Water conservation

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Minibit

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#1
Since it's the middle of summer, water restrictions are in place in my city; mostly this means that you can only water your lawn every other day.

Do you do anything to lower your water waste? Some common ways water is wasted include:
  • Letting the faucet run while you brush your teeth
  • Taking long showers
  • Not using a low-flow shower head
  • Soaking dishes instead of scrubbing them
  • Letting your sprinkler water the road/driveway as well as the lawn
  • Letting water run until it's cold instead of putting ice in it
Do you have any suggestions for saving water? Or any more wasteful things most people could cut to save water?
 

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#2
When it gets really hot, I put my bottle of water into the freezer for a while until some of it freezes - This keeps it cool and stops me from constantly buying more water and throwing away the last!
 
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#3
When it gets really hot, I put my bottle of water into the freezer for a while until some of it freezes - This keeps it cool and stops me from constantly buying more water and throwing away the last!
^ This is actually a good way to re-use water bottles, too. When you finish one, just re-fill it about halfway with tap water and freeze it. Now you have an ice-filled water bottle that stays cold all day. :D
 

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#4
Being the environmental activist I am (thanks, school), I always try to save water and such.

Aside from the stuff listed in the OP, I always wash my clothes in a full machine. Filling a pitcher with water and ice is also a good way of avoiding the whole "let it run until it's cold for a single glass of water" thing that I've seen people do. The water bottle is also a very good idea, especially if you need to go outside, or you're working outside.
 

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#5
I hate it when people water during the hottest part of the day. It's wasteful. Especially since the temperature has been well over 100... The water evaporates, the plants suffer, it is just dumb. If you're going to water do it before 8am or after 8 pm.
 

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#6
Me and my wife take showers together 99% of the time. The time's we've showered separately is probably around 50 or so.

We've been together for 8 years.
I'm a big guy and our shower isn't very big.
Also,
  • Never buy bottled water
  • Keep earth boxes out of the afternoon sun
  • Use leftover bath water for said boxes
 

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#7
We have a purifier that we pour tap water into, and we keep it in the fridge. It purifiers and cools just enough water for a day or two, and when it gets especially hot, we get bottles of water to take with us wherever we go. We usually reuse them.

I live in Burbank, and whilst taking my dog on a walk past nine (it cools down some, by then), I saw a neighbor washing down her porch with water. Really, lady? We're in drought here, we don't have enough water for you to keep your porch pristine. California isn't gonna survive if people keeping wasting water like this. Go to Texas if you want to play in sprinklers-- I hear they're having floods. Or were.
 
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#8
I was actually lucky enough to buy a really expensive water filter off a friend for $50 (MSRP is $300). It makes my water taste better than anything I can buy bottled.

Also, how long is "too long" to take a shower? ._.
 

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#9
Considering I live in Southern Illinois, and we get flash floods and severe storms almost every week, so Water Conservation isn't an issue.
 

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#10
C

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#12
I was going to school for "Environmental Law" for 5 years, eventually dropping out of that feild because I became convinced the world would go to shit no matter what a small number of progressive people did. So I know all the conservative and sustainable practices and was devoted to them when I lived in my small college town.

Now however, with my own house in a very rural area (nearest town is 20 minutes away, population: 300), I can really just do as I please, I try to be conservative, but still that depressed part of me doesn't see the point.
 

Koschei

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#13
I was going to school for "Environmental Law" for 5 years, eventually dropping out of that feild because I became convinced the world would go to shit no matter what a small number of progressive people did. So I know all the conservative and sustainable practices and was devoted to them when I lived in my small college town.

Now however, with my own house in a very rural area (nearest town is 20 minutes away, population: 300), I can really just do as I please, I try to be conservative, but still that depressed part of me doesn't see the point.
I took something similar for three years, and man is it fucking depressing when you look at where we're heading to. All we can do is try, though, even if it might not seem like it's worth anything.
 

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#14
A trip to Diana's once a year is great for water conservation.
 

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#15
I don't do anything with the reasoning of "I'm going to save water".
It's either not an issue where I live, or no one has ever bothered telling me that it was.

