Climate change conversations aside, there’s no arguing the fact that this year has been drier than usual. My lawn proves it. When the chihuahua’s biggest problem should be hot cement on his tootsies, he is instead avoiding the straw-like lawn.
In fact, it has barely rained for three months. Environment Canada says rainfall from April through June was 100 mm below normal in some areas. Peterborough and the Kawarthas are smack in the middle of the worst-hit region. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are calling it a “moderate” drought in areas like Peterborough. We could get caught in the climate change conversation, but that avoids the more riveting reality that our lawns are brown, our flowers are wilted, our trees are taking a beating, and our farms are struggling to survive. We often avoid making changes to habits when the need seems remote – like the need to reverse climate change – but this is a conversation that’s in our faces right now.
We could get caught in the climate change conversation, but that avoids the more riveting reality that our lawns are brown, our flowers are wilted, our trees are taking a beating, and our farms are struggling to survive. We often avoid making changes to habits when the need seems remote – like the need to reverse climate change – but this is a conversation that’s in our faces right now.
Because there’s no great tap in the sky to deliver water whenever we need it, water conservation efforts fall mainly on local municipalities and conservation authorities, who can only pass it on to residents. The onus to conserve is on us. Did you know that the Canadians use, on average, 329 litres of water per person per day? That’s twice as much as Europeans. So we clearly have something to learn, and now it the time to learn it, when the lack of water is visible to us as a reminder.
Here are 20 easy yes-you-can-do-it-yourself ways to save water:
1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. You can lose a lot of water through a leak.
2. Check your toilet for leaks by putting a little food colouring in the tank. If the colour appears in the bowl within half an hour (without flushing) there’s a leak.
3. Flush less often, and certainly don’t use the toilet as a trash can.
4. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If it is not the same reading, there is a leak.
5. Water-saving showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators can save significant water.
6. Put a plastic bottle filled with sand into your toilet tank to reduce water consumption.
7. Take shorter showers.
8. Insulate water pipes to avoid wasting water while it heats up.
9. Reduce water used for teeth-brushing.
10. Same for razor-rinsing.
11. Only wash full loads of clothes and don’t use permanent-press cycle (which adds a rinse).
12. Same for dishes. And if you don’t have a dishwasher, don’t leave the tap running to rinse dishes.
13. Same for cleaning vegetables.
14. Consider xeriscaping your yard.
15. Mulch trees and plants.
16. Take shorter showers.
17. If you give your pet fresh water, use the old water for your plants.
18. Reward children for conserving water.
19. Ask that your business support water conservation.
20. When replacing water in fish tanks, recycle it for your plants. It is rich in nutrients.
Please, add YOUR ideas, and share!