People everywhere are taking the water pledge -- and offering suggestions or asking questions about how to conserve our precious water resources.
Read comments, and send in your own:
Thanks for the tips. I have been a strong environmentalist since I was a teenager. I have a degree in Environmental Sciences from Trent. I am in the forefront here in Regina, of many environmental initiatives. I have been conserving water in many ways including all that you suggest.
I applaud your movement and good luck with the Great Lakes Basin project. Back in 1980, there were clear signs of horrendous pollution of the Great Lakes, and not much was done. Now we also have the shrinking of water resources. Acid rain and human activities are destroying the natural habitat of the boreal forest lakes in Ontario too. Loons have disappeared from so many. We are starting to have the same problem in Saskatchewan. Motor boats should be banned from certain lakes to protect fish and wildfowl and only be dedicated to already deteriorated lakes.
cheers and good luck
I live in North Vancouver, British Columbia (North of Seattle for you Yankees). It is a beautiful place to live with mountains, streams, ocean and magnificent large old growth evergreens, etc. BUT - I am a gardener, so I do use water for my flowers. I'm slowly reducing my lawn areas with plants that require less watering & are providing colour all Spring, Summer & Fall. Also, I'm creating "dried creek beds" that meander around these planting areas. Most of this garden area is close to the public sidewalk and I get a lot of compliments.
BUT, the way I offset the useage of water in my garden is by using the "yellow to mellow" approach in my bathroom. I am more aware of how I use my water inside, too. Like for brushing teeth, etc. Also, when I wash dishes in the sink, I use a dishpan and can throw that water out onto my plants!
If I have a bath to soothe aching muscles with epsom salts, although it is a lot of work!!!! - sometimes I empty the tub by buckets & throw it on plants that enjoy epsom salts.
Everyone was so used to just "using" our plentiful natural resources that for years no one thought of how our natural resources were being depleted. We weren't brought up to think of the environment, of sustainability, about how to care for what we have, before we don't have it any more. I think it is great that there are all these ways of making the general public aware.
I quite often forward [Nature Canada's] newsletter to everyone on my mailing list. If we all can get just one person to change their ways, that would make a tremendous difference!
Keep up the good work.
North Van Girl
I lived in Mexico for many years and there you are charged for every drop of water you use, though the locals are very clever with double usage, ie: they toss the used dishwater onto the sidewalk or street outside and sweep it to keep the dust down.
I was on a limited income, yes in Paradise, and became quickly aware of how to minimize my use of the agua. Back in Canada, I still do my dishes the Mexican way. It's quick and efficient and it works. Just dampen your scrubby or sponge and drop some dish soap onto it and pick up the first dirty glass and wash it, put it down and so on for all the rest of the dishes. No need to fill your sink with water. When everything is soaped up, rinse them off...done.
In the shower you can wet yourself down, turn off the water, then soap, shampoo and shave to your heart's content, then turn on the water and rinse it all off. Although in the winter I don't do this cuz it's too darn cold.
But remember, every little bit helps!
For a number of years my husband & I lived where we had well water. One year during minimal rain, we put a bucket in the shower to collect runoff, and carried the water outside to water the plants, shrubs, etc. We were able to do this for about 8 months during the year, eliminating only winter and the snow. We continued this practice even during plentiful years.
In the shower, I don't need running water when I'm shampooing my hair or soaping my body; I only need it to "wet down" or "rinse off." You turn the water on / off a few times, but you're not wasting it.
Thanks for what you're doing.
Yes, I took the pledge. This is a great initiative. Get more and more people thinking about water conservation. We need to instil in people the notion that water is priceless and must be valued. I am trying to get my town to install a water meter on my house. We do not yet have water meters, but it comes up at every election. We need to think of water as being just as worth paying for as we do for electricity and natural gas.
One thing that I’ve told my students to try to do to conserve water, is to follow the toilet flushing rule: if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down. That’s always worth a chuckle in class. So far, no parents have complained. I’m not sure if the school caretaker knows who to blame…. This is an easy way to save lots of water and would be worthy of adding to your list.
