conserve while living alone. First, there is the time and thought that goes into building new habits, and then there's no-one to notice or comment that what you are doing seems odd or extreme in their view. However, as I have talked to more people about my water-conserving ways lately, I have found that many other friends, coworkers and acquaintances have similar water-saving practices.

Could we share ideas?

Here are some things that I have done.
  • "Navy" showers: Jump in, get wet, water off, soap up, on to rinse, etc. No more lingering under the hot water.
  • Turn water on, wet hands, off to soap up (sing the alphabet song), on at low pressure to rinse.
  • I still wash dishes by rinsing under running water (plan to get rinse tub soon!) but I use low-flow water.
  • Don't flush the toilet every time. You know that old saying for those with septic tanks: If it's yellow, let it mellow (do need to scrub the bathroom more frequently).
  • Wear clothing several times until it is visibly stained or sweaty/smelly to cut down on laundry. For things that are bound to be stinky like exercise clothes, throw them in a distant closet and launder weekly.
  • Drip irrigation system for the veggie garden (thank you Minou).
  • Put out water for the chickens twice daily istead of the constant-water hose to watering tray system (leaks from the hose were responsible for last July's huge consumption, I believe)
And a trick my friend & neighbor taught me: Gather shower water in a bucket and use it to water the plants in the summer of flush the toilet in the winter.

What other tricks do you have for reducing water consumption?

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