Water conservation is nothing, if only practiced in theory. Living sustainably requires people to make conscious decisions in light of the earth’s limitations. Because the world’s population is growing and the water supply is not – we must each do our part to conserve what we can. The Arizona based Water – Use it Wisely campaign website has a list of over one hundred ways to save water. Grey water and rainwater harvesting are just two water conservation methods that can be done at home, and we highlight them in this post because they both contribute a great deal to the cause.
For starters, just replacing the potable water used to flush your toilet with grey water would save 20 gallons, per person, per day. If you live in a four-person household, that equates to 2,400 gallons per month! Imagine not only how much potable water you could save, but also how significant the decrease in your utility bill could be! On a grander scale, the EPA estimates that 4.8 billion gallons is flushed down the toilet daily in the United States. Each year, Americans could reduce 1.75 trillion gallons of water, simply by flushing toilets with grey water. That’s amazing.
Many retrofit systems are available on the market to convert to grey water for toilet flushing. Some systems require more home alterations than the others, but all are effective in application. The Aqus System is an example of a retrofit product designed to collect water from the bathroom sink drain and supply it to your home’s existing toilet. It filters and treats the water, and lasts for a decade or more. Typically, the system has paid for itself ($200) within four years of use.
Rain water reuse can be as simple or inventive as anyone prefers. This method of water conservation could easily utilize a home’s gutters to initially collect the water. After that, place a bucket below the spout and distribute as needed for watering plants or washing a vehicle. More precise rainwater harvesting solutions exists as well, which can supply direct irrigation. The more evolved rainwater harvesting technologies require greater time and energy upfront, but require less attention later.
There are small ways to contribute to a sustainable world. Will you save a few gallons of water here or there? Please do. You’ll no doubt save money, and a great deal of our earth’s most vital resource: water.