Good people leave an inheritance to their children’s children. – Prov 13:22a
We’re all called to be good stewards, and water is increasingly recognized as a critical component of our stewardship. According to the UK site WaterWise, only 3% of the world’s water is fresh, and less than a third of this is both fresh and available for use. In California, recent rains have graced our state, but the water table is still low and vigilance is still needed. In honor of Earth Day, here are our Top Ten fresh-and-easy ways to live smart while saving water:
- Save the water from your teapot. Cool it down, and collect it in a beaker for watering plants. Likewise, Save water from cooking vegetables. Cool it down, before using it to water your garden.
- Brushing teeth? Turning off the tap can save up to 6 liters a minute. And likewise, turn off the tap when scrubbing kitchen dishes.
- Waiting for the shower to warm up? Don’t let that cold water go to waste. Collect it in a bucket, and use it for watering plants.
- Take a shorter shower; this can save 6 to 45 liters per minute. If you prefer a bath, filling even one inch lower will save 5 liters.
Install shut-off nozzles on garden hoses, and limit your watering to early in the morning, to reduce evaporation.
- Use a broom rather than a hose, for cleaning the front and back of your house.
- Install simple flow-limiters in faucets and shower-heads, available at any hardware store. Pricier, but with a big payoff: install “low flow” toilets and “energy star” labeled washing machines.
- At night, consider not flushing for every trip to the bathroom. Some readers may recall the jingle from the 1970s, “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” At night, when nobody’s looking anyway, why not follow the song. Save a flush ’till morning. And never flush rubbish or medicine. Put rubbish in a bin and dispose of medicines properly, protecting the water supply, cutting water use, and saving on plumbing bills.
- Lose the lawn. Lawns are a mark of the 1950s, not a sign of modern times. In California, sometimes it feels as if brown is the new green. We’ve seen some folks spray green coloring, or use artificial lawns in their place. Use plants that require less water, known as “drought-tolerant” landscaping. The effects can be quite beautiful, especially when you incorporate native plants. Pricier: consider a “gray water” system.
At NHM Ministrants, we strive to help you follow the call to be ever-better stewards of God’s good creation. We hope that you have found this resource page helpful, and that you’ll explore our other offerings.
Peace & blessings,