Every Drop Counts

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Water conservation is an ecologically responsible choice, but can it also be an economically sound choice? Of course it can! Whether you pay for a city water bill every few months or the electric bill for a well water pump, the less water you use the less money you pay.


Summer months are especially taxing on water usage due to the extra outdoor activities that require water. Use these tips to restrict water consumption outdoors.

Dripping not Drowning

When it comes to new plants watering isn't an option. However, the method for watering is. Instead of using a traditional hose which allows water droplets to evaporate before landing on the ground where even more go to waste during distribution, use a soaker hose. These hoses are made to allow only drops of water to drip from the hose directly onto the ground near the plants. Cover the hose with mulch to trap even more water. Not a drop is wasted, literally.

Rain, Rain Stay Here

Conserve rain water by creating a rain barrel. A large plastic barrel or tub with a cover to protect against mosquitoes will save the gallons of water that pour from rain gutters. A barrel can be filled with one steady rainfall easily after all of the water which hit the square footage of your roof is directed into the barrel. Use this water then for plants, birdbaths, or refilling ponds.


Singing in the Rain

Car washing absorbs a large amount of water, and when there is a water restriction it's outright banned. Instead of paying for the water or even worse paying for the car wash, try this fun activity. During a gentle rain, head outside with the soap and bucket. Lather the car and scrub the bugs, dirt, and grime away. Then, let the rain wash the suds from the car. It will take you less time and less water, plus it's a lot of fun for the kids!

Put 'Em to Work

When purchasing flower pots, invest in the self-watering type. These pots have a reservoir which traps water and allows the plants to drink constantly. They eliminate daily watering, and when the plants do need water, disperse it directly into the basin to eliminate wasted drops.

Another self-watering method is to insert cork into the top of a 2-liter bottle of water. Invert the bottle and bury the neck in the dirt beside the plants. The cork will let the water drip out slowly so that the plants can absorb it before it evaporates. There are commercial versions of this on the market which may be worth the investment.


While saving money is important, saving water is more important. Host a contest for the family to find new ways to save water with the biggest water saver earning a prize. You'd be amazed to find how much of the precious resource is wasted in your house.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines as well as online newsletters. She teaches writing in the public school as well as at the collegiate level. Contact her at Englishteach@rcn.com or visit her website at http://users.rcn.com/wesavedamutt/Writer


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Conserving Water at Home
Conserving Water at Home
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