Wednesday, May 09, 2007


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.


GreenishLady said...

Thank you. Water is precious no matter where on the planet we are, so your reminders are valuable to me. I'm about to fill a plastic milk-bottle for my toilet cistern right now!

amisha said...

the showerhead idea is great. we have been having great success with saving the sink water and i am amazed every day by how much water goes into the garden that was just going in the drain!!
the ash has been so awful here... it cleared up a bit over the weekend from GA and yesterday was back full force from the alachua county fires. everything is gray and covered with ash and there is a warning not to go outside if you are little or elderly... yikes.

suzy said...

Those are great tips for water saving. Sydney is in drought at the moment too, so we are trying not to waste any. It's popular here to put bricks in the toilet cistern to adjust the strength of the flush - you can save several litres every time without noticing the difference.

suzy @