Keep up the good work.
From K. H.:
Hi, I just say your save water pledge, and was surprised to see no mention of the installation of European-style divided flushing systems--a small amount where only urin needs to be flushed, and a larger amount for "heavier loads": in Europe these toilets are quite common in many homes: I have no idea of the technology behind it, but I assume a smaller or larger amount of water is released, depending on whether the handle is pushed down half-way or all the way, (or which side of a divided push button is pushed).
I believe there is a move afoot in a small town in Western Canada (Man.,Sask, or Alberta, I forgot which) to switch the whole town over..
Your website recommends not putting mouthwash down the drain. If one is to use mouthwash where do you get rid of it?
Nature Canada: We’ve had a few people scratching their heads about what to do with their mouthwash! To clarify, most mouthwashes contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, such as formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, polysorbate and fluoride. (the same is true of toothpastes.) To protect water quality, the best thing is to use a natural mouthwash that doesn’t contain synthetic ingredients. Even better – but not as pleasant – is a salt water mouthwash, because it not only fights bad breath, but also infections, and it whitens your teeth.
There are many natural mouthwash options, which you’ll find by searching “natural mouthwash” on Google.
I thought you might be interested to know a bit about the little town I live in, Amesbury, MA. For the past number of years, residents and businesses who have both town water and town sewer have been able to ascribe an actual monetary number to each gallon of water use.
Currently we are paying about $10 per 100 cu ft (748 gallons) which translates into 1.3 cents per gallon prior to this the price was closer to an even penny. Just keep in mind this is water used to live. Our newest rates began in November, as we were told, to make up for the conservation efforts of our residents because we were not using enough water to generate enough funds to run the treatment plants.
Imagine families of 4 having to pay upwards of $600 for something as necessary as air. Conservation in Amesbury is a necessity particularly now that our economy is so bad. Have you any statistics relative to pricing vs consumption in other communities? I think everyone would be interested. Have an Answer?
Hi, Just asking a question or two about reducing water. I live in a Co-op. So to change the toilets would be a group decision. They spend as little money as possible. So, I don't know that that will happen. Any low flow toilets I've used were small, do they have regular sized ones now? "Use aerators or water flow reducer devices on all your taps." -Where do we get such devices and how do they work? Do you have to make permanenet changes to your taps to do this? Have an Answer?
Hello to those at Nature Canada:
I’m happy to say that in our house we have already put into effect all of the suggestions that you have. We have tracked our heating, water and various other energy consumptions over the last 7 years, and each year we are seeing a decrease! We’re happy to be on-board, but would love to see even more forward thinking options for those who’ve already put into play the “basics”. Have a Suggestion?
People really need to start addressing the real problem of human population drain on the planet. In 40 years the population will increase 50% over its current size. With all the proplems we have today imagine what we will be dealing with in 40 years. Water problems, along with global warming, endangered species, pollution, waste, etc., are all symptoms of the real problem of out of control human population impact on the planet. We need to start addressing the real problem, not just the symptoms!!!!
I may only be 17 but even I can tell this world is rotting and I'm willing to do anything to stop it. I recently got your e-mail on water conservation and am doing my best to conserve it but I really want to let you know of another serious cause for pollution and water use.
More then half the water in the U.S goes to raising animals for food. Factory farms are allowed to pollute as they please, all the waste that they create(86,000 pounds of fecal matter and urine every second)is allowed to pollute rivers and groundwater. Because of the massive amounts of anti-bioticss used to keep animals alive in the horid conditions we are coming closer and closer to bacteria resistant to anti-biotics. Factory farm animals are often fed rendered parts of other animals, blood, feces, and plastic pellets, and we all know plastic is a major problem to the environment. Please take a look at these links and youtube videos showing how a diet of meat and dairy greatly speeds up global warming.
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