Conserve a Vital Resource


Conserve a Vital Resource!Try the Blue Thumb Basics of conserving a vital resource:
  • Inspect all pipes and faucets for leaks, as hundreds of gallons a day could be dripping away.

  • Check toilets for hidden leaks. Tank-to-bowl leaks can waste about a quart of water with each flush. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait fifteen minutes and see if  color appears in the bowl. If so, you have a leak. Make necessary repairs immediately.

  • Install low-flow shower heads.

  • Install ultra low-volume toilets or fill a plastic, one-quart bottle with water and place it in  toilet to reduce the amount of water used with each flush. To anchor  bottle, partially fill it with sand or small stones.

  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and take shorter showers.

  • Load  automatic dishwasher to capacity. Regardless of how many dishes are loaded, the dishwasher will use about 15 gallons, so get a run for your money.

  • Use two basins when washing dishes by hand, one for washing and one for rinsing, rather than a running faucet.

  • Clean vegetables using water in a pan and a vegetable brush rather than letting the tap run needlessly.

  • Put a pitcher of drinking water in   refrigerator so  whole family can enjoy nature's thirst quencher without having to run the tap.

  • Defrost frozen food without running water over the packages. Place food in the refrigerator overnight or defrost in   microwave.

  • Accept water in a restaurant only if you plan to drink it.

  • Clean greasy hands with a waterless hand cleaner found at hardware stores. Not using a steady stream of water will save 7 to 10 gallons each time.

  • Insulate your hot water pipes. Less water will be wasted before hot water flows.

  • Match  load setting on   washing machine with  amount of laundry to be washed. If your machine has no load selector, wash full loads only.

  • Wash  car with soap, water and a bucket. Use a hose with with a shut-off nozzle for a quick, final rinse. Better yet, find out if your local car wash recycles its water. Then treat yourself to a car wash and actually save water.

  • Use a broom to clean sidewalks or your driveway. Washing down these areas with a hose is costly and unnecessary.

  • Adjust sprinklers so only  lawn is watered and not  house, sidewalk or street.

  • Use hose nozzles that can be shut off when not in use. A single hose left on uses nearly 300 gallons of water an hour.

  • Water your lawn in  early morning, and never on a windy day, to avoid evaporation.

  • Maintain your lawn with grass blades at least 2 1/2 to 3 inches high. Blades can shade each other and reduce evaporation.

  • Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants so more water can be retained.

  • Landscape using low-water plants and rock gardens to reduce the amount of lawn. Many beautiful, lush trees and plant thrive with limited irrigation.

  • Aerate your lawn by punching holes six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off surfaces.

  • Know how to turn off an automatic sprinkler system in case of rain.

  • Install trickle-drip irrigation systems close to  roots of your plants.

  • Listen to weather forecasts so you don't water  lawn of garden when it rains.

  • Use a soil moisture indicator to tell when your lawn needs watering and when it doesn't.

  • Start a compost pile instead of using your garbage disposal, which uses gallons of water and can contribute to polluting source water.

  • Cover pools and spas to cut down on evaporation and reduce the amount of chemicals needed to treat  water.

  • Recycle water from fish tanks by using it to water plants. Fish emulsion is a good and inexpensive fertilizer high in nitrogen and phosphorus.