Jump to content

Create a Free Account or Sign In to connect and share in green living and alternative energy forum discussions.

Please post your water saving tips here.


 
70 replies to this topic

#1 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:07 AM

This is related to water pollution, so I thought this would be a good place to post it.

And we may have some of these tips in our green tips section-
but with the drought on every-one's mind, and affecting so many states, I wanted to
hear your thoughts (whether you practice them all the time of not) :tongue:

Thanks in advance. :biggrin:

#2 milano

milano

    Curious

  • Shifter
  • 37 posts 3 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

Put weights or something heavy on the water container of your toilet(I forgot the name of that part sorry). This would make the water level of your toilet to rise faster even though it contains less water. Your toilet will consume 20%-50% less water per flush. There are some cases that using the toilet per day consumes more water than showering.

#3 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:15 PM

Install low flow on shower heads.
Wash full loads-laundry and dishwasher.
Capture rain water run off-if nothing else, then with a barrel if you can't do a whole rainwater capture system. :biggrin:

#4 E3 wise

E3 wise

    Shifted

  • Premium Shifter
  • 1,027 posts 286 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:52 PM

Use a glass when brushing your teeth, by shutting of the water off while brushing a family of four can save 2 to 4 gallons of water a day. That’s 60 to 120 gallons a week.

Check all your outside faucets to make sure they are off and not dripping or leaking, and repair if needed. Usually all is needed is a new washer.

Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.

Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.

Look for products bearing the EPA Water Sense Label for items that have been certified to save 20% or more without sacrificing performance.

#5 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:12 PM

 E3 wise, on 10 July 2012 - 02:52 PM, said:

Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
I bought one of those "leaky" hoses this spring-
good news-it works great, no water wasted to evaporation.

Bad news? The only color available was black. :huh:
I like to move it around once a week or so to give all my trees a drink and it's hard to find, buried under
my Vinca vines. :laugh:
And it caused a few senior moments too. I thought, this summer isn't so bad, everything is green and growing.
Then I realized I'd left it in one spot for over a week and the vines "grew" it to the ground. :blush:
But I'm still running my swamp cooler off the same line, so I can't water for too long, which is a good thing,
otherwise, the pump starts yelling at me! :tongue: So I can't overwater.
Great tips!

Another-
if you're boiling something, don't waste that water down the drain.
If it's pasta or starches, pour it outside once it's cooled down.
If it's produce, pour it on household plants-again, after it's cooled down.

Or put it in a large container for washing off produce the next time.

I keep a large bowl in the tub to collect water as I wait for it to warm up.
I water my inside plants with that.

#6 dconklin

dconklin

    Activist

  • Pro Shifter
  • 413 posts 14 rep

Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:10 PM

I use the water that runs waiting for hot water to rinse the recyclables that I need to rinse.  I like the idea of using water from produce to water the plants, I never thought of that one! I don't use a lot of water for my veggies when I cook them.

There are shower heads that help you use less water too with lower pressure.  Also if you have an older toilet or big tank, replace the parts inside the tank.  They are cheap and you can use less water with every flush.

#7 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:36 AM

 dconklin, on 10 July 2012 - 05:10 PM, said:

Also if you have an older toilet or big tank, replace the parts inside the tank.  They are cheap and you can use less water with every flush.
People used to use bricks but they can be problematic as they break down. Filling a large soda bottle is better to
offset capacity.

#8 happyrocinante

happyrocinante

    Curious

  • Shifter
  • 46 posts 0 rep

Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

The one obstacle I had when I started paying attention to water conservation was that all the little amounts I could save didn't seem like enough to save.  For example, when I give my cats fresh water, I would dump the old out since there wasn't much there.  I don't have any indoor plants and trying to add all these little amounts onto the flowers I have outside seemed like wasting energy by having to go in and out with the AC on.  I found that by just adding all these little amounts into a bucket I keep in the kitchen I can save all that water and only go out once.  Seems so simple but I wish I had thought of it much earlier!

#9 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:36 PM

One of the things I learned years ago about conserving water and the thought of "it's not that much"-

It's a bit of a hassel the one time you have to do it but it's a great math eye opener.

(This applies only to those here that wash dishes by hand)-

Close the drain, wash/rinse dishes like you normally do. Take a gallon container and fill it with whatever amount
of water is left, transfer to another sink or commode.
Keep doing that until all the water is gone.
Then you'll know how many gallons of water you (we) waste every time we fo dishes.
Multiply that times at least 365 (or more, depending on how often you do dishes) and the amount
can be staggering. :blink:

Needless to say, I don't do dishes the way I used to years ago. :wink:

#10 dconklin

dconklin

    Activist

  • Pro Shifter
  • 413 posts 14 rep

Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:23 PM

 Shortpoet-GTD, on 11 July 2012 - 02:36 PM, said:

One of the things I learned years ago about conserving water and the thought of "it's not that much"-

It's a bit of a hassel the one time you have to do it but it's a great math eye opener.

