conserving water around your home

Water conservation is an important thing to focus on, no matter where you live. Everyone needs water to survive, and only a small fraction of the water on our planet is fit for us to use. It's always important to conserve and not be careless, but it's especially important in places that are in a drought.

By reducing the amount of water you use and increasing the amount of rainwater you reuse, you'll save a LOT of water! And it's not hard to make changes in your day-to-day routine.

Take shorter showers. It's easier and cheaper than installing a low-flow showerhead, although that's a great option as well. The shorter your shower, the less water down the drain.

Turn off the faucet while you're rinsing dishes, washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Run it for what you need, and then turn it off while you don't. The water doesn't need to run as you're loading that plate into the dishwasher, and it doesn't take any extra energy to turn the faucet on and off a few extra times

Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when you've got a full load. It'll maximize the efficiency of your machines and your water use.

Don't run your automatic sprinklers right before, during or right after a rain. I'll admit, I have never used an automatic sprinkler before, but one of my pet peeves is seeing a sprinkler sprinkling away while it's raining outside. Yes, it's automatic and on a timer, but if it's raining, override that crap and turn it off. The point of the sprinkler is to provide water when it's dry outside. Let nature do its job when it rains. And although we're getting into the hot months, I'll just leave another tip here: Don't run your sprinklers when it's cold outside either! It was about 45 degrees and I think raining when I caught the above store with their sprinklers on.

Follow any lawn watering ordinances. Many cities have lawn watering ordinances, including Lafayette. In order to make sure everyone shares the water, the ordinance sets a schedule that's in effect from May 1 to September 30. Customers with odd-numbered home/property addresses (ending with 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Customers with even-numbered home/property addresses (ending with 0, 2, 4, 6, 8) water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. There is no watering on Mondays. Check out my blog post from last summer on Lafayette's lawn watering ordinance!


Use a rain barrel in your yard. Instead of lugging your hose around the yard to water your plants, invest in a rain barrel. The barrels collect rainwater through the screened lid, and then you just place your watering can beneath the spigot to fill-er-up. Or you can attach your hose to the spigot for bigger watering jobs.

Many cities have rain barrel programs available. Lafayette is doing their program through Lafayette Utilities System again this year, allowing you to pick up a barrel at a discounted cost. You must be an LUS customer to participate. Last year, I wrote a blog post about my fiance and I participating in the program, and we still love our barrel! It consistently stays full, and with our plants blooming, we're using it a lot more often again. It works well with our watering can and hose.

The benefits to using collected rainwater instead of tap water include saving money on your water bill, providing fresh, (mostly) chemical-free water for plants - which is better for them than tap water, and helping to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff entering the watershed system. You're both reducing and reusing!

So this week for Earth Month, I challenge you to choose one way to conserve water. Or choose them all!


Anonymous said...

Where can you find a rain barrel for purchase around here? I live in Iberia Parish and obviously the LUS program isn't available to me down here.

Caitlin said...

Hi! Lowe's and Home Depot both carry them:!

You can also order some online:

Or you can try to make your own!

Hope this helps.

Caitlin said...

You can also check around local hardware stores or nurseries...they may have some available locally.

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