Water-Too Important to Waste

This is Blog Action Day, and the topic is water. Considering the facts that water is second only to air as a basic need, and that half the world’s population have no access to clean potable water, wasting it would be wrong even if it weren’t so expensive. The Frugal Goddess will leave the politics to others and deal with ways of conserving and saving our precious water resources.

The Water Planet

The first thing to do is a water audit on your house. Are there any leaks in the plumbing system? How about outside faucets? These need to be fixed as soon as possible. Then think about ways in which you run water unnecessarily. Think about all the uses of water in your house. If your appliances are old they use more water than the new greener models. Find out about yours. By doing a little arithmetic you will soon see whether hand-washing your dishes is better than the machine. And remember to always fill your machine (dishwasher or clothes washer) to capacity. When it comes to car washing, do it less often, and go to a public wash. It may cost a couple of dollars, but the facility is regulated by law to keep the chemicals in the soap out of the watershed. And the actual water used is less then what would come out of your hose at home.

Then there is the bath versus shower controversy. Common wisdom says that the five minute shower is the most efficient use of water. But, if you prefer a bath, just run the water for five minutes from the low flow shower head, and step in. You haven’t used any more water that way, so don’t worry about it. Remember to turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth or washing your hair.

One area that needs discussion is toilet flushing. Depending on the circumstances you might not need to do it every time. This may be offensive to some, and if it is to you, just move on. But before you do, consider this: even a low-flow toilet uses about three gallons of clean water, an amount that for many of the world’s people is their total allotment for the day for a whole family. Yet in America we foul that amount and flush it without thinking multiple times in one day.

When it comes to drinking water, the whole western culture has been seduced by the lure of the plastic bottle. This comes at a huge expense to the environment. Plastic pollution is a very real problem, but the financial cost is enough to make tap water the better choice. If you are concerned about the quality of your tap water get a filter.

When using water for gardening and landscaping there are many ways to save. If you must have a lawn, make it a small one, surrounded by drought resistant plants and natives. For the food garden get a drip system installed, and consider rain water harvesting. The initial expense will be recovered quickly.

The most important tool at your disposal is knowledge. What is the name of your watershed? Where does your wastewater go once it is down the drain? What is in the water coming out of your tap and where does it come from? What is your personal and household water “footprint”? Frugality is more than just saving money. It is a principle of wasting as little as possible and being a good steward of the Earth’s resources.

Here are some links that may help:

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-footprint-calculator/

http://www.h2oconserve.org/home.php?pd=index two water footprint calculators

http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/indoor-tips/water-saving-products-indoor.php products to help you save water

http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/ the US government helps you save water

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/bottled/ important information about bottled vs. tap

http://www.earthcrafthouse.com/documents/factsheets/27_rainwater-recovery-v2.pdf info on rainwater harvesting

http://www.harvesth2o.com/ a little more technical, but if you are serious about this technique it has good info.

http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm find your watershed

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watershed.html what is a watershed? Find out here.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for this post!
    Please read and share my post about Water’s footprint in Fashion http://wp.me/pXsUB-oi
    You can make the difference!

  2. we are always using stainless steel shower heads for our bathroom ‘

  3. Nice Tips, still waiting for your next posts…

  4. Wonderful work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

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