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April 19, 2013

Celebrate Earth Day April 22: Tips on conservation

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Tips for Work

Water conservation is something few people think about at work. Since we don’t get the water bill for the office, we’re not aware of the cost and quantity of our consumption. Our offices consume huge quantities of water, so saving on the job should be everyone’s business.

When you have ice left in your cup from a restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash. Pour it on a plant.

Report leaks or water waste to facility managers or maintenance personnel. Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.

When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.

When TDY staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels. Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 300 gallons a month. When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then ad- just the temperature as the tub fills up.

Make suggestions to your employer about ways to save water and money at work. Create a suggestion and incentives system at your organization to recognize water-saving ideas.

Invite your water utility conservation staff to your organization for Earth Day and other environmental events to help promote water savings.

Share water saving tips in newsletters and posters. Write feature articles on your employee website that highlight water-saving ideas and successes.

Tips for Home

When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed. Use the garbage disposal sparingly; compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.

If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing dishes. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. Still using an older model dishwasher? Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

Appliances: Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings. When buying new appliances, con- sider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments; they’re more water and energy efficient. Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.

Leaks: Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks. We’re more likely to notice leaks in- doors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks. If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model, and you can save up to 750 gallons a month.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month. Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.

Wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your lawn at the same time. Also use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car; it will save you up to 100 gallons every time. An alternate idea is to use a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Lawn care: Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation. If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption. Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.Make sure your lawn sprinkler heads aren’twatering sidewalks, driveways or other hardscapes. Not only will you be wasting water, you would be washing pollutants into storm water drains. Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money. Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water di- rectly to the roots where it’s needed.

For the kids: Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water. When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water.




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