Saturday, July 28, 2007

Things We Do to Save Water

I've been working on small challenges to be a bit kinder to the environment like green cleaning and recylcling. Water conservation is another good one, and it's amazing what little changes can have a big impact. Here are a few of the things that we do to reduce water consumption that require little effort.

  • If you're reading this, I might be preaching to the converted. Make sure that when you turn the faucet on, the water pressure isn't unnecessarily high. It seems small, but just like with drips, I'm sure it makes a difference over time.

  • Short showers were never a thing for me, but now that I have an impatient boy, they're the only kind I have. If you lean towards hot showers, which unfortunately I do, it's better for your skin to spend less time in there, anyway. That said, warm water is really better than hot, though sometimes we don't like what's good for us.

  • No Limits Ladies mentions using cooled pasta water to water her plants. Along the same lines, use the water that you boiled eggs in, which is full of nutrients.

  • I've also heard that putting bricks in your toilet tank will reduce the amount of water required to refill it, but over time, the bricks deteriorate and can cause problems. A filled water bottle will work equally well without the brick's issues. I've never tried this one, but maybe it's high time we do.

  • Here's an incentive to avoid dish rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher. I've actually heard that the machine needs a bit of grime in order to clean it, so if there's nothing there, the dishes won't be as clean as if there had been something to cling.

  • Since the dishwasher is more efficient than we could ever pretend to be, we wash most of our stuff in it, though not everything. The few exceptions like delicate dishes/glasses, large pots, and items that tend to rust (e.g., kitchen shears) get washed by hand. I also prefer to wash anything of my son's that is plastic because I don't want it to be exposed to the high temperatures in the dishwasher. Instead of washing under running water, I fill the sink (or a large pot instead if it also needs washing) with warm soapy water, scrub and rinse, all of which don't take long at all.

  • Just before our son was born, our washing machine gave out. We bought a new front loader, and it was a wonderful investment. Though they run a bit pricier than top loaders, we bought a discontinued model at Sears at a significant savings. Even better, the City of Santa Monica sent us a $100 rebate. Despite having doubled the amount of laundry we do on a weekly basis, our water bill has not increased. Even better, it's much gentler on our clothes and runs much quieter than our former machine.