"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."  Audubon

Conserving  (2009)  by Mary

With our new frame of mind, we found many ways to save on gas, water, and electricity. Most require little effort. Two of our favorites are about water:
A fun experiment: Water is very cheap in our city, but we conserve, anyway. Larry installed diverters on two of our downspouts for catching water in rain barrels - 55 gallon food quality fiberglass drums from Pepsi Bottling for $10 each. Since we have older wooden shake shingles on our house, it is safe for us to catch this water and use it on our gardens. 

Major water savings: It had always bothered me that we need to leave the water running so long in our master bathroom in order to get hot water in the shower. We measured it and discovered that we waste 2 1/2 gallons just to get the water hot! With a little experimenting, we found our toilets use 2 1/2 gallons to flush. (I know there are newer model toilets that don't use as much.) (Do they work?) So we decided to continue saving this water and we dump it straight into the stool, not the tank, to flush. The stool is next to the shower so it is not a problem. We shower at different times, so we save 5 gallons a day, or 150 gallons of water a month with practically no effort. A short time later, I was flipping channels while on the treadmill, and I heard it said, that the average person in Ethiopia uses about 5 gallons of water a day. Goose bumps. We were wasting it.

Sometime after, we started setting another small pail of the same size in the shower to catch our water. We now save at least 10 gallons a day, or 300 a month, with little effort. It has become a habit we wouldn't change. Actually, we have learned to save about 500 gallons a month.

There are many other ways we started becoming better stewards of our resources, and we were rewarded one day when the utilities company sent a letter saying that "due to a change in consumption patterns, there may be malfunctioning in our gas/water meter."  "They would be out to check." SOMEONE NOTICED!   

Maybe we can be trusted with twenty acres.                                                                                                                         Gardening:

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