Challengicious Monday: More Outdoor Water Reduction

>> Monday, June 14, 2010

Mondays are challengicious at The Conscious Shopper. Like last week, this week's water-related challenge is:

Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use

Just a few more random tips for you this week:
  • Periodically check outdoor faucets, pipes, and hoses for leaks.
  • Clean your driveway or sidewalk with a broom instead of a hose.
  • Install water barrels to catch the rain water from your roof.
  • Weed your lawn and garden regularly so your plants don't have to compete with the weeds for water.
  • Drive your car through a commercial carwash that recycles water rather than washing by hand. If you do decide to water by hand, wash your car on the grass so you can water the lawn at the same time.
  • Limit the amount of concrete and wastewater runoff in your yard by using porous materials for walkways, patios, and even driveways.
The main concept with these water-saving tips (and the ones from the past three challenges) is to be mindful of how much water you're using. Every time you turn on the faucet, think to yourself, "How could I reduce the amount of water I need? Is there any way I could reuse this water when I'm done with it?"

In addition to trying to reduce our water usage, we also need to be mindful of what we're putting into our water. Every time you pour something down the drain, it ends up in our water supply.
  • Are you pouring hazardous materials down the drain? This includes things like paint and motor oil but also cooking oil. Be conscious of how you dispose of materials that could be harmful.
  • What chemicals are in your personal care products and cleaning supplies? Do your household cleaners contain phosphates, which cause algae blooms that choke out fish and other marine life?
  • Are you using your toilet as a trash can? If it didn't come out of your own body, it shouldn't be flushed (with toilet paper the exception).
  • Are you spraying your yard with pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizer? In pursuit of the perfect lawn, many people don't think about the end result of all of those chemicals sprayed in our yards - one good rain, and it runs right off into the gutter, where it ends up in our rivers, lakes, and water sources.
Being mindful of water use is an ongoing process that we're still working on. We bought a water barrel from the Habitat Humanity store a couple months ago that we'll hopefully get set up sometime this week. Maybe...June is a busy month! Stay tuned...

(One more way that we add chemicals to our water supply is through our pharmaceuticals and birth control products. I'd love to have a post about this during our water challenges but don't have time to research right now. If anyone wants to do a guest post on this subject here at The Conscious Shopper, let me know!)

Will you take the challenge?


You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!


Shona~ LALA dex press June 14, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

no pesticides + a rain barrel for the garden + we are expecting thunderstorms all week.

challenge accepted.

have you seen this site?

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 16, 2010 at 1:46 PM  

@Shona - Just checked out the site. Very cool - even cooler than The Conscious Shopper Challenge.

Chloe June 21, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

I just had to write something about washing your car by hand... here (Calgary, Canada) we are not allowed to wash our car by hand on the street / grass as the water run-off goes into the storm drains, which then goes directly into the rivers. Even if you don't use chemicals to wash your car, you are still washing oil and residue off the car into the storm drains.

Our options here are commercial car washes... there are two types - one where you do it by hand, and one where you drive through. The option to do it by hand uses 5 times less water (so i'm told). For both the commercial options the run off water goes into the sewers which then goes to the water treatment plant.

So i guess it depends where you are, and what your city does with the water run off from washing your vehicle by hand / putting residue inadvertently into the rivers.

Great blog!!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 27, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

@Chloe - You make a very good point that I hadn't thought of. Thanks for commenting!

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