Blog Action Day 2010- H2O

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

What does the word make you think about? 
  • Rain on your windowpane?
  • Hot baths?
  • The ocean’s caress?
  • The coolness of the lake?

Right now for me right now I’ll have to go with water bill.  We have had a record breaking year
that started with record rainfall and now is into record drought.   To me that means either a dried up yard or a +$85 water bill (so I chose the first.)  I lost a lot of new plants I planted TWO YEARS AGO!  That is how dry it is. 

I’ve been talking with others about the effects of global warming and the climate changes we’ve seen in our lives and contemplating the ones that are to come.  They say that global warming is already changing weather patterns and will make everything more severe.  Personally I feel the dust bowl type patterns will be returning (already are it seems) and that we had better plan for it by better building practices and by teaching ourselves and our kids how to conserve water.  When I was young in school we were taught water, electric, gas conservation every year.  I don’t see people caring here or even trying.  Myself included a lot of the times.  It’s all dependent on habits.  Making them, keeping them, then it becomes second nature.

Why should we worry about water?

  • Nearly 1 billion people don’t have safe water to drink.
  • A child dies every 15 seconds from a lack of clean water.
  • 1 in 4 children who die before age 5 worldwide, die of a water related disease.
  • Children often walk miles every day to collect dirty water to drink.
  • It takes 100 gallons of water to produce one egg
  • It takes 256 gallons of water to produce one cotton t-shirt
  • It takes 2500 gallons of water to make 2 pounds of steak!
  • That dirty water you and I make goes somewhere- it is recycled back into our own drinking water and not EVERYTHING gets cleaned out.  Remember water is global so it’s a global problem. 

What can we do to conserve water?

  • Become (and remain) AWARE of your water usage
  • Don’t leave the faucet running when you brush teeth, wash dishes, wash your face…(by turning the tap off while brushing your teeth you will save 3 GALLONS of water a day! And another three for not shaving with the water running! )
  • Use a low-flow toilet or fill a plastic drinking bottle with pebbles and put in your toilet tank.  (This will save you 5-10 gallons a day!)
  • If handwashing dishes don’t let water run.  Fill one sink with clean water and one with rinse water.  (Saves 200-500 GALLONS a month!)
  • Compost instead of using the garbage disposal.  
  • Wash your car on your lawn.
  • Always use bio-degradable/phosphate-free soaps (there are good ones like Dr. Bronner’s, Dollar General has a good automatic dish detergent that is phosphate free and cheap!)
  • Don’t water lawns unless necessary- also plant wisely with native plants and drought-resistant varieties
  • Take showers instead of baths (wah!)
  • Buy used goods and recycle old clothes
  • Shop wisely and don’t waste food or water
  • Get actively involved in water conservation groups and educate others!

Happy Blog Action Day 2010!

    On rain barrels

    I’m waiting for J to get up so we can go to the NLR Farmer’s Market this morning so I thought I’d post this.

    My honey found a guy on Craig’s List that makes rain barrels and sells them very reasonably. He came in one day and installed this rain barrel at the back of the house by the pool yesterday! It’s tucked in a nook so you can’t see it from the back doors or windows- only from the pool or the laundry room window. It’s not the best picture, can’t seem to find my camera so this is with my phone. Also, forgive the messy deck. That’s right after the gutters were cleaned. I really hope this works. He didn’t put in an overflow valve, so a bit worried about that. I think we can watch it though and make sure it doesn’t get too full. If it does work we plan to put them on all the downspouts (and get more gutters on the house to run them to.) Maybe it will help with the water bills this summer!

    Also, I found a neat new site: Low Impact Living. You can determine your family’s impact on the environment. The calculator they use seems to be more accurate than others I’ve seen because you can input in actual lot size, square footage, and individual improvements at the end. We do more things that I couldn’t find on the list, but the main bad guys for us are our old heat/ac unit which we really need to replace (but waiting for it to go out.) Also we REALLY need to insulate the walls and ceilings better. Want to do that before another crazy summer and our AC bills are out the roof (HA!)