Shades of Green: Save water = less money

less water - less moneySo here’s a big problem: We waste a lot of water outside our homes and businesses. Watering the lawn and gardens. Washing outside. Etc. By taking some simple actions we can save water usage significantly. Yep, save money too.

Here are some thing that are easy:

  • Most lawns need to be watered only an hour a week. Limit your grass watering to just that.
  • If you get into a drought situation, remember that most lawn grass can survive dormant for up to 6 weeks.
  • If you use an irrigation system, and these can be very efficient, make sure you install a rain sensor that tells the system when to water and when not to (as in, it’s raining!). Depending on your climate, you could save as much as 30 percent of your water usage per year.
  • Always use a mulching lawnmower. The grass clippings are returned to the lawn as fertilizers and the clippings actually serve as mulch for the lawn to help it retain water in hot, sunny weather.
  • → continue reading

Shades of Green: Save Water Part 3

save waterWith water at a premium in many parts of the country and world, here are some more ways — whether yours is a home or a business — to save water, and save money at the same time.

In the bathroom:

  • Install a low-flow shower head. This simple action that costs less than $30 can save as much as 5 gallons of water a minute.
  • Install faucet aerators on your faucets. The cost pennies and deliver as strong a flow as without. But, they can reduce your water use as much as 50 percent!
  • Make certain your water heater is the right size for your house or business. Water heaters store water to match your peak needs.
  • Install a new, low-flow toilet. These new toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush instead of 3.5 to 7 gallons for older toilets. You can save water usage by as much as 20 percent just with this one action. That means a family of four saves 4,000 gallons of water a year!

 In the kitchen:

  • Install a new, water-efficient dishwasher. These new dishwashers, although more expensive, use significantly less water than older machines.
  • Or…wash your own dishes and get rid of the dishwasher all together!
  • Knock off the bottled water! Instead, install a simple water filter on your faucets. A water filter can cost as little as $30. That equals about a month’s worth of bottled water. How does this help? It saves tons of plastic used to store that bottled water, much of which ends up in landfills. And, it’s NOT biodegradable!
  • If you are ready, and zoning laws allow, dig a well if your water table will support one. You’ll use your own assets, not strain the local water system, and cut your water bill to zero.

In the laundry:

  • Install new, water-efficient clothes washing machines. These new machines use up to 35 percent less water than conventional machines. Some don’t even use water! Sanyo makes a new machine that uses ozone instead of water to clean your cloths.
  • Harvest your “grey water.” Grey water is water that has been used for things like sinks, dishwashing, showers, clothes washing, etc. Not sewage water from the toilet; that’s called “black water.” Grey water can be recycled with new plumbing systems for use in the garden, on the lawn, etc. There are new systems designed to do just this sort of thing. And you’ll save water for lawns, etc. at no cost.

By Julie Vincent, APR and Bob Dittmer, APR

From: Shades of Green, available at Amazon.com

 

Shades of Green: Save Water — Save Money

saving waterDid you know that most of the world gets by on only 2.5 gallons of water a day per person? Yet in the United States the average person uses 400 gallons a day! But we CAN save water!

We use far too much water in the house and business facilities for routine activities such as washing, using the toilet, bathing, etc. You can save water simply by changing habits. And, you can lower your water bill every month besides!

In the bathroom:

  • Here’s a simple way to save water: just turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth! While that toothbrush and toothpaste is doin’ its thing, running water accomplishes nothing other than wasting water. Just turn off the water while you brush, then turn it back on to rinse. Water companies suggest the savings from this simple action alone will amount to 7 gallons a minute!
  • Do the same while you are shaving, men. Turn off the water while slicing off that hair, then turn it on again to rinse. Another 7 gallons per minute!
  • Check your sink and toilet for leaks. A leaking toilet can use 90,000 gallons of water in just one month. Fix as necessary.
  • Check your faucet for drips. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons a day! Fix as necessary. → continue reading

Shades of Green: Save Water – Save Money

save waterSave Water – Save Money.

