By Trudy Whitney
We simply cannot survive without clean water. So, our goal is put to use some conservation and protection efforts that are easy and will have a significant impact on our future water supplies. Last time we touched on many ways to lower the average 150 gallons of water usage by making some basic changes inside your home. Today, I offer some conservation practices outside your home.
- Remember when – As already suggested, while running your faucet waiting for hot water to come out, fill an old milk jug or other plastic container with the room temperature liquid and water your indoor plants. This water can also be taken outside to fill a bird bath, your dog’s water bowl, or to water your potted plants.
- Baby you can wash my car – but only if you are a car wash recycling at least 40% of your water. Trust me, they are out there. Also, ask the car wash if it is soaping your car with non-phosphate detergents and using green supplies including the glass cleaners and reusable rags. If you live in a rural area and like to wash your car or truck at home, consider parking it in the yard for its bath and the grass will thank you.
- Sweep away your troubles – Spraying your driveway with the hose can use up 25 gallons of water really fast. Get out the ole push broom to sweep the driveway instead and enjoy some exercise in the great outdoors. You will feel better and your water bill will look better, too.
- Dance with the one who brung ya – Lucky for us, North Texas has a wide variety of beautiful native plans. More and more nurseries are featuring plants that are certified “Proven Winners” requiring less water, and more importantly, less harmful pesticides that can pollute our water table and streams. My favorite shrub is the Texas Sage with fragrant purple blooms and blue-green leaves. Perennial flowers such as the Purple Cone and the Bachelor’s Button prove prolific in the driest of summers. Native grasses and cacti can be worked into your landscape nicely. And, I love rocks! Big rocks and little rocks are beautiful additions to your flower bed, act as permanent mulch, and require no watering at all. Let us appreciate the abundance of plants that were thriving here long before we showed up with automatic sprinkler systems.
- Let it Rain. Let it Rain – Water collection barrels are genius. For a little under $200 you can order one made from recycled plastics that will sit next to a gutter on the driveway or back yard. These barrels have an attachment to the gutter spout that will redirect the water into the barrel instead of the driveway. They also come equipped with an overflow valve in case of a gully washer and a spigot at the bottom for your garden hose. Voila! You have an instant source of pure rain water on tap to handle your outdoor watering needs. There are several styles to choose from and special pricing for the purchase of two or more that can be linked together. The barrel holds about 45 gallons of rain water, and I have had mine for almost four years now.
Water is not a sustainable product. We have a finite amount of potable water and an increasing demand for its consumption. The responsibility rests with us humans to protect and conserve our most important resource. To learn more about rain barrels, Google “Gardener’s Supply.” For information on native plants visit http://www.provenwinner.com/.
In case you miss part one of Don’t Pout the Drought, click here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The above comments represent the thoughts of our local business entity and may not reflect those of others.