Tag Archive | "water conservation"

Tips For Water Conservation

Everyday Simple Tips For Water Conservation

This was written by Victor Daily of Domestic Water Meters.

Water is a precious commodity! Everybody is aware of that. But how many individuals actually do their part to save water in their homes on a daily basis? The importance of presence of water in our everyday lives is felt only when we face acute water shortage. But when the water supply is restored, everything gets forgotten pretty quickly. Well, there are several ways to preserve water in our daily lives as well as reducing wastage. Each drop counts and any little effort to conserve water will help in the long run.

Here are some tips on water preservation.

– You can start from the bathroom. Put a bucket underneath your shower, which would store excess water dripping from the shower. You can use this in watering your garden. You may also set shower head flow to an ultra-low mode. This will save you a couple of gallons of water each minute. Shower for a short period, whenever possible.

- You can have a toilet displacement device installed to cut down on the amount of water required to flush the toilet. To achieve this, put a gallon plastic-jug in the tank. Make sure the installation doesn’t obstruct the operating parts.

- One of the common and annoying habits noticed in many people is the tendency of not turning off faucet when shaving or brushing. Therefore, the next time you shave or brush, turn off your tap when not required.

- If you have to utilize a dishwasher, then use it only when it’s fully loaded. Moreover, select the light wash mode, which would guarantee less water usage.

- Vegetables that need cleaning could be washed in a pot that’s filled with water. On the other hand, holding it under running water would only lead to more water wastage. The water used in washing vegetables can be used to water the garden.

- Try to use the same glass for drinking water every day. This will minimize the number of crockery to be washed throughout the day.

- Dirty pans and dishes should never be put under running water. Scrub the leftovers into the garbage and then rinse them under the tap.

- Always keep regular checks on all fittings and plumbing in your home for any potential leak.

- Always ensure you buy appliances with water efficient and energy efficient cycles. When using the washing machine, make sure it’s fully loaded and adjust the water level options according to the load of clothes inside the washing machine.

- Avoid the use of hose sprays in washing your car. Instead, use a bucket of soapy water, to avoid water wastage.

- If you’ve a fetish in the outdoors such as water fountains, then opt for one with features that recycle water.

- If you have a green thumb, then you could plant the garden when temperatures are relatively cooler. This is due to the fact that plants will need less water. Make sure you remove the weeds since weeds increase water consumption. Don’t overwater the plants as this will not only waste the water but would also cause the plants to rot.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

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Five Ways You Can Help Save the Planet

Five Ways You Can Help Save the Planet

This guest post is by Gary Stringer.

Harmful emissions are constantly threatening the state of our planet and saving the environment is everybody’s responsibility. Many people choose not to act because they feel that their efforts are unlikely to make a difference, yet there are many ways that you can reduce your harmful impacts on the environment. The top 5 ways that you can help save the planet are listed below.

1 – Water usage: Water is a valuable resource and supplying your household with water consumes a great amount of energy, therefore it is important to be careful with your water consumption. Transporting and treating water uses a great amount of energy, whilst one fifth of household carbon emissions come from heating water for baths, showers and washing up and this is why it is important that we are not wasteful in our water consumption. However on average each person in the UK uses 150 litres of water each day and this could be greatly reduced in a few simple steps. Firstly taking a short shower instead of a bath could save up to 10 litres of water per minute, secondly turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can help reduce water consumption as can placing bottles of water in the fridge instead of waiting for the tap to run cold. A comprehensive list of ways to reduce water consumption is provided by the government and can be found here.

2 – Transport: Transport accounts for around 25% of global carbon dioxide emissions and world energy consumption and therefore reducing our reliance on harmful modes of transport should be a priority. Cars are by far the most convenient but they are also the most harmful for the environment, therefore trains and buses are much greener forms of travel. However the most environmentally friendly ways to travel are on foot or by bike as they produce no carbon dioxide emissions, not to mention the fact that they can help improve fitness and save money.

3 – Recycling: One of the most effective ways that you can help the environment is through recycling, as this means that your waste and unwanted goods are re-used as opposed to being sent to landfill sites. The key reason that recycling is helpful for the environment is that it means that less energy and natural resources are used, this is because parts of your unwanted items can be used in the development of new products. So next time that you conduct a house clearance, take your unwanted items to be recycled as opposed to taking them to the dump.

4 – Modify your home: Another way to reduce harmful impacts on the environment is to modify your home to become more environmentally friendly. This can be done on either a small or large scale, one of the most effective and expensive ideas is to install solar panels in the home in order to reduce your reliance on electricity. But you can also make simple changes that can be extremely effective, these include ensuring that your insulation is effective in retaining heat and installing a water saving toilet.

