20 gallon challenge…

Look how easy it is to save just 20 gallons of water a day! I have added notes outlining what I do, a way more radical approach to saving water!!!

Indoor Conservation Tips                       Estimated Savings

Run the dishwasher only when full                        2-4.5 gallons per load

Better yet, hand was using 2 pans and pour the water in your flowerbeds when you finish.

Don’t leave water running while rinsing dishes     2.5 gallons per minute

Turn off water when brushing teeth                      2 gallons per minute

Shorten showers                                                      2.5 gallons per minute

I have a 5 gallon bucket I put in the shower to catch runoff, I carry it outside to water the garden. If I take a bath, I use a bucket to carry a lot of it outside (a GREAT workout for upper body!)  I am trying to talk my landlord into setting up a greywater system. No luck so far!

Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket                   1.6 gallons per flush

Use a sawdust toilet, save 40 gallons per day per person!!!

Wash only full loads of clothes                             15-50 gallons per load

Wear jeans and pants more than once, use your bath towel for a week by hanging it to dry, use soapnuts to wash with, route your wash water outside to water your trees.

Fix leaky toilets                                                      30-50 gallons per day per toilet

Use a sawdust toilet!-  http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/manual.html 

Fix leaky faucets                                                   15-20 gallons per day per leak

Install a new high-efficiency  clothes washer      20-30 gallons per load

Replace older, high-volume flushing toilets            2.2-3.8 gallons per flush

Water Wise Landscaping

recent photo of Southern California brush fires

Are you following the basic principles of water wise landscaping in your garden?

  1. Use less-than-thirsty plants in your garden. Keep turf grass (the thirstiest plant of all!) to a minimum. Look for plants that are well-suited to regional and local conditions.
  2. Group plants thoughtfully. When selecting trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials and annuals for your garden, look for those that naturally grow together and use about the same amount of water.
  3. Use water wisely. Water plants only when needed, not by the clock or calendar. Water at night, when evaporation is much lower and air is calmer. Avoid runoff and overspray.
  4. Improve your soil. Routinely cultivate your soil, incorporating organic matter such as compost. Doing so improves the soil’s ability to resist evaporation and retain moisture. Aerate heavy or compacted soil around trees.
  5. Mulch. A two- to four-inch layer of mulch also evens out temperature extremes, keep soil cool on hot days and warm on cool days. It also prevents soil from crusting, allowing better water penetration. Take a cue from nature and choose one of many organic mulches that add great visual texture to your landscape, such as shredded bark or chips, wood grindings, compost, aged sawdust or even low-growing ground cover. Inorganic mulches, such as gravel or rock, let the most water in and are frequently used with plants susceptible to crown rot.
  6. Plant trees. Trees help to lower air and soil temperatures, reducing plant and soil moisture loss.
  7. Group container plants. Arrange containers so they shade one another. During droughts or periods of drying winds, place them in the deepest shade they can tolerate. Wet the entire rootball; double pot by setting small pots inside larger ones with a layer of sand or gravel between. Top-dress pots with a layer of mulch over the soil.

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