That being said, there are a few of those conserving and wasteful acts I find myself doing just out of habit.

Conserving
  • Re-usable bottles. Hell, I'm normally hoarding the bottles in my room. Mainly because my family keeps thinking bottle = garbage, despite the fact I keep telling them that I use them. And despite the fact that they were the one's who had taught me the re-usable bottle trick when I was a kid.
  • Turning the sink tap off when brushing my teeth... usually.
Wasting
  • Staying in the shower until it get's cold... Sometimes twice. Those days (where it's twice) are where I'm not actually showering though, but rather I just need to think about stuff and the feel of a hot shower helps with that.
  • Letting the water run until it's get's cold. If it's tap water that is, if it's Water Jug water I just use the cold tap.
Unsure
  • Cleaning dishes. This one's all over the place, if it's a recent dish I just put it in the dish washer (might scrub a stubborn bit). If it's a dish that was left for a while I soak it first, and then I put it in the dish washer. Reason this is unknown is because I'm not sure if the dish washer does less or more than normal soaking. I'm suspecting more, because they are sending water through all the dishes. But I know nothing about our model and how it does it specifically. I just know that you turn it on and then dishes get cleaned.
 

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#16
I don't do anything with the reasoning of "I'm going to save water".
It's either not an issue where I live, or no one has ever bothered telling me that it was.

That being said, there are a few of those conserving and wasteful acts I find myself doing just out of habit.

Conserving
  • Re-usable bottles. Hell, I'm normally hoarding the bottles in my room. Mainly because my family keeps thinking bottle = garbage, despite the fact I keep telling them that I use them. And despite the fact that they were the one's who had taught me the re-usable bottle trick when I was a kid.
  • Turning the sink tap off when brushing my teeth... usually.
Wasting
  • Staying in the shower until it get's cold... Sometimes twice. Those days (where it's twice) are where I'm not actually showering though, but rather I just need to think about stuff and the feel of a hot shower helps with that.
  • Letting the water run until it's get's cold. If it's tap water that is, if it's Water Jug water I just use the cold tap.
Unsure
  • Cleaning dishes. This one's all over the place, if it's a recent dish I just put it in the dish washer (might scrub a stubborn bit). If it's a dish that was left for a while I soak it first, and then I put it in the dish washer. Reason this is unknown is because I'm not sure if the dish washer does less or more than normal soaking. I'm suspecting more, because they are sending water through all the dishes. But I know nothing about our model and how it does it specifically. I just know that you turn it on and then dishes get cleaned.
Water is an absolutely invaluable resource and a lot of your habits are probably costing your family a shitload of money.

The dishwasher absolutely uses way more water than a single sink of dishes; it's actually one of the most wasteful appliances in the house. Offhand, I think it and the washing machine use anywhere between 60-100 liters per use.

Also, do not run water until it is cold; you are literally emptying the boiler, which is usually massive. Go look at your boiler, if you run water until it's cold then you completely drained that. Not only is it rude to fellow family members who now have to wait to have the tank fill again, but it takes a lot of power to heat all of that water. It doesn't come instantly warm. Think about how much propane you burn when camping to heat 1L of water; now think of how much natural gas has to burn to get 200L up to temperature. Not only is that as expensive as fuck (seriously, it's costing your parents a fortune), but it's putting a lot of strain on the boiler; it takes a lot more burn to heat cold water than to maintain the temperature.

If you want an idea of what you're making your boiler do, in a -30 day, open up all the doors and windows in your house and then crank the thermostat up to full. It will struggle to ever keep up and will be on full burn all the time and it runs the risk of blowing up. It's the same idea with your boiler, it's taking 12 degrees water and trying to boil it. Keep that up and you severely shorten the lifespan of your boiler, which under normal use is around ten years. Take it from me, you do not want to have your boiler die in winter. It is not fun.

Ask your parents to see the water bill sometime. You'd be amazed at how high it is, and I bet changing your wasteful habits could easily shave at least 50 dollars off of that bill.

