An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
In 35 states, groundwater is being pumped faster than it is being replenished. Here are some common sense, water conserving tips that also save money and energy:
- Water plants in the early morning or evening. Water deeply and only when needed.
- Readjust irrigation schedules for season and weather conditions. If you have an irrigation timer, learn how to adjust it. Turn off automatic systems when it's raining. Don't run sprinklers when the wind is blowing.
- Adjust irrigation systems to deposit water on the soil, not on concrete and pavement.
- Use mulch to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and to control weeds.
- Reduce the water you use for personal care by turning off the faucet when shaving and brushing teeth. Take shorter showers. Don't use the toilet as a trash can.
- Repair leaks.
Private homes account for 20 % of energy consumption in the United States. To save energy follow these simple conservation methods:
- Temperature setting guidelines: In winter, set the thermostat to 68 degrees during the day and 55 at night. In summer, try 78 degrees or more. Water heaters work more efficiently between 120 and 140 degrees. Set your refrigerator at 37 degrees and freezer at 3 degrees. Check with a thermometer, if necessary.
- Open blinds, drapes, and shutters in winter to gain heat and light.
- Open windows during cool summer evenings. When possible, use fans instead of air conditioners.
- Use a microwave instead of an oven or toaster oven for defrosting and cooking.
- Wash full loads in clothes and dishwashers.
- Line-dry your clothes. In a dryer, don't over-dry clothes. Remove clothes immediately to reduce wrinkling and ironing. Dry full loads, but don't overload. Clean the lint filter before drying each load. Dry two or more loads in a row to take advantage of residual heat.
- Use appliances more efficiently. Vacuum dirty coils on the back or bottom front of your refrigerator at least twice a year. Check that oven gaskets and refrigerator door seals are tight. Test by placing a piece of paper half in and half out of the door. If you can pull the paper out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
- Don't leave the oven or refrigerator door open any longer than absolutely necessary. Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder. Avoid putting hot foods directly into the refrigerator or freezer.
- Use pool covers to reduce heat loss and water evaporation, minimizing chemical use and cleaning time.
For more information, contact your utility company, or checkout a book such as 136 Best Ways to Save on your Home Energy by Sunset Books.
| Motor vehicles burn about one-third of all fossil fuel consumed in the U.S.
- Walk, bike, carpool and use public transportation.
- Combine trips, cut miles, and carpool.
- Stay off the road; telecommute, teleconference, video-conference, surf the Web.
- Watch your miles per gallon. If they are lower than they should be, find out why. Maintain an efficient car. Keep cars tuned-up. Keep tires properly inflated, and check them for wear. Reduce idling. Drive steadily and at a steady speed.