I was going to start this post with, “day 6 stretch, and running out of steam” until I saw it was the water day and the accidental pun just seemed to take away from the seriousness of it all. Besides I have an ocean of work to get through today and I don’t want to get flooded with a torrent of your comments. But don’t rain on my parade, I could use your suggestions.
Bottom line on water, we are using a lot of it at our house, and some of our sustainable projects seem to have made us use even more. I’m taking comfort in learning that in some projects I’m pretty sure I use less water than retail alternatives, like in homebrewing my beer versus commercial brewing, but other projects like our Doogie Doolie waste disposal system uses a TON of water that we weren’t using before. This may ultimately have still smaller a footprint then sending waste to the landfill (by diesel trash truck) but I just don’t know – either way I’d like to do it with less water. A lot of our conservation to date has been in our yard. If you’re looking for tips on lawn grass management I would recommend the link on our blogroll, Rich Soil, Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy. Good stuff.
What we’ve done /are doing already
- Reduced our front lawn grass by about 40%
- Reduced our backyard lawn grass by about 15%
- Started ‘deep watering’ the lawn and switched to less frequent watering
- We are “mowing high” and also added 6 trees and 4 bushes for more shade
- Converted the raised container garden to micro-tube drip irrigation
- Mulching all the beds
- Switched to low-flow toilets
- Switched to low-flow shower heads
- Started rain water storage with a 250 gallon barrel and two 35 (33?) gallon barrels
Here are some problems still to work through and where I am looking for help
We got cheap low-flow toilets and they often require multiple flushes. We got one in particular from Craigslist to save money but it was a total waste and will need to be replaced. What’s the magic answer to balancing water usage and functionality?
I am not using bleach (or anything) on the rainwater containers but the
very large one is opaque and we get some algae like growth – is this a problem? I will be hooking this thing up to the micro-drip and don’t want to clog up the pipes. I thought I’d read somewhere that people control pond algae with a hay bale or something but I can’tfind that article again. Any suggestions?
Does anyone use a doolie type waste system for pet waste? We installed one to keep the waste out of the landfill but it seems
to use a lot of water. Any tips on water management to get proper ‘drainage’ without over watering? I’m trying to reclaim other waste water sources near the doolie, like adding a drain hose to the AC condensation drip line for the few times a year we use AC. I think I’m going to build a rain collector but it will need to somehow fill it without overflowing (blech).
Also I would seriously consider a retrofit gray water system but don’t know where to start. Tips, tricks, site recommendations, and what about state specific considerations for California?
Meanwhile back on Day 6
I’m not how much it will save, but I am trying the tip to use a cup of water for brushing my teeth and not leaving the water on.
There’s not a trickle of doubt that a tide is rising in support of water conservation, so let’s set sail for savings together!