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Welcome! Our blog focuses on environmental conservation, education, green living & wildlife rescue! We have put together links to resources, books and information to help you and your children learn more about these topics. Please feel free to comment on any items posted. Rate or review us on NetworkedBlogs (Facebook app) & Blogged. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter and other sites listed on this page. There's a banner & widget if you would like to include us on your webpage. All we ask is that you please keep any comments here G-rated for the kids!

NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Water, water everywhere - cutting consumption

I had mixed feelings the day my rain barrels ran dry. We were in a heat wave, the tomatoes needed water to bear fruit and ripen, and the rain barrels were empty. I turned to Chuck and said, "This will be the first time all summer that I've needed to water plants with water from the house." Impressive, really. My two rain barrels, regular rainfall, and no treated water from the house was wasted on watering the gardens.

Mother Nature provided a rainstorm the next night. Both barrels refilled completely.

Around home it's easy to monitor my water consumption. Rain barrels. Replacing my top-loading washer with a front loader. Using cooking water or dishwashing water to water the herb pots on the deck. Away from home, though, it's another story.

Here's a link to National Geographic's Water Footprint Calculator. I felt good watching my water use average go down as I answered the home questions. My coffee habit is higher than average. As for transportation, I drive a minivan, but drive fewer than average miles. I rarely fly, so that helps keep the average down.

My biggest impact on water consumption is my diet. It's part of the omnivore's dilemma; raising meat animals consumes a lot of water. Cutting down on the amount of beef, pork, and even poultry that I feed our family can make a significant impact on water consumption. As for the coffee - well, I'll have to work on that.

The concept of water consumption presumes a steady supply of clean water, usually pumped through a treatment plant on its way to the user and again after use. The Kalamazoo River oil spill shows another danger to our water supply: our addiction to petroleum based fuels.

Now that I've made serious inroads on my home water use, it's time to look outside the box. Try the Water Footprint Calculator, and read the tips. They're very informative.