5 – Electricity usage: Reducing your electricity usage will not only help save the planet, it will also lower your energy bills. The biggest problem in most households is that residents fail to switch off lights and unplug appliances when they are not in use, which increases your energy usage. A common rule for appliances is that if you won’t be using it for another 36 hours then it should be unplugged. Other ways to lower your electricity consumption include washing your clothes at a lower temperature and switching to energy saving light bulbs.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Living Space More Energy Efficient

Quick Ways to Make Your Living Space More Energy Efficient

This guest post is by Liz Childers of Grandview Outdoor.

Even for the most energy conscious person, it can be hard to make your living space as efficient as possible. The primary reasons for this are money and inability. It is expensive to revamp your home to be solar powered or have all new energy efficient appliances. And for those living in a rented space, you do not have the ability to make big changes. Thankfully, there are ways to make huge changes to your energy use without breaking the bank or your lease. Here are five steps you can take today.

Insulated Curtains

If you live in an older home or apartment, your windows might be the greatest source of energy loss. Many older windows are ill fitting so your indoor air that you spent money heating or cooling to a comfortable temperature is simply leaking outside. Older windows are also single-paned, which means they are poorly insulated. While buying new windows is an expensive undertaking, you can add good insulation for a fraction of the cost. Insulated curtains are available in all styles and sizes. These curtains are two-ply and block the flow of indoor and outdoor air, as well as, doing a better job of blocking outdoor light. For a relatively inexpensive cost, insulated curtains can keep your home the temperature you want it to be without having wasted energy seep through old windows.

Low Flow Faucets

Your standard showerhead gives you a steady flow of about six gallons per minute. While you may be in love with that relaxing stream of hot water, consider the amount of water that you actually need to shower – and how much is going down the drain. A low flow faucet cuts the water flow to about 2.5 gallons per minute, which is a great difference. Low flow showerheads are easy to buy at your local hardware store and are simple to screw onto most faucets. You can also adapt all your sinks in the same way!

Use Surge Protectors or Power Strips

A common remedy for wasted power is to unplug all your appliances when they are not being used. As we are regularly reminded, plugs use energy, even when the device is not being used. No matter how frequently this tip comes up, it is still easily forgotten or ignored for the sake of convenience when you have a multitude of electronics plugged into outlets. To make it easy on yourself, plug your appliances into power strips and plug the single power strip into the outlet. This way, there is only one device to unplug. To make it even easier, opt for a newer style of power strip that has a remote control; you won’t have to feel behind the couch for the plug anymore!

Change Air Filters

Your air conditioning system’s air filter does exactly what it says – it filters the air before it gets sent back into your home, either heated or cooled to your comfortable temperature. Imagine how much dirt your vacuum cleaner has after you clean the house; your air filter is doing the same thing for the air. Therefore, a grime filled filter is going to perform worse and take longer, which leads to low energy efficiency. Change your filter at least every three months, and every single month during the summer and winter when the air system is getting the heaviest use.

Switch to Florescent Bulbs

While florescent bulbs cost a tad bit more than incandescent light bulbs to which you may be accustomed, the trade off is worth it. Florescent bulbs last longer and save you an astonishing amount of energy – especially after long term use.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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Eco-friendly Dentistry – Dentists Going Green

Eco-friendly Dentistry – Dentists Going Green

This guest post is by Mark of dentalcareplus.org.uk.

Eco-friendly dentistry that also goes by the name Green Dentistry is the way of practicing dentistry, causing the least harm to the environment. Eco-friendly dentists follow various measures to reduce waste and pollution and conserve energy. These green practices are beneficial to the environment and also to the wellbeing and health of their patients. Green dentistry helps in identifying strategies that would prevent wastage of water and electricity as well as reduce the amount of waste produced in dental practices.

“Green Thinking” in the Dental Profession

The concept of “green thinking” was introduced in the dental profession with the opening of the very first dental practice to be officially certified “green” in California in the year 2003. This dental practice was that of Ina Pockrass, an attorney and eco activist and her husband Fred, a dentist. Together they founded the EDA (Eco Dentistry Association), which has earned worldwide repute with members in 42 states and eleven countries. Members are required to take a pledge to consider the impact dental materials and processes; office construction, design and furnishings, and office administration and marketing have on the environment. The organization educates dentists on implementing eco friendly measures in their practices, while offering patients the needed resources to locate a green dentist.

Environment friendly efforts made by green dentists are seen reflected in all aspects of dentistry, ranging from office/clinic design, equipment and supplies right down to the toothbrush.