Nearly the entire country is experiencing a significant heat wave. Here we experienced the first day at 100 degrees since this day in 1988. And while we suffer these temperatures, the water company is pleading with us to save water.

Our local water company is pumping nearly twice the normal volume of water daily, straining their systems nearly beyond capacity.

Water is THE absolute necessity of life. We cannot survive as a species or as a planet without it. We use water everywhere. In the house. Around the house. At the office. In all kinds

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of businesses everywhere.

Yet in many parts of the country water is becoming more and more precious and expensive. And while it’s renewable, we still have to clean it to use it. And in many parts of the country it more and more difficult to obtain. In coming few weeks we will demonstrate how to save water or use less

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of it. And thus, save money.

If you haven’t experienced a water shortage yet, you will. We waste clean water at a prodigious rate. Did you know that about one-third of the water we use during the summer goes on grass – not to people?! In the average large city we use 50-75 million gallons of water a day just to water our grass. Yet a few states away, water is scarce.

Did you know that most of the world gets by on only 2.5 gallons of water a day per person? Yet in the United States the average person uses 400 gallons a day!

Yet even in this country, Florida is experiencing fresh water shortages and they are common as well in the Southwest. Experts agree that if we don’t get a handle on this simple problem some cities will be importing water within 20 years. Los Angeles already has to import water to support its population. Las Vegas is a water sponge as well.

And spending on water continues to increase. Not just for the water, but for building and maintaining the infrastructure to deliver it. All of this costs increasingly more money. Anybody noticed their water bill actually going down lately? I didn’t think so.

Next Friday we’ll begin sharing some ideas on how everyone can help alleviate the water issues are – or will be – experiencing. Save water = save money.

By Julie Vincent, APR and Bob Dittmer, APR

From: Shades of Green, available at Amazon.com

 

Shades of Green: Save Energy Costs

Save Energy CostsThe Energy Challenge

We continue our discussion of how to save energy costs. Sometime business owners are faced with the need to replace or upgrade old equipment The question then becomes, “Where do I start?  And what alternative energy sources might become available in the near future?”

Here are some easy quick ideas:

  • Seek heating and cooling equipment displaying the Energy Star logo. Equipment with this endorsement is guaranteed to be more energy efficient. These products also usually run quieter and have longer lives. Equipment eligible to receive the Energy Star symbol include boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, programmable thermostats and air conditioners. Many higher-efficiency appliances cost more initially, so consider what your savings will be over the life of the appliance.
  • Make sure you purchase the correct size system for your working space.

Some other ideas worth considering:

  • Arrange for an energy audit. A good audit will provide you with a detailed plan for ways you can save energy costs. Audits can be performed by private companies, your utility company or you can even do some audit work online. Then check with your utility to see if it offers incentives or rebates when you make energy-efficient changes.
  • Consider replacing your old windows with double-pane, energy-efficient windows.
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Shades of Green: The Energy Challenge, Part 3

Shades of Green: Save Energy CostsThe Energy Challenge

People sure know how to use—and waste—energy. In fact, nearly half of all energy used in our homes and businesses is wasted. Heating and cooling inefficiencies are the major cause. But don’t despair! There are many inexpensive ways to save energy costs without compromising comfort or operations.

 

Here are some more tips for reducing energy use for heating and cooling of business facilities:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to adjust the times the building is heated or cooled throughout the day and night. You can save as much as 10 percent of your heating costs by turning down your thermostat 10 to 15 percent for eight hours a day, especially those hours when no one is occupying the facility.
  • → continue reading

Shades of Green: Save Energy Costs, Part 2

Shades of Green: Save Energy CostsThe Energy Challenge

People sure know how to use—and waste—energy. In fact, nearly half of all energy used in our homes and businesses is wasted. Heating and cooling inefficiencies are the major cause. But don’t despair! There are many inexpensive ways to save energy costs without compromising comfort or operations.

Here are some more tips for reducing energy use for heating and cooling of business facilities: