Sunday, December 16, 2007

Turn Garbage Into Liquid Cash: Save 1000s of Gallons of Water

Save water (and liquid cash) by shutting down your garbage disposal. That's just one several water-saving, money-conserving, green-living tips in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living by Trish Riley.
Here are conservation tips from that book:
  • Bowl Rinse & Recycle Water: Instead of cleaning fruits & veggies under a steady stream of water, rinse the produce in a bowl. Every now and then, I've used this strategy and I'm going to make more of a commitment to use this method of cleaning fruits & veggies. The water in the bowl can be recycled to water your plants and garden. Or perhaps the veggie/fruit rinse water can be used for other "secondary" purposes. Here are my suggestions: Mopping, cleaning non-food surfaces and washing windows.

  • Dish Washing Tricks: Don't rinse your dishes before loading up the dishwasher. "Just scrape off food and load them," according to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living. The book also recommends waiting to run the dishwasher until the machine is full.

  • Shower Tricks: Shut down the shower while you lather up the hair and suds up the body. Turn the water back on to rinse. Watch the clock: Limit your shower to only 5 minutes. These steps alone can save 1,000 gallons each month.

  • More Shower Tricks: Swap your old showerhead for one of those low-cost, "low-flow" showerheads, which could conserve your water usage by at least 20 percent.

  • Toothbrush Tricks: If you turn off the water while brushing your teeth, you'll save "4 gallons per minute, which equals 200 gallons per week for a family of 4," according to Trish Riley.

  • Garbage Disposal: Don't send food scraps down the garbage disposal, which requires a stream of water. Try this: Use table scraps and food waste as composting material for the family garden. "This will save water and prevent the need for filtering and treatment down the line."

Keep in mind that the average consumer in the U.S. uses about 1,600 gallons of water daily.
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