Monday , 21 August 2017

Thinking Green: Don’t Pout the Drought, Part 1

By Trudy Whitney

It seems like Fluoride in our water supply is the topic of the day around McKinney. I think Fluoride is just fine. It is good for our teeth so much more importantly, we should address the two-year drought that is plaguing North Texas.

I even awoke to the beeping noises and diesel engines running back hoes and trenchers through my pasture just this morning.  You see, the new 46-mile water line from Lake Texoma to Lake Lavon runs right down the center of my pasture in Grayson County.  Pipeline or not, if we do not practice some sensible ways to conserve water, the pipeline will have been a waste of good dirt.

The average American uses about 150 gallons of water per day. This statistic alone makes me feel a little guilty that I do not beat my laundry on a rock in a stream, but my stream is having some drought issues. With a little research performed, I would like to suggest some practical ways 

You and I could conserve this most precious of all resources. And forgive me… I do not want to water down this article with too many suggestions, so I offer to you a mini-series to cover what I have discovered as simple changes we can make to save and protect our water supplies.

Allow me to present some facts…..

  • If you leave the water running every time you brush your teeth, two to five gallons of water will go down the drain.
  • Your automatic dishwasher can consume nearly 25 gallons for each load. Washing dishes by hand can take up the same amount.
  • It takes as much as five gallons of water to flush the toilet.
  • Your daily shower uses 25-50 gallons and two to five gallons of water is wasted waiting for the shower to achieve a comfortable temperature.

The gallons just add up over the course of the day, so here are some tips and practices to get our consumption reduced.

  1. Make Your Own Music – Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. You don’t need the water running unless the background noise has some mystical soothing effect on you.  May I suggest humming instead?
  1. Once Is Enough – Don’t wash your dishes by hand and run them through the dishwasher.  Pre-soak or simply rinse all the dishes together and then load them in the machine and remember to turn off the faucet while loading. Be sure that your dishwasher is to capacity before running the cycle. And turn off the dryer cycle on your dishwasher.  The dishes will dry just fine by themselves and you will save on your energy costs.
  1. Trick the Tank – Short of replacing your toilet with one which has a more efficient flush, try placing a ½ gallon water-filled jug in the tank so you can fool the toilet into thinking it is full sooner. Toilets are very handy but not very intelligent.
  1. Love the One You’re With – Showering… Purely for conservation purposes, I suggest you shower or bathe with someone you love to save water.  If that is not an option then put a clock on your showers. Reducing shower time can save at least five gallons each minute.  A new efficient shower head will help too.

This may be a stretch, but I like this idea the best; if you find yourself waiting for the hot water to come out of the faucet, put a milk or laundry jug under the tap so the water is not wasted. You’ll have room temperature water ready to go for tomorrow’s coffee or watering your indoor plants. Remember, this is water down the drain. It flows right to the sewers and waste treatment systems before you can use it again. Why not make use of it on the first try? It actually is healthier for your plants if the water sits for a day in that jug uncovered because the chlorine will evaporate. Maybe the Fluoride evaps too!

If you do not have indoor plants then you are going to have to wait until next time for part two of this series. Stay tuned. In the meantime, Google “Water Conservation” and get your own “savings” plan started today.

Trudy and Bill Whitney are the owners of Rapid Refill Ink, an independently owned retail franchise that refills and remanufactures inkjet and laser/toner cartridges for office and home printers. In an effort to encourage recycling, empty cartridges are brought to the store that can be reused many times.  Sustainable and recycled products were utilized in the build out of the shop located in McKinney.  Rapid Refill now also offers Printer Repair and Shredding Services.  For more information call 972.548.9393 or email trudy.whitney@rapidrefillink.net. The above comments represent the thoughts of our local business entity and may not reflect those of others.

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