W is for Water #AtoZChallenge
On April 27, 2015 | 38 Comments | environment, gardening |

We’re in the final days of the AtoZ Challenge! It’s gone quickly. While I’m ready to slow the pace a bit, I’ve had a lot of fun.

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Water. We can live without it for three days. We need it to grow everything we eat, from fruits and vegetables to meats. California’s drought is particularly alarming since the state grows much of the nation’s food.

Even here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, we are officially in a drought. The snowpack on the Olympic Mountains in minimal this year. People are concerned, and complete strangers have initiated conversations with me that begin with, “Can you believe there’s no snow on Hurricane Ridge this year?”

There seems to be some squabbling in California about who should be conserving water. People don’t want to think about not flushing their toilets as much when Nestle is harvesting water for bottling, or water-intensive fracking is going on. I get it…but it doesn’t matter. When we’re in a crisis, we each have to do what we can.

I grew up with parents and grandparents who were products of the Great Depression. They didn’t waste anything. My grandma washed out her plastic bags for re-use, and I remember rubber bands hanging from a cabinet knob. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as though we have changed as a society from one that conserves to one that consumes and then brags about it.

We take water for granted because we are used to its flowing freely from our spigots. Still, there’s no reason we can’t conserve. If all of us pitch in, we can make a difference.

So, what can we do?

  • We keep a bucket in our bathroom. When I start running the shower, the water is too cold, so I collect it in a bucket until it warms up. I then use the water on my plants.
  • Keep showers short. I like a long shower as much as the next guy, but we just need to get clean.
  • Grass requires a lot of watering. Consider replacing grass with native plants that don’t require much watering once they’re established.
  • I’m admittedly a meat eater, and it takes a lot of water to produce the meat we eat. My body does not do well with a vegetarian diet, but we have cut back on our portion sizes, so we’re using less.
  • If you’re a gardener, water early in the morning. If you water in the heat of the day, it’s less effective. Use drip irrigation where possible.
  • Mulch your plants. This will help retain moisture in the soil, so you’ll need to use less water.

For more water saving tips, click here.

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