And please keep in mind how lucky you are to live in the country with the most abundant fresh water resources on the planet. There's places that are experiencing such severe droughts that they're literally draining reservoirs and lakes trying to feed the habits of people who are wasteful who don't respect or understand where the very thing keeping them alive comes from. If you were in California right now, you would be contributing to the death of that state. Seeing a literal lake you used to be able to put a boat in literally disappear because people think water is an infinite resouce that will always be there is infuriating. It's like watching climate change deniers.

Seriously. Clean water is the most valuable resource on the planet, and it won't always be there if we keep fucking around with it. Never, ever mistake convenience for abundance.
 
L

Lilac

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#17
My grandfather would have me collect the water from the shower warming up so that he could use it for watering the garden. He also collected from the drip near the AC, and if it rained, he collected that as well. His garden was flourishing and we had enough bell peppers, green beans, squash, etc to give away to the neighbors.
 

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#18
I live in sweden. We are country that's spoiled when it comes to clean water. But I still try to conserve in any way I can.
 
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#19
I really wish I didn't have a habit of showering until it ran cold. But, unfortunately, not only is my hair so difficult to manage that I can really only condition and get a brush through it while showering, but my mind just wanders too much when I'm in there. I'll have just stood there for 20 minutes before I even know it. :/

Which kind of sucks, since my parents tend to berate me about my long showers, and I know that my showers are too long and that it's a waste of water but... yeah. I do try to wrap up my showers as quick as I can, though. It's not like I enjoy having the water turn cold on me because I've completely drained the tank of hot water. :/
 

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#20
Multiple people here have mentioned showering until it's cold.
Why the hell am I only one being responded to with this as if I'm some sort of villain? o.O

Like seriously people, I get it.
The environment is important, if you want to stress the importance of conserving stuff I'm right behind you.
But if you are going do that:
  1. Don't treat it as a moral crusade of the righteous VS the selfish sinners. That shit's obnoxious, infuriating and it only drives people away.
  2. Actually acknowledge all the people doing it. Don't randomly set your sights on one person specifically.
Not only is it rude to fellow family members who now have to wait to have the tank fill again,
Our family showers at different times of the day, so it's almost always refilled for the next person.

Plus in the off chance someone else does need to shower, we have 2 of them.
In that case they have access to the same hot water I do.

Now I get the environmental stuff (hence why I'm not bothering to quote any of it, there's nothing to argue).
But no one's being left waiting over this.
If you were in California right now, you would be contributing to the death of that state.
Except I'm not living in California.

Once again, I get the environmental concerns.

But Ontario (or at least my part) is fairing better.
So talking in a hypothetical of be being in X location is pointless, because it's hypothetical.

It'd be like me looking at your diet and then going "If you were in Africa you would be contributing to the starvation of children".
It makes zero sense, and there's no need for me to attack you in such a way since from where you do live no one is being harmed like that.
Seriously. Clean water is the most valuable resource on the planet, and it won't always be there if we keep fucking around with it.
Except the main thing about water is that it *is* renewable.
It's not like I use this water and it's never used again. It will make it way back and be used elsewhere later after being re-filtered.

Now, I get that renewable =/= infinite.
So as we grow in population there's only going to be so much water to go around (and destroying ocean life is not a proper solution).
And I get that re-filtering the water costs power.
But by no means will excessive use of water mean it's no longer going to be there.

It might be more strained, and when my area hits such a state then I'll make a stronger attempt to watch my usage because then it actually is a need for a better society.
But it's not like I'm the only one ever using this water.

The water you wash with goes back down the pipes.
The water you drink you piss back out.

It all goes back to the earth's collection of water to be used another time.

You want to discuss conserving it because as population grows each of us will only have? Fine, that's sharing a set amount of water among a certain number of people.
Want to discuss the heating bills and how it costs a lot of money? Fine, that does impact bills quite a lot.
Want to discuss that heating it costs power, which given our current power sources is not good for the environment. Fine, the planet is important.

But suggesting a reusable resource is going to vanish by being used?
That's not only a low blow, but it's a false blow too.
 
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