Things we can do at home this week.

While life can be hectic on many fronts, we can save water by defrosting meat in the refrigerator instead of running water over it.  Or defrost meat using the microwave.

To remove driveway (or sidewalk) debris, use a broom instead of hosing things off (that’s drinking water going down the street drain).

Mulching trees, plants and flowers helps them to retain moisture.  Mulch helps keep roots warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.  Mulch helps protect your investment in your trees, plants, and flowers.

Modern washing machines have econ (economy) settings that use less water.  It’s all I’ve ever used on my washing machine.  It takes less time to get the laundry done (score!) because the cycles are shorter.  Exceptions might be if you are washing heavily soiled, oily, greasy items (most of us are not).  Check your washer – the econ setting is there.  Get out the manual and read it if you become desperate.  😊

When did you last replace the flapper in your toilet?  If you can’t remember, it’s probably time to replace it.  Use a magic marker to put the date on the new flapper before you install it.  Then ensure that it fits snugly and operates properly.  Yes – show your spouse and/or kids how to do this task because the day will likely come when they’ll need to do it. 

Shut off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving.  Filling the bowl with water and using it should suffice for shaving, then wiping off with a wet washcloth will leave you squeaky clean!

Shower like you live in Antarctica – 5 to 10 minutes, tops!  It pays to keep a simple hairdo and being able to speed-shave your legs!

You can use a bowl of water (or the left-hand or right-hand half of your sink) to clean fruits/veggies.  No need to run the water for everything.  Some folks soak their produce in a mixture of vinegar and water to kill off the bad stuff before shaking items off and using them.

Only use your toilet for number 1 and number 2.  Kleenex and other items need to go into the trash.  Lincoln landfill trash has been used to generate energy (more about this in an upcoming newsletter) since January 1, 2014.  Wastewater treatment plants are more effective when they don’t have to separate out trash.  One way or the other, we all pay for operation of our wastewater treatment plants.

Have enough underclothes and socks to make it through the week.  That allows you to wash full loads once a week and be ready to go for the next week. 

Keep that pitcher of cold water in your fridge instead of running your faucet until ‘it gets cold’. 

When was the last time you changed your furnace filter?  Same routine – use a magic marker to note the date you install the new one.  This is the air you and your family breath – please change your filter at least twice/year (and some suggest every 90 days).  Dirty filters restrict airflow and you don’t want your family breathing that gunk. 

Yes, small things do add up.  Just like other things in life – like walking a bit longer, not having that extra piece of cake, combining errands into one trip and so forth.  Small changes matter.  Thank you for your efforts!