Safe Natural Tips for your health, for your budget, for the environment kids, pets, healthcooking, cleaning, beautygardening and decorating


Rainsaver Rain Barrel - 54 Gallon

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Rainsaver Rain Barrel




HydroRight Drop-in Dual Flush Converter Kit

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HydroRight Drop-in Dual Flush Converter Kit




Great American Rain Barrel - 60 Gallon

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Great American Rain Barrel




Water Conservation EcoKit

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Water Conservation EcoKit




Drought Buster 2-pack

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Drought Buster





natural produce wash
Bi-O-Kleen Concentrated Produce Wash with Grapefruit Seed & Orange Peel Extract




dripping faucet

HOW TO CONSERVE WATER ~AND~
REDUCE YOUR WATER BILL

Ways To Reduce Outdoor Water Usage

Lawns

Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades the root systems and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn. As the days get warmer, the mower should be set even higher.

Watering your lawn between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. reduces evaporation and maximizes absorption.

Turning on the hose lower will allow water to seep deeper than if the hose is on high. This causes roots to deepen and find more groundwater, allowing for less top watering.

Divide your watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption every time you water.

Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about 6 inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface. One easy way to aerate is on the grass while wearing cleats.

Some types of grass go dormant and brown in the winter. Extra watering will not turn them green.

Dormant Bermuda grass needs water only once a month.

Allowing grass cuttings to remain on the lawn will hold in more moisture and protect roots. A shredding mower can make the cuttings almost invisible.

Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.

Check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks, and repair or replace broken sprinkler heads.

Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn with a hose.

Do not water your lawn on windy days. This allows the water to blow onto sidewalks and driveways and to be lost through evaporation.

Adjust your sprinklers if they regularly water the sidewalk or driveway.

An automatic sprinkler timer is the best way to keep watering time down to a minimum.

A timer with a rain sensor can turn off the sprinklers automatically when it is raining.

Plants

Avoid watering plants in the heat of the day. Getting leaves or flowers wet when the weather is really hot causes so much evaporation that the leaves and flowers end up drier than before you watered.

Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it is needed. This not only uses less water, it allows less waste through evaporation.

Morning is the best time to water roses unless you have a drip system in place. Evaporation from the heat damage leaves and flowers, just as with any other plant, but wet rose leaves that do not have enough time to dry before dark will become mildewed.

Turning on the hose lower will allow water to seep deeper than if the hose is on high. This causes roots to deepen and find more groundwater, allowing for less top watering.

Divide your watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption every time you water.

Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water per year.

Direct downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees, or collect this water in a barrel for use in your garden.

A barrel may be used anywhere in the yard to collect rainwater for use on gardens and lawns.

Check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks, and repair or replace broken sprinkler heads.

Set a kitchen timer when watering your garden with a hose.

Do not water your garden on windy days. This allows the water to blow onto sidewalks and driveways and to be lost through evaporation.

Adjust your sprinklers if they regularly water the sidewalk or driveway.

Plants use much less water in the ground than in pots.

Plants in clay or terra cotta pots require watering more often than those in plastic pots.

Established plants require much less water than new plants. Re-landscaping should not be done during a drought.

Make your backyard vegetable garden do double duty. Since you water it anyway, water twice as many by planting between rows and plants. Planting the smaller ones or those that will be harvested first between the others will still allow the larger, late-harvested plants to have plenty of growing room.

After boiling eggs and letting the water cool, pour the used water on your garden. The water is not wasted, and it is a great fertilizer.

An automatic sprinkler timer is the best way to keep watering time down to a minimum.

A timer with a rain sensor can turn off the sprinklers automatically when it is raining.

Cleaning

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.

Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Bathe your pets outdoors in an area in need of water.

Lawnmowers do need to be cleaned occasionally. First, scrape off any grass by hand. Second, rinsing should be done with the mower on a section of lawn that needs water.

Play

Do not use recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.

When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.

A trip to the beach or neighborhood pool uses less water than playing in the sprinklers.

When in a swimming pool, keep the water in instead of splashing sunbathers just for fun.

Ways To Reduce Indoor Water Usage

Bath

Turn off the water while you shampoo and condition your hair, and when you soap up, saving more than 50 gallons a week per person.

Do not let the water run while brushing your teeth. Only a tiny bit of water is needed to wet the toothpaste, and the tap can be turned on at the end for rinsing.

You can shave your legs with a little water in the sink or a bowl instead of while the shower is running, or turn off the water while you shave in the shower. Keep a plastic cup in the shower for rinsing the razor.

Shave your face with a little water in the sink or a cup instead of letting the tap run.

After a bath, don't drain out the water but use it for flushing toilets by pouring it in quickly.

