The Way You Water
Conserve Water and Save Some Cash
Watering the lawn, running in the sprinkler, lazy days by the pool -- each of these summer activities proves that water is a central part of warm-weather fun. So how do you cut back on water use -- without cutting back on the fun?
"In the U.S., the average person uses between 100 to 175 gallons of water daily," says Caroline Howell, founder of GreenBeanie, a green home and lifestyle consultant. "To put this in perspective, the average person in Africa uses a mere 5 gallons a day." Clearly, people aren't doing all they can to conserve water, a limited resource that -- if used improperly -- can result in sky-high summer bills.
Fortunately, hope is not lost! Howell has many easy tips to conserve water -- and save some cash -- this summer.
Wake up and Water
If you douse your lawn and garden under the midafternoon sun, a good chunk of that precious liquid will evaporate before it reaches root level. "Watering the lawn and garden should be done in the early morning hours before the sun comes up," says Howell.
Sprinkle Your Lawn Smartly
Inefficiency equals major waste, so look for products that fix leaks and help water get to your parched plants and lawn. A noodle sprinkler can help improve your aim and keep your garden truly green. And if you have an automatic sprinkler -- which is already eco-friendly! -- make sure to override the system and shut it off whenever rain is on the way.
Conserve During Playtime
Kids are going to want to run through the sprinkler, so look for a low-flow option that reduces the amount of water used. And if they're turning into prunes trying to stay cool with the sprinkler, give them water pistols. They will not only get some exercise while running around, but also use much less water.
Reuse Rain and Shower Water
"You can capture rainwater with barrels connected to your gutters, and then use this for watering your lawn," says Howell. It's not as hard as you may think -- there are many preconfigured kits available online, and you can also build your own system.
Rain isn't the only water you can collect and reuse. "I have a bucket in the shower that captures a gallon of water while it's getting hot," says Howell. "I use this water on the plants on my patio."
Protect Your Pool From Evaporation
"Put a cover on your pool to stop evaporation, which saves significant water in warmer months," says Howell. There are even solar covers that will heat the pool naturally, so you'll save water and energy!
Lead by Example
Kids learn from watching you, so show them easy, everyday ways to save water. Turn off faucets while brushing your teeth and shut down the hose while soaping up the car. They'll follow your lead and you'll see some big savings!
Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who's been published in magazines like Glamour, Self and Prevention, on websites like AOL, Babble and Details.com and in newspapers like the New York Post and the Boston Globe. You can read more of her writing at AmyLevinEpstein.com.
Available at Amazon.com:
- A Personal Gym Brings Your Workout Home
- Small-Space Gardening: When the Back 40 Is on Your Porch Railing
- The Way You Water
- 6 Can't Fail Sofa Buying Tips
- Tips for Holding a Successful Garage Sale
- Open Shelves: Designer Trend or Decorating Disaster?
- Stars of the Garden Can Be Leafy Rather Than Blooming
- Cut Back on Summer Spending
- Make Dad's Day With a Customized Home Bar
- How to Lavish Less Labor and More Love on Your Garden
- Banish Bathroom Counter Clutter With Clever Storage
- Creating a Beautiful Garden Can Be as Easy as Getting Dressed in the Morning
- The (Air) Drying Chronicles
- Cooking Ranges: Should You Go Pro?
- Tweak Your Home Decor for Summer
- Some of the Best Gardening Happens Where the Sun Doesn't Shine
- How to Cut Your Air-Conditioning Costs
- Moving Day: 10 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Packing
- Feeling Overwhelmed by Garden Tasks? Make a List and Get to Work
- Time to Make Habitat for Returning Birds
- Create A Girl's Bedroom Fit For A Princess
- How Feng Shui Can Improve Your Life
- How Does Your Garden Grow?
- Go Green and Improve Happiness
- New Uses for Old Things: Household Odds and Ends
- Homeowner Savings Tips: What You Might Not Know
- Sure-to-Please Home Decorating Ideas
- Planting Strawberry Jars for Spring Color
- 5 Elements Guarantee a Perfect Outdoor Living Area
- Paint Your Kitchen 'Green' With These Eco-friendly Tips
- Trends in Painting: Is Faux Over?
- How to Have a Gorgeous and Organized Kitchen
- Shovel-Ready Project: Dividing Your Perennials
- Can Clutter Make You Sick?
- A Rose Is a Rose Is an Heirloom Rose
- Banquette Seating Makes For Cozy and Comfy Dining
- Controlling Dust in the Home Is a Never-Ending Task
- Fireplace Facelift Not a Job for the Faint of Heart
- Gorgeous and Glamorous Gray Goes the Distance
- Easy Eco-friendly Spring-cleaning
- 30 Top-To-Bottom Spring Cleaning Tips
- Too Cold to Plant? You Can Still Get Ahead of Garden Maintenance
- Area Rugs to the Rescue
- Rarin' to Get Planting? Here's What You Can Do Now
- Freshen Up Your House Whole House For Spring
- Don't Overlook Bulbs of Summer; Now Is Time to Plan Planting
- Time to Ready Your Backyard for Return of Avian Tenants
- You Can Pick Up Furniture Bargains In Unexpected Ways
- No Room for a Cellar? Create a Wine Closet
- Greener Living 101
- 5 Cheap and Easy Decorating Ideas
- Spring-cleaning Checklist for Your Health and Your House
- Teen Decor That Puts the Cool in School
- Late Winter Is Time for Pruning and Forcing
- Key to Extraordinary Garden: Starting Your Own Seeds
- Barclay Butera: Create Modern Rooms Simply By Changing the Walls
- Four Common Eco-mistakes
- Are Vinyl Shower Curtains Safe?
- Where to Save and Where to Spend on Interior Decorating
- Wanna Get Away? Tropical Plants Can Help
- 10 Sneaky Ways to Get Organized
- A Better Load of Laundry
- Everyday Chores Get Greener
- Soothe Winter's Chill With a Steam Shower
- Houseplants Add Life to Your Winter
- Is Your Bedroom Decor Keeping You up?
- Seed Catalogs Trumpet the Promise of Spring
- Turning Down the Thermostat? Your Cyclamen Will Thank You
- A Room With a View: Clever Decorating Can Improve Your Vista
- Get Your Kitchen Drawers Organized Once and For All
- 10 New Year's Resolutions For Your Living Space
- Fantastic Faux Finishes
- Evergreens Add Color: Interest in Otherwise Dull Winter Landscape
- What to Do in a Frozen Pipe Emergency
Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.