How to Implement Eco-friendly Measures in a Dental Practice

  • Green dental clinics have to be designed keeping in mind eco-friendly interior design and construction principles. Wall surfaces can be covered with paints low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). Wall papers made of reclaimed paper pulp and bark can be utilized.
  • Natural fibers can be used to replace synthetic fibers in upholstered furnishings and carpets. The carbon footprint can be substantially reduced with the help of low energy lighting and ventilation systems together with energy from sustainable sources.
  • Water free vacuum systems are available to considerably reduce the volume of water used.
  • Easily sterilized, non-disposable cups can be used to reduce waste. Similarly clothes can be used instead of disposable bibs. Instrument wrappers and head rests can also be made of cloth to help limit buildup of waste.
  • Dangerous cleaning compounds can be replaced with safe, non-toxic, bio-degradable products and steam sterilizers that are highly energy efficient.
  • Special filtration system such as amalgam separator can safely dispose of old mercury fillings thereby preventing pollution of water supplies. Use of tooth colored fillings will also reduce the amount of mercury disposed into the water systems.
  • Disposable supplies end up as waste and therefore green dentists can opt for dry-hand sanitizers which will reduce the requirement for paper and water toweling.
  • Dentists can switch to digital X-rays to reduce paper wastage as well as the disposal of toxic X-ray fixer and lead foils into the environment.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs and motion sensors can save energy and reduce the carbon footprint.
  • Toothbrushes manufactured from recycled material and environmentally friendly toothpaste can be advocated to patients.

Eco-friendly dentistry is not only beneficial to the environment, but can also have a beneficial impact on a dental office’s bottom line. There is an increase in the number of dental practices which have gone green, but more dentists have to be made aware of the importance of eco-friendly dentistry.

Dental Care Plus is a dental implant provider with four clinics spread throughout southern England. They were the first UK advanced dentistry provider to lower their dental implant costs to compete with dental tourism. As a result many would-be dental tourists have decided not to fly to destinations such as Hungary or Thailand and receive the treatment in the UK, saving many unnecessary flights. Although not officially certified as a green dentistry, they have also taken several steps to reduce the impact on the environment.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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5 Great Ways to Use Water Wisely

One very important aspect of Earth Friendly Living that is too often overlooked is water conservation. In an effort to use water wisely, eco-friendly people demonstrate their concern and awareness of the drought people, plants, and animals face in different parts of the world. Selfless watering is achieved through observation of caring frugality when using water to nurture plants and crops. A few economical options for wise watering are recycling rain water, using rain and freeze sensors, xeriscaping, mulch, and drip irrigation systems.

This is a guest post by Nate Armstrong, a young blogger trying to learn and educate others about landscaping and eco-friendly living. If you liked this article you will love him on twitter.

If you would like to write an article, please read How to Become an Author

One very important aspect of Earth Friendly Living that is too often overlooked is water conservation. In an effort to use water wisely, eco-friendly people demonstrate their concern and awareness of the drought people, plants, and animals face in different parts of the world. Selfless watering is achieved through observation of caring frugality when using water to nurture plants and crops. A few economical options for wise watering are recycling rain water, using rain and freeze sensors, xeriscaping, mulch, and drip irrigation systems.

Recycle Rain Water

Many homeowners don’t understand how easy it is to recycle rain water. There are many products and instructional videos available that help you have the items and knowledge necessary to reuse precious rain water. Rain barrels are one of the most common ways of recycling water. Because water conservation is so important, water districts have been known to give away or subsidize rain barrels to any willing person or party. If your water district does not offer rain barrels, they can also be found in just about every garden catalog.

Rain barrels come in many shapes and sizes ranging from the common 70 gallon blue tanks to decorative “urns” made of polyethylene. Rain barrels are not only efficient, but they are also very simple to use. By placing a barrel or drum under your rain gutter downspout, you will be able to collect huge amounts of usable water for immediate or later use. Rain barrels make it easy to store an emphatic supply of water, or to be elevated and used to supply water to a garden or lawn. You can even attach a drip irrigation system to rain barrels for hands-free watering which is also a great way to use water wisely.

Front yard with sprinklers on

Rain and Freeze Sensors

If April showers bring May flowers, then it’s about time to start using a rain and freeze sensor for your irrigation system. If you have an automatic irrigation system set to water your lawn, attaching a rain and freeze sensor is a wise way to save water. Not only do Rain and Freeze Sensors help save the planet, they are also very cost effective. By detecting rainfall and upcoming frost, an Orbit rain sensor sends a signal to your sprinkler system delaying the watering cycles or shutting them off completely until rainy or snowy conditions pass.

