Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Saving Water during the Days of Summer

Dirty Cars and Brown Lawns

It’s hot as heck this summer in the Southwest, and water rationing has gone into effect in many communities. For those of us who were careful with water usage over the past couple years, reducing consumption even more is a challenge. Especially since the new higher rates are based on previous years’ usage, so, if you were on the edge already, what to do now without going into the “red zone”?

I like clean cars, lush green landscaping and fresh flowers. These pleasures of daily life are tough to change once they become a given. However, part of being truly green is making small everyday sacrifices for the greater good.

So, I guess at least in the summer months, I am adding dirty cars and brown lawns to my list of things we can do to save water. I have also given up baths and while I like a long, hot, decadent shower, I have shortened the proceedings in the name of water savings.

My husband cleans the windshield and we let the cars get dusty. We keep the interiors tidy, but being able to eat off the hood is a thing of the past. I have to be careful not to brush against the car door in my white linen suit, as a trip to the (green) cleaners will result.

We are stuck with quite a bit of landscaping – which I will admit, we really like — as our home exteriors were designed years ago. Brown and scraggly instead of green and lush does ruin the look of our property. But during the summer, there is no choice. Turn your irrigation systems down to the point that the landscaping won’t die, but there will be a some brown areas. Not so pretty, admittedly, but we can save Herculean amounts of water this way.

Last but not least, turn the water off when brushing teeth. This small inconvenience can save thousands of gallons per year, particularly if you can train your children to follow suit.
And finally, let’s all pray to the rain gods for a seriously wet fall and winter.

Blog from SCGH's Director of Sustainability Jennifer Schwab

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done! Any rainwater collection systems in place at the house?

    - J. Rotondo, Sun & Earth