The hippies know it; the yuppies know it; the cool celebrities know it: Now is the time to start giving back to the earth. “But how?” you ask. You wonder if this means giving up the things you love. You question whether being eco-friendly is synonymous with starving yourself of everything joyful. (Just as a side note: it’s not. Now you have no excuse.)
Whether you live in a dry state or region (California is currently declared to be in a state of water crisis), or not, there’s really never any harm in conserving precious resources. Worst case scenario, we all make the world a better place for nothing.
Here are some ways you can conserve water (organized from least to most extreme):
1. Water Your Outdoor Plants at Night (or in the early morning hours)– Random as it seems, irrigating your plants when the sun’s not shining conserves water (cooler temperatures = less evaporation, which means more water for your plants).
2. Use Drip Irrigation– Drip irrigation is a type of irrigation in which tubes of water are placed directly at the base of the plant for maximum absorption of water. This is better than a “sprinkler” system, where water is sprayed into the air and often evaporated very quickly.
3. Wash Dishes Wisely–Dishwashers have been shown to use less water than hand washing dishes (so they’re the best option!). However, in my house, dishwashing remains a highly controversial topic and the no-dishwasher rule my grandpa has put into place is not one to be questioned. So, by lathering and scrubbing our dishes without the tap on (and only putting the water on for rinsing), we conserve water without a dishwasher.
4. Take Shorter Showers– Showers are comforting,– warm, familiar, and clean– but they can become excessively wasteful. There’s no special know-how needed for this tip (only a little willpower): simply turn off the water while you lather to conserve water. To measure how much water you’re using in one shower, simply plug the tub!
5. Use a Bucket– When you take showers and wash dishes, you are literally pouring water (a precious resource!) down the drain. Simply collect water (with no chemicals!) in a bucket, and use it to water plants.
6. No More Lawn– Replacing your lawn with plants for food, or simply adopting a more water-wise landscaping is definitely a water saver. Succulents and/or native plants are beautiful and conserve lots of water!