Drip Irrigation Systems

As far as garden watering goes, drip irrigation systems are a wise alternative to above and underground sprinkler systems. Drip systems cater directly to your plants so no water is lost to over-spray, evaporation, or run-off. When using a drip irrigation system, be aware of your watering times whether they are automatic or done manually. If possible, refrain from watering every day and keep watering times to the bare minimum.

Using Mulch

Also, implementing an organic weed control strategy by using proper mulch will ensure that your plants and crops are using as much water possible and none is being used by intruding weeds. Aside from weed control, mulch is great at absorbing water making it more available for plants. Without healthy nutritious mulch, water can be lost to evaporation or used up by weeds.

Xeriscaping

And finally, eco-conscious individuals have been known to xeriscape their yard so that less water is used on a large lawn and more is spent on nurturing plants. Xeriscaping, also known as Hardscaping, is the process of designing a landscape that requires little or no irrigation or other maintenance. By swapping bushes or sections of grass out for decorative rock or gravel, you cut your water use down significantly which helps make the world a better place.

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Top Tips for Saving Water Around the Home

Top Tips for Saving Water Around the Home

This is a guest post written by Amy Fowler of www.boom-online.co.uk.

The average person uses 150 litres of water a day. That water usage is spread over a variety of household tasks, including cooking, washing, toilet flushing, and watering the garden. Only a small amount of that water is actually used for drinking.

The amount of water that the average family uses has gone up 50% in the last 25 years. We’re more environmentally conscious, but the household appliances we use today are very water hungry. So, what can we do to save water? Here are a few tips:

Save Water In The Kitchen

  • Keep a jug of pre-filtered water in the fridge, so that you don’t have to run the tap to get fresh, cold water in the summer. Alternatively, zip taps offer access to instant hot and cold water, thus eliminating the need to run the tap before the correct temperature is reached.
  • Wash vegetables in a bowl, rather than under a running tap.
  • Don’t start the washing machine until you have a full load of laundry.
  • Fix dripping taps. A dripping tap can waste up to 15 litres of water per day!
  • Boil only the water you need in the kettle. This will help you to save energy as well as water.
  • Wipe down appliances regularly with a damp cloth rather than relying on harsh cleaning products to clean your oven and other appliances. The chemicals in cleaning products are a major pollutant to our water supply.

Save Water In the Bathroom

  • Turn off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth.
  • Power showers can use the same amount of water as a bath, but other showers are quite water economical. Alternatively, devices such as the flowpoint reduce the amount of water power showers consume.
  • Invest in a toilet hippo o a save-a-flush (or request a free one from your water company) to reduce the amount of water your toilet uses.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a bin. Think before you flush. Tissues and other small items should go in a regular bin, rather than be flushed.

Re-Use Water

Water butts and greywater systems are quite easy to install these days, and can save a lot of water in the long term – especially if you have a large garden to tend.

  • Collect rainwater, and use it to water your garden and your household plants.
  • Consider re-using bath water to flush the toilet.

Saving water isn’t just good for the environment; it can be good for your wallet too. If your water usage is metered, then you should see big savings when you reduce your usage. In addition, changing the way you think about water will change how you use your other appliances, such as your washing machine or your oven. This will mean that you’ll save on your electricity and gas bill too.

There is enough water to go around for everyone, under normal circumstances, but that doesn’t mean there will never be a water shortage. Being responsible about our water usage will pay off in the years to come.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Water Conservation

Water conservation is necessary for everyone, especially if 75% of the world's population is expected to face a water shortage by 2050. [Mongabay.com] There are three things that one must think about; sustainability, energy conservation, and habitat conservation.

We need to make sure that fresh water will be available for our future generations; we can't take water without it being naturally replaced at the same rate of removal. 

Save water to save money.

Conserving the energy we use to treat and deliver water to consumers is definitely a necessity. And if we take too much fresh water, how are local wildlife going to survive?

With everyone doing their part, we can make a huge difference. We cannot take this precious resource for granted anymore – water conservation must be in our way of life.

Here are some great tips that you can start doing now to help conserve water.

Water Conservation Tips - Bathroom

Save Water In the Bathroom

  1. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  2. Take shorter showers and shallow baths.
  3. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
  4. Check to see if your toilet is leaking
  5. Install a showerhead that lets you turn off water while soaping up.
  6. Install a Low-Flow toilet or simply convert your current toilet to allow dual flushing.