You can flush a toilet and not waste any water if you use the water from boiling eggs or potatoes or from washing dishes. Once you remove the food and the water has cooled, simply pour the water into the toilet all at once.

If you do not have a low-flow toilet, adding a two-liter bottle filled with water and stones to the tank will save water with every flush.

Do not flush the toilet for liquid waste but wait until there is solid waste. Keeping the lid closed will prevent any odor problem.

Use a trashcan instead of the toilet to dispose of tissues.

Close the drain in the tub before filling it with water. You can turn off the cold water before the hot if the tub water is too cool, but cold water is not wasted while you wait for it to turn hot.

Most adults can use less water in the shower instead of a bath. Little children use less water in a shallow bath, especially if two or three of them can fit in at one time.

A parent can save water by taking their little one into the shower with them.

Family members should take their showers one right after the other so the water does not have to be run again just to warm it.

Put a dishpan or bucket in the shower to catch the cool water that would otherwise be wasted waiting for the water to heat up.

Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes (flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank).

There are many devices available to help save water (low-flow showerhead, low-flush toilet, shower timer, low-flow faucet, tankless water heater, etc.)

Kitchen

Wash only full loads in the dishwasher.

Do not let the water run while you are washing dishes. Instead, wash dishes by hand using a dishpan in the sink.

Fill a second dishpan with hot water and dip dishes and glasses to rinse them.

When all the washed dishes have been rinsed, pour the water down the drain slowly while you run the garbage disposal.

Used dishwater can also be used to flush the toilet if it is poured in all at once. (Many cities have an ordinance against using this "graywater" on lawns or gardens to keep it out of the groundwater. But it could always be used to water houseplants.)

Floors or counters may also be washed with used rinse water since it was only used for clean dishes.

After washing dishes in a dishpan, reuse the soapy water to soak more dishes throughout the day.

Paper plates and cups can be recycled instead of being washed.

You can flush a toilet and not waste any water if you use the water from boiling eggs or potatoes or from washing dishes. Once you remove the food and the water has cooled, simply pour it into the toilet all at once.

After boiling eggs and letting the water cool, pour the used water in your garden. The water is not wasted, and it is a great fertilizer.

Use grapefruit seed extract (30 drops of grapefruit seed oil to a quart of water in a spray bottle) to clean fruits and vegetables. Putting fruits or vegetables into a bowl of water instead would allow all pieces to become contaminated if only one had any e-coli.

Getting onions cold in the refrigerator before peeling them will prevent as many tears as peeling them under running water, and it prevents tears while cutting them.

Line your measuring cup with plastic wrap before adding shortening or butter, and it will come out easily and completely - and not need to be washed.

Store-bought eggs do not have to be washed. This was done before they were packaged.

Don't drain the water into the sink after boiling pasta. Instead, use a pasta fork to dish it out of the pan. Then use a large spoon to carefully add eggs to the hot water one at a time. Bring the water to a boil again then turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the water for 20 minutes. Water can also be reused this way after cooking rice in a boil-in bag.

Put leftovers into plastic bags, or on a paper plate wrapped with foil, instead of bowls to eliminate washing more dishes.

Line baking trays with foil for little or no washing after cooking.

Most newer (and many older) dishwashers will clean your plates and silverware on their own without your rinsing them first, just scrape food into the trash or compost pile first.

Scraping food off dishes, pots and pans and into the trash or compost pile cuts down on time using the garbage disposal, which requires water.

Peels (from carrots, potatoes, etc.) should be put into the trashcan instead of the sink drain, requiring less use of the garbage disposal.

Thaw food in the refrigerator instead of in a bowl of water or under running water.

Run the garbage disposal while rinsing off clean dishes for double use of the water.

Your drinks will need less ice if you make them ahead and put them in the refrigerator to get cold.

Use special blue ice containers inside water or juice pitchers instead of using ice.

There are devices available to help save water (low-flow faucet, instant-hot faucet, tankless water heater).

Cleaning

Dusty drapes do not have to be washed. They can be vacuumed clean on a low setting, or they can be put into the dryer on low heat or no heat for about 15 minutes.

Wash only full loads of laundry.

Adding a faucet aerator will allow sinks to be rinsed with much less water.

Many items of clothing do not need to be washed at all. If you shower in the morning, put on an undershirt, put on a dress shirt, and go to church for two hours, that dress shirt can be put right back into the closet except on a hot, sweaty day.

Miscellaneous

Use blue ice or a two-liter bottle of frozen water in your cooler instead of ice cubes. They can be put back into the freezer for future use.

If you do use ice cubes in your cooler, allow the water to drain into the flowerbed or on the lawn instead of in the gutter.

Swimming pool and spa covers meant to keep children from drowning can also be used to prevent evaporation.


Photo courtesy of budgetstockphoto.com

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