This weeks Change the World Wednesday challenge is to use your garbage disposal less. We don't have one...actually I am not even sure I know anyone who does! So I thought I would share how we reduce our water consumption instead. This has always been a joke in our house because Joe uses a lot more water than I do and it drives.me.crazy. But over the years he has gotten much better at remembering to turn the tap off when he isn't using the water. And frankly so have I. While I never had it running as long as he did I still had it running say while brushing my teeth. Now I turn it off until I need it.
We live in an area that has watering restrictions in the summer. That means we can only water our lawn once a week. Last summer we didn't get to water at all because it always seemed to rain on our watering day. If we do water the lawn we monitor the sprinklers so we don't forget about them and so they don't over water a particular area. This spring we will be getting in ground sprinklers with timers. It is much more efficient to water your lawn this way. We also have a rain barrel that we use to water our gardens.
We don't pressure wash your driveway, sidewalk, front step or patio. We let mother nature take care of that!
I always debate about what is more eco-friendly - washing your car at home (with biodegradable soap) or going to a carwash. We do not have an eco-carwash close to home so we wash the cars at home as we feel it is better for the environment. The thing is we don't wash them all that often. Never in the winter and then maybe once a month (if it isn't raining all that much) in the spring/summer.
We keep showers short. Not army short but we also aren't just hanging out in there with the water running. I suppose that the water could be turned off while lathering up but I know for sure that I would freeze my ass off if I did this. Having a low flow shower head really helps to reduce the amount of water we use.
We have eco appliances which means they are using less water and electricity than other appliances. Our washing machine adds the right amount of water based on the size of the load. This ensures that we aren't wasting water if we have a smaller load. For our dishwasher I only start it if it is full. I rinse all the dishes quickly which yes uses a bit more water but I have determined that this actually saves us water. If I didn't rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher than probably 50% of the time they come out still a bit dirty and either need to be washed by hand or put back into the dishwasher. Another big one is to wash pots and pans by hand. They take up so much room in the dishwasher that if you wash them by hand then you will find that you actually run your dishwasher far less often.
We drink tap water with a brita filter. We do not drink bottled water. We each have our own reusable water bottles that we use at work or when not at home.
We have a steam mop for the floors. Yes it uses water but I can do the entire first floor on less than 5 cups of water. It would be so much more than that if I was using a mop and bucket.
These are the basic things that we do at home to reduce our water consumption. What do you do in your home?
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