Brighthouse Family and Friends,
I was driving through a country club in Brentwood last week that I shall not name. It had been raining so hard that day that many streets had been closed off until they had drained properly. As I drove through the entrance to the beautiful community, I noticed that the sprinkler system was shooting out water full force during a complete downpour. This country club features 150+ homes, a golf course, fitness center, restaurant…the works. Imagine the amount of water that is used here daily just for the purpose of keeping the grass green.
Listen, I know that we all love our green yards and nobody is telling you to dig up the grass and fill it with sand for a never-ending beach volleyball tournament. BUT – it is our responsibility to make sure that we’re managing our water usage by installing the proper tools to do our part. I’d like to share with you a few basic and affordable ways to make some changes for the better. From the bathroom to the front yard, each of us can make a significant impact on conserving our most important natural resource.
Sprinkler System Upgrade! There is absolutely no reason why we should ever see a sprinkler system running through a rainstorm. A soil moisture sensor is a simple little device that you bury in the ground around your watering landscape that measures the moisture level present in your soil.. Pretty simple, huh? If the aforementioned country club simply installed a soil moisture sensor into their system, the sprinklers would have never started during the rainstorm. A typical golf course can take between 100,000 and 1,000,000 gallons of water WEEKLY in the summer to maintain proper vegetation (source). That means anywhere between approximately 15,000 to 150,000 gallons of water could be wasted in ONE DAY when sprinklers run during a storm. That equals water usage for the typical family of 4 for an entire year (source)!
It is also crucial that you abide by your local laws for days and times that you are able to water your lawn. Typically there are different days for commercial and residential customers. It is your responsibility to know this and monitor that your programmable system is sticking to it. Watering your yard during the heat of the day is not only against local regulations, but also results in extremely high percentages of evaporation, meaning even more waste.
Shower Time! Do you ever think about how much clean and wonderful water goes straight down the drain while you wait for your shower to heat up or leave the faucet on while brushing your teeth? You can buy a 5 gallon bucket at Home Depot for a few bucks – place this under your shower head when waiting to warm up, and then use this to fill the dogs bowl or water the garden. Also be sure to cut off the sink when brushing your teeth. Better yet – fill a small cup of water before you start brushing. Use this to dampen your brush and then clean it when finished.
Shower heads can also be a source of wasted water. You can literally cut your gallons per minute (gpm) in half by simply upgrading to a shower head with 2 gpm or less. You won’t lose any of that good pressure you love, guaranteed!
Ditch the Dishwasher! Ok, before you freak out, nobody is telling you to part with your beloved dishwasher. Although it is a significant waste of both water and energy, many people have become very accustomed to this luxury. I know that I typically end up fully washing my dishes before they go into they dishwasher Anyways and have slowly reduced our usage. That being said, the difference between an old dishwasher and a new energy star certified dishwasher is significant (Yes – I’m telling you to use this as an excuse to buy a shiny new appliance).
Water usage in these new washers are down almost 65% and the energy usage is considerable less! These Energy Start models started popping up in the mid-90’s, but manufacturers have continued to increase efficiency just about every year since – so go ahead and get yourself a new toy!
What are you doing at home to save water? Any tips or tricks you want to share? Are you teaching your children about water conservation? Why not have the kids be on “water patrol”, making sure to have the bucket ready when taking a shower, or being sure everyone (including mommy and daddy) are turning the faucet off when brushing their teeth. Make sustainability fun!
That is all for this month! As always, we genuinely appreciate your business and always look forward to seeing you again. Until next time, Stay Green!