by Christina Mountanos, Water Conservation Specialist
In addition to my typical New Year's resolutions to sleep, exercise and floss more, I've been making small changes to do my part to help the environment the past few years. Since we're already pretty frugal in my household with water, I typically focus on saving energy. We purchased a heating blanket for our bedroom last year, so we no longer heat the entire room. This year, we put "sweeps" under our doors and bought a new energy-efficient refrigerator. I often find that these changes, ones that don't even require daily practice, help me conserve year round with no ongoing effort.
Along the same lines, if there were actions you could take right now to save water would you do them? What if you could do something that only took a single day of work, a few hours, or even seconds? Here is a list of simple "green resolutions" you can implement this year:
- Double-check that your irrigation controller is in the OFF position for the winter.
- Use a simple shower timer to become aware of how long you're typically in there. Set a goal of five minutes or less.
- Locate your water meter and spend a few minutes checking for any movement. Learn more about how to use your water meter to check for leaks.
- Locate the main shut-off valves to your house and irrigation system so you'll know how to quickly shut off the water if a leak should occur.
- Put a shut-off nozzle on your garden hose.
- Use food coloring or dye tablets to test your toilets for leaks. Find step-by-step instructions here.
- Replace an old toilet with a new, more efficient model. (We have rebates!)
- Check if your showerheads are efficient, and replace any that have a flow rate of more than 2.0 gallons per minute. (To check the flow rate, turn on the shower and catch the water in a 1-gallon bucket. If it takes less than 30 seconds to fill the bucket, the flow rate is more than 2.0 gallons per minute and the showerhead should be replaced.)
Regardless of the significant rainfall we've received so far this year, fresh water is still a limited resource. We are fortunate to have a fresh, clean supply available to us, ready for our use at any given time—
help us conserve it.
Happy New Year!