Green Tip – Water Conservation

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GREEN TIP: When you use water wisely you help the environment, save energy and save money.

We need water for a variety of everyday needs from growing food, providing power to drinking. Water is essential to life on earth.

We are using up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can naturally be replenished so we all need to use our water wisely.

To find out more about what is happening to our water today, watch the documentary Blue Gold: World Water Wars. The films trailer alone will get you thinking. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikb4WG8UJRw&feature=channel.

From Quest:

Blue Gold touches on how this cycle is getting interrupted. For example, in cities ground water cannot seep into the ground through the concrete to create aquifers. So most of the run off goes directly back to the ocean. Thus most cities must cart fresh water from far away; water is most often pulled out of aquifers, which creates a desertification of once fertile land. Without the ground water, soils dry out and cannot sustain the fertility of the plants and trees creating a dessert environment. Streams and rivers in a natural cycle will push sediment and nourishment into the land surrounding them. Much like blood is a super highway in our bodies, streams and rivers act like the vein and arteries of the Earth. Huge dams used to harness power and provide drinking water have dried up these rivers and the subsequent land around them.

With the interruption of this cycle scarcity has emerged. One of the biggest culprits of this scarcity is treating water like a commodity rather than a natural resource. Today, this has been seen prominently in third world countries where agricultural goods and water are being exported. In Bolivia, a civil war broke out because a private company owned the water, including rainwater. People could not pay for the water needed to survive and fought back. More about the conflict is outlined in the following article. By using water as a commodity, we are using up the fresh water the planet provides faster than it can replenish it. Source: Do We Have Enough Fresh Water?

Here are some Simple Tips for conserving water:

  • Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street. And water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
  • Do not buy or drink bottled water. The water is being taken from aquifers, lakes and streams. By doing so, that water cannot be replenished back into the natural water cycle.
  • On average, 10 gallons of water per day (or 14% of your indoor use) is lost to leaks. Short of installing new water-efficient fixtures, one of the easiest, most effective ways to cut your water waste is to repair leaky faucets and toilets.
  • Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  • Nearly 22% of indoor home water use comes from doing laundry. Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size.
  • Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
  • Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
  • Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • That quarter pounder is worth more than 30 average American showers. One of the easiest ways to use less water is to eat less meat and dairy. Another way is to choose grass-fed, rather than grain-fed, since it can take a lot of water to grow corn and other feed crops.
  • When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your plants, trees or shrubs.
  • Recycling a pound of paper, less than the weight of your average newspaper, saves about 3.5 gallons of water. Buying recycled paper products saves water too, as it takes about six gallons of water to produce a dollar worth of paper.
  • When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant.

Source: Water Use It Wisely and Water Conservation Tips from National Geographic

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Water Project

The Water Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to provide access to clean water to people in developing nations who suffer needlessly without it. The Water Project, to date, has helped over 125,000 people improve their access to clean water and sanitation. They have funded or completed more than 250 projects.

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