(This applies only to those here that wash dishes by hand)-

Close the drain, wash/rinse dishes like you normally do. Take a gallon container and fill it with whatever amount
of water is left, transfer to another sink or commode.
Keep doing that until all the water is gone.
Then you'll know how many gallons of water you (we) waste every time we fo dishes.
Multiply that times at least 365 (or more, depending on how often you do dishes) and the amount
can be staggering. :blink:

Needless to say, I don't do dishes the way I used to years ago. :wink:

I can only imagine what numbers some people would come up with on this one.  I know people who blast the water on and run it the whole time doing the dishes.  I only hand wash a few dishes, otherwise everything goes into the dishwasher.  I also make sure that my dishwasher is packed and then I run it at night after 11 PM.  I have heard this makes a little bit of a difference at night when the demand is lower, but I don't know definitely.

People used to put bricks in the tanks of their toilets? I can imagine that would cause or at least could cause damage over time.  We replaced the parts inside our tank and we use a lot less water now with every flush.  It was cheap to do too!

#11 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:36 AM

We haven't mentioned lawns yet.

For homeowners, eliminate it. If you have small kids that need a play area, reduce the overall size by leaving a
space just for them.
Plant native plants, ground covers, drought tolerant plants. Trees and shrubs will provide more shade and
their roots hold the soil together.
If that's not possible, water early in the morning or late at night so the percentage lost to evaporation is
minimal, or use drip irrigation hoses.
Mulching plants protects the soil and less water is lost.

Sweep up outside with a broom vs. washing things down with a hose.

#12 Sandra Piddock

Sandra Piddock

    Activist

  • Pro Shifter
  • 329 posts 34 rep

Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:37 AM

I save as much water as I can by drinking only vodka or cava in the evenings. Okay, it doesn't save a lot, but it's great fun, and when you've had enough, you don't care about making savings.

Seriously, I think the best tip is to keep a bucket in each place where there is a water supply, and collect it together to use for watering plants or flushing the toilet. You'd be amazed at how much water is potentially wasted - and it's not just washing up water. There's the water you wash your salad in, the water you boil your eggs in, and the water that runs off before it comes through hot. Save all that, and you save a lot.

#13 dconklin

dconklin

    Activist

  • Pro Shifter
  • 413 posts 14 rep

Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:04 PM

Use vinegar to rinse your produce off with and then just a little water to rinse the vinegar off.  Some people use a lot of water by running a massive amount of water over their fruits and veggies.  It is actually a good idea to use vinegar anyway since it kills off worms that may be hiding in your broccoli!

#14 QuatreHiead

QuatreHiead

    Regular

  • Shifter
  • 62 posts 5 rep

Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:26 PM

I think one of the most obvious things I always forget about, but when I read it made so much sense is how much water we waste doing the every day activities. (I was bad at doing all of these things until I became more conscious of my actions just to note.) For example, we are often not taught to turn off the faucet when we wash our hands at a young age. The idea being that we will only be there for a couple of seconds. But in reality it doesn't take much time to waste tons of water.

Similar to the experiment Shortpoet-GTD described, I once decided to close off my sink's drain for my entire morning ritual, just to see how fast the water level rose and how much water was really wasted. Depending on how long you brush your teeth, floss, and rinse your mouth with moutwash this can be up to an entire sink full!

Luckily, it is surprisingly easy to train oneself to be conscious of when the water is on and to turn it off after every action. Now I do it automatically, so much so it nearly drives me mad when I am at a restaurant or store where they have the automatic off ones you press. It baffled me I couldn't turn it off when I was done!

#15 dconklin

dconklin

    Activist

  • Pro Shifter
  • 413 posts 14 rep

Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:08 PM

 QuatreHiead, on 12 July 2012 - 07:26 PM, said:

I think one of the most obvious things I always forget about, but when I read it made so much sense is how much water we waste doing the every day activities. (I was bad at doing all of these things until I became more conscious of my actions just to note.) For example, we are often not taught to turn off the faucet when we wash our hands at a young age. The idea being that we will only be there for a couple of seconds. But in reality it doesn't take much time to waste tons of water.

Similar to the experiment Shortpoet-GTD described, I once decided to close off my sink's drain for my entire morning ritual, just to see how fast the water level rose and how much water was really wasted. Depending on how long you brush your teeth, floss, and rinse your mouth with moutwash this can be up to an entire sink full!

Luckily, it is surprisingly easy to train oneself to be conscious of when the water is on and to turn it off after every action. Now I do it automatically, so much so it nearly drives me mad when I am at a restaurant or store where they have the automatic off ones you press. It baffled me I couldn't turn it off when I was done!

Ever since my kids have been old enough to brush their teeth on their own I have had them trained to turn the water off while they are actually brushing.  My honey had to work on turning the sink off when he would shave, he had a bad habit of keeping the water running while shaving.