Water Conservation Tips - Kitchen

Save Water In the Kitchen

  1. Thaw foods in the refrigerator, not under running water.
  2. Wash full loads in the dishwasher.
  3. Install aerators on faucets to reduce flow.
  4. Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl instead of under running water.
  5. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge for cold drinking water instead of running the tap.

Water Conservation Tips - Laundry Room

Save Water In the Laundry Room

  1. Run the washing machine with full loads only.

Water Conservation Tips - Outdoors

Save Water Outdoors

  1. Adjust the sprinkler timer as the weather changes.
  2. Sweep pavement and driveways instead of hosing them down.
  3. Don't water when windy or raining.
  4. Don't overwater – every third day is usually enough.
  5. Avoid use of hoses without a shutoff value.
  6. Put a layer of mulch down in the garden to keep soil moisture in and weeds out.

 

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Learn How to Add Water Wise Gardening, that’s Beautiful, to Your Yard

Garden design should be richly textured, colorful and useable. Try using native plants to keep water use low and mixing varieties to encourage local wildlife to become regulars.

This Santa Monica home offers an Earth friendly garden design that's beautiful. Perennials and shrubs replaced a water hog of a lawn. A thriving garden doesn't need as much water as you think.

Help Rainfall Reach the Soil with Permeable Paving

Typical paving stones, concrete and other hard materials can make it difficult for rainwater to reach the soil underneath. By using a permeable paving stone or material you're allowing the water to seep through to the soil below. Another option is smaller pavers with gaps that allow water runoff. Some options include gravel and decomposed granite.

Imagine Your Garden In Each Season

When planning your garden design you'll be looking at many beautiful plants. If you choose natives that only bloom in the spring, how will your garden look in the summer and fall? Try to incorporate different plants that flower in the various seasons to keep your garden full of color and beauty.

Plant Trees to Help Reduce the Loss of Moisture for Plants

Shade-tree planting is a very underutilized water-conservation technique. Not only are people cooler under leafy canopies, but plants under trees will need less water because the shade lowers air and soil temperatures. This helps reduce the loss of moisture. In addition to water conservation, properly placed trees can reduce air-conditioning costs up to 40 percent, according to Southern California Edison.

Replace the Lawn with a More Interesting Garden

Did you know that during the growing season a grass lawn can require as much as 1" of water every week? That might not sound like a lot, but depending on the size of your lawn it can be a hefty price. A wide variety of plants and foliage can create a beautiful and pleasing garden landscape giving you something different than your neighbors. Try adding a mixture of evergreen shrubs for year-round structure and seasonal color, grassy foliage plants for year-round structure and appeal, and perennials to add color.

Natural grass can be a healthy

Lawn Lovers, Don't Despair!

Native natural grasses can live on rainfall alone and might need to be mowed once or twice a year to keep from getting unruly. Grasses are native in the Western ranges and depend on your region. If you live in the desert try a fine fescue or spring-planted buffalo grass, or hair grass in the Northwest, or blue grama in the Rocky Mountain region, or the 'UC Verde' buffalo grass along the coast of Southern California.

As you can see you won't lose the look of lawn, but you will definitely see a loss in the water usage needed to keep your lawn green and beautiful all year round.

 

 

Source: Sunset Magazine

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You Won’t Miss Grass with this Low-Water Garden Front Yard Design

Before the Earth Friendly Curb Appeal Transformation After the Earth Friendly Curb Appeal Transformation

An original rock landscaping made it difficult for homeowners Ken and Beverly Behymer to plant anything in their new front yard. That’s when landscape architect Jim Love came up with a solution for their new Oregon home. Low-water plants saved the Behymer’s a large increase in their water bill and provided a beautiful and inviting front yard with grasses, perennials, trees, shrubs and groundcover. In the summer, black-eyed Susan bursts in brilliant yellow blossoms, while the fall brings rusty brown blooms from the Autumn Joy. Love made sure this front yard offered curb appeal for every season.

Source: Sunset Magazine

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Toilet Tank Bank

The toilet tank bank is a great way to use less water and reduce your water bill. Just fill the tank bank, put it in the toilet tank and leave it. It’s a one time deal, and you’re not going to have to think about it again (except when you notice your water bill is lower). The toilet bank is an easy device to use for water conservation. Just fill the toilet tank bank to the top, snap closed and hang in your toilet tank. Because it takes up the space of the water, your toilet works just as it would normally. The toilet tank bank keeps your toilet tank full so it doesn’t have to refill with new water. It saves water with every flush, up to .8 gallons a flush. It’s made of non-corrosive materials which resist microbes and fungal growth. The airlock on the toilet tank bank means that the bag never needs refilling. Only $1.95.

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