So far, I’ve made an effort to stop catalogs and junk mail, started air drying the laundry, started a compost bin, and switched to natural cleansers. That last one is still in progress, but will be complete by the end of the month.
This month, I’m going to tackle the goal of using less water. I went to the DWP website and found this list of “The Top 5 Actions to Save Water Now.” I should add that we live in Los Angeles and we’re in a drought, so we’re already pretty aware about conserving water.
I’m happy that we’re already doing or have done the “Top 5 Actions:”
1. Stop those leaks! My husband is super handy and does this on a regular basis.
2. Replace your old toilet, the largest water user inside your home. Again, my husband is in the process of doing this. The toilet has been researched and ordered and is on its way to being installed. He bought the ultra-low-flush, and we’ll receive a rebate from the DWP.
3. Replace your clothes washer, the second largest water user in your home. Kudos to my husband, who took this step last spring.
4. Plant the right plants with proper landscape design and irrigation. Over the past two years, I tackled the project of landscaping our front yard after my husband installed a drainage system. I used all native grasses and ground cover and succulents. It looks great and uses much less water. During the winter months, as long as it rains at least once every ten days, I don’t need to water at all.
5. Water only what your plants need. Again, I water plants the most when they’re first put in the ground, but after that only as much as they need.
I next looked over this 16-item list called “More Water Conservation Tips for your Home.” Happily, we already practice 13 of these habits, including using the dishwasher and clothes washer for full loads only, watering plants less often and changing the schedule seasonally, and not leaving the hose running while washing the car (I go to a car wash, my husband washes his car only once every several months). You can check the list to see how you’re doing with water conservation.
I did identify 3 things we’ll work on this month in order to use less water:
1. Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
2. Turn off water while you’re shaving. Fill sink just a little and rinse razor as you go. (I’ll have to speak to my husband about that one).
3. Rinse vegetables in sinkful of clean water rather than letting the water run.
Even though taking a shorter shower isn’t on either of these lists, it’s the next most obvious thing, so I’m going to make an effort to shorten them a bit, and make them a little less scalding. This is a sacrifice for me, because I love showers and baths, and the shower is where I come up with some of my best ideas. So my shower space-outs aren’t entirely a waste, productivity-wise. But they’re not cool, water-wise.
How about you? Tell me about your water-saving efforts. And let me know if you want to join in the baby steps challenge. Please share all your tips, advice, and questions in the Comments section.