I always rinse all of the dishes quick and then once I am done rinsing, I load them into the dishwasher.  I notice that sometimes people rinse a dish off and leave the water running while they put the dish into the dishwasher.  If somebody is loading a lot of dishes this way I can imagine how much water is being wasted!

#16 QuatreHiead

QuatreHiead

    Regular

  • Shifter
  • 62 posts 5 rep

Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:09 PM

 dconklin, on 12 July 2012 - 09:08 PM, said:

I always rinse all of the dishes quick and then once I am done rinsing, I load them into the dishwasher.  I notice that sometimes people rinse a dish off and leave the water running while they put the dish into the dishwasher.  If somebody is loading a lot of dishes this way I can imagine how much water is being wasted!

I admit that I am still rather bad at this myself with the dishes. I haven't decided yet whether it is more efficent to just quckly rinse a sink full and then put them all in or to turn the water on and off for each. I suppose with the idea I mentioned and another person I could plug up the sink and find out just how much each method waste.

#17 Shortpoet-GTD

Shortpoet-GTD

    Shifted

  • Validating
  • 8,025 posts 758 rep

Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:13 AM

Mini-rant.
Why do movies and/or tv shows all too often have characters washing dishes with soap and water
before
they put them in the dishwasher? Drives me nuts!
Or just characters wasting water while spewing their dialog- as mentioned above-shaving or brushing their teeth.
Eco friendly California? Not from the movie producers. Bah.

Also, check out this water donut you can put around new trees. (Also called watering bags, gator bags or
ooze tubes.
Newly planted trees need more water than mature trees until they catch root, and this donut waters
them slowly and uses less water. (Photo too)
http://treestewards....ter-your-trees/
Also this video from You Tube for watering.

#18 jasonb

jasonb

    Curious

  • Shifter
  • 22 posts 2 rep

Posted 19 July 2012 - 05:04 AM

Low-flow tap nozzles, everyone knows about low-flow shower heads and the advantages of saving on hot water and ensuing lower electrical bill, but a lot of people forget about their taps - and pretty cheap too...

Rainwater harvesting, a properly installed system (and very simple) prevents dirt ingress and is not a breeding place for mosquitos as enclosed (actually look at your sump/septic tank for major source of mossies!). My parents have one and you can drink the water as close to distilled water quality.

Greywater collection, using the run-off from your bathroom/shower to water the garden. There are systems in place which have filters and pumps in place, my parents simply installed a pipe into the inspection hole that lead to garden!

#19 E3 wise

E3 wise

    Shifted

  • Premium Shifter
  • 1,027 posts 286 rep

Posted 19 July 2012 - 01:59 PM

All good ideas jasonb, we have eight rain barrels ourself, hooked up to our gutters, we have been wanting to install a cistern system and have included them in almost every design we have produced for alternative energy and water so great ideas all around.

Attached Files


#20 E3 wise

E3 wise

    Shifted

  • Premium Shifter
  • 1,027 posts 286 rep

Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:32 AM

Water, Water, Water, Its our most threatened natural resources and one of the things we forget in our daily lives because here in the United States clean drinking water is something most of us just take for granted.  It costs pennys a gallon from the tap here but in the developing world the reality is much differant.

   The cost of water in the United States has been on the rise, but it’s important to remember a few facts about the hydrological cycle and the effects that climate change is having on where water is available and how it is used.

   The media has focused on the affects to agriculture much of it on the corn crop.  One of the facts that get forgotten is that corn is that it requires large amounts of water to grow.  Corn is use in food, feed, sweeteners, oils, starch, and of course ethanol.

Now I am not anti corn, but what is important to remember is that as we transfer our reliance on one product more and more, the potential for problems increases.  This drought is going to cause prices to increase across the board on a lot of products Americans use, at a time when budgets are already strapped.

Yet the ratio of money used for food in the American Budget pales in comparison to poorer countries where upwards of 50% of daily income goes to food.  If you are living on the equivalent of less than $2.00 dollars a day as many in the developing world are, that increase will be much more substantial causing greater hunger worldwide.

Climate change is bringing in to stark contrast that as weather patterns change and are disrupted that fresh water, already our planets most threatened natural resource will become even more precious to our lives and economy.

The time has come for a systematic change in how we treat water in our daily lives and focus on ways we can maximize water resources.  For many years we have advocated for water recycling and reclamation practices.  Specifically the introduction of water harvesting by reintroducing old technologies back into our modern world.

Cistern systems for residential and commercial structures that capture runoff before it reaches roads and parking lots where it can be polluted.

Rain barrels for homes, should be reintroduced as a way to lessen usage for gardens.

Renewed focus on low flow toilets and sinks, along with other water saving practices in the home.

Xeriscaping and use of local natural plants that are drought tolerant.

Waste water reclamation and purification.

These are a few ways to mitigate water usage, because as these droughts become worse and more frequent people need to understand the true cost of water and the need we all have for it.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users