Adventures in Greening, Part 1: Water Conservation

Astronomy-Leonid_Meteor_Storm_1833-200x300Whether you live in a house or an apartment, there are simple changes you can make to greatly reduce your ecological footprint, giving Mother Nature a little break. I am excited to share my journey to a greener household in this Adventures in Greening series of posts.

Water connects us all. Whether we are plants, animals, or humans, we all share the common bond of the necessity of water for our survival. When we take time to relax and connect with Nature, it is water that we often find ourselves drawn to. Its healing properties lure us to sit by a stream or waterfall, feeling the cool spray as the tranquil sound of the cascading flow restores us.

In California we are in the midst of a major drought. In the same way that I am drawn to connect with water in Nature, I have found myself drawn to conservation. By actively working to reduce my household’s consumption of water, I feel more connected to the sacredness of our life-giving element. Just as water has provided for us, it is now our turn to give back.

Simple Ways to Save

I have recently made some very simple changes to help reduce the amount of water my household uses. In addition to changes like multi-purposing cooking water to water plants and using bath water to flush the toilet, I have also added low-flow options.

I added a low-flow aerator to our kitchen and bathroom faucets as well as a low-flow showerhead. We went from using about 2.2 gallons per minute (gpm) to 1.25 gpm for the shower, 1.5 for the kitchen sink, and .5 gpm for the bathroom sink.

These changes cost less than $25 total to implement and will hopefully cut our water use in half—saving thousands of gallons of water in the coming years.

After making these changes, we cannot tell the difference in water flow. We have more than enough water pressure to wash dishes, brush our teeth, shower, etc. The added bonus is that hot water doesn’t run out as quickly now that less is being used!

For reference, I have listed the products installed:

Shower Head: http://www.amazon.com/Niagara-Earth-Massage-1-25GPM-showerhead/dp/B003UQ17O4

Low-flow Faucet Aerator for Bathroom: http://www.amazon.com/0-5-Flow-Dual-Thread-Faucet-Aerator/dp/B0034UMZA6/

Low-flow Faucet Aerator for Kitchen Sink: http://www.amazon.com/Neoperl-12-9200-16-Inch-64-Inch-27-1-5-GPM/dp/B00771D2GO

Please share your water-saving tips in the comments!

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