Green @ Home: Reducing Our Water Usage

Green @ Home: Reducing Our Water Usage

Janel Laban
Jul 8, 2008
Name: Shayna
Location: Oakland

I'm a firm believer in the concept of baby-steps. Grandiose ideas are great, but as for becoming reality? The follow-through just isn't always there. Like Janel, I think it's the small, feasible actions that become a part of your daily vocabulary that really make a difference. For my home, that means using cloth bags, recycling, composting, line-drying clothes in warm weather and buying local when we can; and we're always on the lookout for new ideas to add to our arsenal. This summer, faced with a mandatory water reduction, my family is looking specifically at reducing our water usage...

If you live in Alameda county, you already know about the mandatory water reduction program. Our home is quite small and after conducting an informal survey amongst neighbors and friends, I found that our water bill is relatively small despite all of the planting we've done recently. Faced with a mandatory reduction of 19% of the average of our water bills, we're a bit overwhelmed at the idea of reducing our water usage even more. Here are two easy ideas that we've managed to pretty much seamlessly incorporate in to our daily life.

1. Using a bucket in the bathroom shower. Instead of watching all of the water go down the drain, we collect the water in a bucket and use it to water our newly planted fruit trees. A good bucket of water every few days keeps the trees happy and we haven't turned the hose on them in over a month now....

2. Using a tub in the kitchen sink. We didn't realize how much water we wasted in the kitchen just washing off fruits and veggies and rinsing our hands while cooking. I found the perfect size tub to keep in one side of our sink. Now, every time that faucet goes on, we collect water for the garden or for our houseplants. We use biodegradable soap and even empty the leftover coffee in to the bucket.

What other real tips do you have for us? We want all of your ideas!

Originally posted by Shayna on AT:SF.

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