Thursday, June 9, 2011

Greene Thumb Thursday: Water Conservation

One day last week we were outside, knee deep in chalk on the sidewalk when the mailman came by. Kevin loves to see the mailman. Naturally, we rushed to the box to see what awaits. My sweet innocent toddler, always the optimist said, "Maybe there is a magazine!", but as I am much older and wiser (?), I knew the truth. Junk and bills. Ha. Among the papers was a little postcard that I normally do not pay attention to in the least: our water bill.

Now, I know that many people have much larger utility costs than we do, but when we first purchased this home, our water bill averaged about $35 each month. Last month's bill was $50. So what, a $15 dollar jump in 3 years? NBD, right? Maybe. But I am an analyst, and I need to understand why it keeps going up. The rate is staying the same, so how are we using more water?

I quickly scanned my memory for additional water usage last month: I washed my mom's car after borrowing it (but I think that will be relfected on this month's bill), Mark watered our yard after throwing out some grass seed, and I stripped diapers once. I guess that's it. But I don't want it to keep going up!

Now, with summer in full swing a serious 2 weeks before the official start of the season, this above 90 degree heat is seriously threatening our meager boxes of plants. My dad, the garden master, has informed that if I intend to get anything out of my tiny little experiment, I have to water it once, and sometimes twice, a day. Sheesh! More water?

With no rain in sight, I started trying to figure out ways to cut back on our in-house water usage to offset what I'll be using on the "garden". Wash larger loads of clothes. Take 10-minute showers. Bathe the boys together (now that Z can sit on his own, I think this will be fine). Let Oscar keep drinking from the toilet rather than refill his water bowl (okaayy...I'm not going to do that. But seriously, if his water bowl happens to be empty, our fat cat will drink from the toilet like a dog!)

Then, while I was crunching some numbers and daydreaming about my sometime-in-the-future finished basement, I remembered a very important appliance we have. The dehumidifier! That thing pulls 2 gallons of water out of the air in our basement every single day. Ta-da. There is my extra water for the garden! Yay! The best part is that the water collected in our dehumidifier is that it is untreated and doesn't have added chemical "purifiers" that we pay this lovely county to add to the rest of our household water.

Now...if I could just convince Kevin to stop flushing the toilet a thousand times a day, maybe we could level-off or, dare I suggest, lower our bill...

1 comment:

  1. You're so cute. You could do what my family did when I was growing up. I call it "saving pee." We didn't flush everytime we went #1. But, when someone went #2, then we flushed. It was gross and I can't stand it now...yuck.