Saving resources at home is a necessary step in establishing sustainable lifestyle. On average American consumes 1,500 liters of water per day, which amount to 3,600 million gallons per day. But, there are things you can do to reduce water consumption, such as installing water-saving devices and low-flow showerheads and toilets, which can help to maintain the water supply level.
Saving Water Indoors
Do not let the water to run unnecessarily!
First, reduce water consumption at home and never let the water to run when not needed. For example, do not let the water runs while brushing your teeth as it can save you 1 gallon per minute, which is equivalent to 50 gallons per week, if you have four people in the family.
To wash fruits and vegetables, you can use a bowl of clean water. If possible, reduce water usage for inessential purposes, such as washing your car.
It may be a good idea to ditch your garbage disposal unit, which dump the food waste directly to the sewer, try composting your kitchen waste instead and use it to enrich the soil of your garden. It will save water and avoid using the electricity to process the waste.
If possible, turn off the shower-head while you are using the soap, then turn it on again to rinse. By limiting your shower time to 5 minutes, you may save about a thousand gallons per month.
Low-flow shower and toilets!
You can save 20 percent of water usage by using low-flow shower. They are designed for low water flow so you will still get enough water pressure while still conserving water.
Newer toilet models use water more efficiently than older models. Older toilets can use up to 7 to 10 gallons for each flushing and the latest models use no more than 1.6 gallons. Today’s low-flow toilets are reliable, which are able to flush the waste even when small amount of water is used. But why should we use fresh water to move our waste, anyway? There are now waterless urinals in the market and they are gaining popularity. Waterless urinals use urine-repellant fluids that help to move urine along the piping system and while creating a vapor that prevents fumes from the sewers to rise up.
They can save a good deal of water in each flush. Some manufacturers offer composting toilets, which are popular in some public places, such as parks. They are odorless and the manure can be obtained from the bottom of tank, which is accessible through a basement.
Saving Water Outdoors
An average lawn in United States absorbs a staggering ten thousand liters of water each summer, a third of the domestic water consumption in a year. Americans also dump ten thousand tons of fertilizers and pesticides on their lawns, which contribute to greenhouse emissions, water pollution and soil degradation. However, we can still change our gardening practices to save water, reduce CO2 emissions and protect fresh water supplies.
Saving Water on Lawn: Americans spend 300 million gallons of gas to mow their lawn each year and lawn mowers are often inefficient which emit several times the amount of greenhouse gases compared to a car for each gallon. The major risk of lawn mower to water supply is gas spill. Consider buying a manual machine which can give you a great workout and produces zero emissions in the process. The manual model is also cheaper and easier to repair. Mowing your lawn is necessary as the grass will use less water and you can gather the grass trimmings to make compost.
Landscaping Properly: Choose plants that use low amount of water and you can save up to 500 gallons annually. Local plants, which are native to your area, are usually better choice, as it is well acclimatized to the local weather, grow better on the local soil and have a natural resistance to local pests. They usually need less water, pesticides and fertilizers.
Xeriscaping is a technique of using drought-tolerant plants on your garden and planning the garden plots to take full advantage of the water availability. For example, thirsty plants are located in low areas where water can puddle and plants are grouped based on their needs. Other than kitchen and toilet waste, you can add grass trimmings and leaf clippings to the compost pile. You may wear special spiked garden shoes or baseball cleats while walking on your lawn to help aerate the soil.
Irrigating Properly: If possible, don’t use fresh tap water to irrigate your lawn; because water from well, pond, and lake is free. The water you use for your garden simply return to the local water reservoir.
Ask your builder or plumber whether you can use nearby gray water for lawn watering. Check with the local government to know whether you are allowed to do so.
Water your lawn 30 minutes after dawn, when it is cooler and the wind is minimal, it will allow the water to reach the roots instead of evaporating.
There are a few other things you can do to use the water resource more efficiently.
* Instead of hosing your driveways, sidewalks and patios, use a broom and you’ll save up to 80 gallons.
* By washing your car on the grass, the runoff will go back to the ground. The runoff water will be naturally filtered before reaching the groundwater source or a local reservoir, it is a better choice than dumping water polluted with oil and dirt into the sewers.
* Don’t use asphalt for your driveway, gravel and tiles arranged one or two inches apart can allow excess water or rain water to be absorbed by the soil instead of running through the sewers.
* Capture rainwater with some barrels under the gutter spout. You can use the water for your plants.
* By building a cistern, you can collect rainwater to supply for most secondary uses. You can use simple filtering systems and eliminate most of your tap water requirements.
Encourage small wildlife and birds to visit your garden by creating shelters on shrubs and trees, also place feeders and bowls of fresh water on the yard. Call the local agricultural agents to find out what plant flowers that can attract butterflies and birds to add to the ambiance of your lawn. It is important to recognize that fresh water supply isn’t inexhaustible, so you can use nearby water supplies prudently and with respect. Each drop of water is essentially the elixir of life.