10 Tips To Save Water
As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” With droughts raging all across the country, it’s safe to say that statement should be applied to water conservation. And yes, the time is right now.
We asked sustainability expert and leader in the field of Eco Education, Evan Marks of The Ecology Center, to share his top tips on easy ways to reduce water usage.
1. Buy locally from a farmer’s market (saves 75 gals/meal)
Energy is water. Local food saves energy and water. The closer your food is grown from your kitchen, the less water it uses in packaging and transportation.
2. Eat veggies instead of meat once a week (saves 500 gals/meal)
A pound of beef takes about 1,200 gallons to produce. That’s water embedded into the growth of the grain, bathing, transportation and packaging.
3. Plant a rain garden (reduces water pollution by 30 percent)
A rain garden utilizes rain to create a beautiful garden at your back door, and prevents rainwater that falls from your roof from running off into the street and picking up pollution before it enters the ocean.
Tip: Observe how storm water and runoff naturally flow through your space. The areas where the streams meet up are where you’ll want to consider your rain garden’s location. Sculpting a shallow depression around a single tree can be a start. Choose native plants with deep roots to absorb storm water. Don’t forget to mulch with a couple inches of wood chips to help retain moisture and prevent weeds.
4. Catch rainwater (saves 62 gals per inch of rain)
For each inch of rain falling on a 1,000 ft2 roof, you can catch over 600 gallons.
Tip: Purchase a rain barrel and attach it to your downspout.
5. Wear organic cotton shirts (saves 600 gals/shirt)
Regenerative cotton is recycled and therefore doesn’t consume water in its production. The cotton crop consumes and incredible amount of water in its growth, processing, and dyeing—over 600 g/shirt.
6. Take your car to the carwash (saves 50 gals/wash)
A commercial car wash is regulated by law to filter and reuse the water, rather than let it run down your driveway into the street.
7. Use a bucket to catch water while washing vegetables or waiting for your shower water to heat up (saves 5 gals/day)
When washing produce, use a 5-gallon bucket to catch excess water. Be sure to water your garden with it when it’s full.
8. Use natural cleaners (reduces water pollution)
Biodegradable soaps and cleaners keep our oceans clean. Everything that goes down the drain eventually ends up in the ocean.
9. Put a brick in the toilet to reduce water waste with every flush (saves 2 gals/day)
A brick displaces the volume of water each time you flush the toilet—2g/person/day.
10. Divert water from your laundry to water your yard (saves 50 gals/load)
By creating a laundry-to-landscape greywater system, each time you wash your clothes you save 50 gallons in saving water that you’d traditionally use as irrigation water. Tip: Install a laundry-to-landscape system.
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