Water: Going without the flow

If thinking green means getting back to basics, it doesn’t get a lot more basic than water.  Here in the soggy-wet, drip-dripping Pacific Northwest, water seems more than abundant. But truth be told, even here, clean drinking water, and clean watersheds for fish and wildlife habitat is getting scarcer and more expensive to maintain.  For you in dryer climates, who live far away from your  water sources, you may already  know the cost, value;  really preciousness, of water. No matter where we live water is an important natural resource we need to be better about saving. And, like so many other steps towards living greener, it’s pretty darn easy to start saving. Here are some of my favorites.

  •  Turn off the faucet while you scrub the veggies, brush your teeth, or wash dishes.
  • Fill the dishwasher completely before running.
  • Take shorter showers; and sadly – fewer baths (which use a lot more water than showers).
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. They don’t cost much, and both  water and energy savings quickly pays back your investment.
  • Make sure you have a faucet aerator on each faucet. These too are inexpensive and save heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
  • Plant drought-tolerant native plants that need only minimal watering; learn which works best for your climate.
  • Install a 1.6 gallon toilet, or put a brick in the tank to cut down on water use.
  • Buy a water-efficient washing machine, and always wait for large, full loads.
  • Repair leaks, indoors and out.
  • Just be conscious of it pouring, running, or being “on” without need.

And if these all seem too easy for you, right on! Want to move to the next level? Try researching the environmental cost of maintaining a lawn, and what it would do for our national water supply if we found alternatives – from putting in hardscape to drought-loving groundcovers, or vegetable gardens. I’m game. Are you?

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