By Mary Campbell,
Pinellas County Extension Director, Urban Sustainability
Making a commitment to change future practices is an important step to sustainable living. If you make a commitment to a new practice you are much more likely to follow through and make that practice part of your daily habits. Many practices are not difficult, we just have to remember.
Less than 1% of the water supply on earth can be used as drinking water or is readily accessible water in lakes, streams, rivers (97% is in the oceans and 2% in the ice caps). The water cycle is continuous, so we could be drinking the same water that dinosaurs drank. Preserving our water resources is extremely important. Our daily use of water becomes a habit that may be hard to change. With small changes, thousands of gallons of water per person can be saved each year, which also reduces your carbon footprint since it requires energy to purify and pump the water to your home.
Faucets are responsible for 16% of the water use in our homes. The top three household water uses are the toilet, clothes washer and shower. Fixing leaks is very important to conserve water. To determine if you may have a leak, turn off all the water in your home and record the current reading on your water meter. Wait 30 minutes and read it again. If it has changed (remember – all water off) then you have a leak.
Find new ways to conserve water like: low volume toilets and shower heads and fill the dishwasher or washing machine before using. Flush less — remember the toilet is not a wastebasket. Take shorter showers — 5 minutes or less. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering a plant or cleaning.
Take the Check Your Green Commitment Pledge at: http://origpledge.awardspace.com/
Pinellas County Utilities http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities/conserve-altwater.htm
Save Water Indoors – http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/indoors/