ah, blue sky. how i missed you.
you see, for about two weeks we have woken up and gone to bed under smoky skies. some days it is so bad that ash covers everything like a fine dust. there are forest fires all around in georgia and florida and it is only may. we are experiencing a major, major dry spell. the dirt cracks under your step. as one sign we saw at a park outside of gainesville said, it is not if, but when the fires start. and if the ground is so dry that it is likely to self-combust consider the other elements of concern, like agriculture.
it hasn't rained in a long, long time so we need to conserve what water we have.
we are urban renters so we don't have a lush lawn to keep green or even a dishwasher but there are some steps that we have taken to help.
we use a dishpan in our sink. this helps keep the washing water from leaking out as it tends to do with a drain plug and thus saves us the step of refilling the sink basin. also, when we rinse the dishes, we fill the pan (to a moderate level) with just water and dip the dishes instead of running the faucet the entire time. afterwards, the water can be used to water the plants.
we added a valve on the showerhead that allows us to turn off the flow of water while soaping and scrubbing but it maintains the water temperture so when we rinse there is no adjustment needed (or shock of too cold/hot water).
if you have a leak, fix it. if you have somewhat unavailable superintendents like us, then collect the water and use it for something else.
there is the matter of the toilet but i'll spare you a photograph. standard toilets use about seven gallons of water with each flush. so, how can i politely put this, just consider if the flush is necessary. also, if the tank is large put something in there to displace the water (a soda bottle filled with water works) so that the tank does not fill itself to capacity.
if you have any more suggestions, please leave a comment. i'll probably do a post on ecological living once a week from now on. hope all is well. xo.