Thursday, January 30, 2014

Conserving Water

I live in Northern California, just 20 minutes away from Folsom Lake, which is more of a pond than a lake currently.  While the other half of the country is experiencing massive storms and freezing snow, we have barely had any rain.  In my town we have only enjoyed two rainy days this winter and even those only lasted a few hours.

A few weeks ago, with a drought expected, the husband and I started thinking about ways we can help cut back our water use.  Not only do we want to be good stewards of this precious and important resource, we do not want to get fined if the city decides to go that route for overuse of water.

Here are the ways we are preparing for the severe water restrictions and drought and how we are cutting back.

  1. Run the dishwasher only when full.
  2. One cup per person a day - no dirtying multiple cups.
  3. Cut back on dishes used; serve meals straight from the pots and pans, no serving ware. 
  4. Run the washing machine only with a full load.
  5. Stick to one outfit a day.  (this means that if we are planning to go to the gym, wear gym gear until we go.)
  6. Wear the same pajama's several nights in a row (or none at all! )
  7. Use towels a few times before washing.
  8. Water the lawn only once or twice a week and only for 10 minutes.  On warm/hot days do this when the kids can run through the sprinklers for a cool down.
  9. Cut showers down to 5 minutes (it can be done!)  
  10. Turn the water off while shaving legs, face, underarms, etc.
  11. Keep water off while brushing teeth.
  12. You have heard the saying, "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."?  Yup!  We are trying to flush about every other time we go #1.
  13. When waiting for water to warm up, while either starting the sink or shower, collect water in a bucket and use that water for animals or plants.
  14. Boiling water for eggs?  Use the hot water afterwards to kill weeds - or let it cool and water your plants.
  15. We have been stocking up on bottled water; just in case.
  16. Soak pots and pans before washing them - it will save you water to let the food loosen rather than scrubbing and rinsing and repeating.
  17. When changing the water in your pet's bowl, dump the old water in a plant.
  18. Avoid rinsing dishes; scrape the excess food into the garbage.  Your dishwasher is capable of cleaning the dishes just fine.
  19. Dishwashers use less water than hand-washing.  Use it with everything that you can.
  20. Defrost food in the refrigerator and not in a sink of water.
  21. Collect water on rainy days to use for plants later.
How else can we conserve?

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