Your Questions About How To Conserve Water In A Drought

James asks…

How do you balance conservation of water usage (during a drought) with requirements to rinse recycleables?

Which do you feel is more important? Conserving water during a drought and foregoing recycling items that must be washed or rinsed out prior to recycling, or, using scarce water resources to prevent potential recyclables from taking space in a landfill?

Which is most important?

admin answers:

You know, I’ve thought about this myself. And I live in New England where drought is not a big concern, but still resources are used in rinsing. I guess I wonder how important is a thorough rinsing? And what do you do about glass jars that hold say, mayonnaise and peanut butter. You need to use lots of water to clean those jars! Great question!

But you are asking a question so my guess would be priority for potential recyclables.

Mandy asks…

How to edge between two different types of grass?

I am working on landscaping my yard. In order to conserve water, we are using a local drought resistant types of grass. There will be a large (probably 30’x60′) play area, featuring a grass with a long green season called Reveille. The rest of the lawn will be planted with a different type of grass which has a shorter green season called Legacy Buffalo grass.

I am trying to determine how to create a border between the two grasses, so that they do not blend together. I want it to look natural. Any suggestions?

admin answers:

Cool concept! Plastic bender board will be your best option for blending. But a thin concrete mow strip would also work and you could do a cool free-form pattern with it to separate the grasses.

Daniel asks…

By law do you have to have a working water fountain at your school?

I go to a technical college that have closed off the water fountains. There is a huge drought going on, so they are trying to conserve water. But I thought by law they have to provide a working water fountain. I don’t know very many people who keep a cup in there back pocket to fill in the bathroom. More importantly we have blind, handicapp, people taking meds, and pregnant women. Wouln’t they be in need of it?

admin answers:

Yes by law.

Well wait.. Not necessarily a water fountain but there has to be access to drinking water. Usually this is a water fountain. Btw, that is not just in schools but is also a legal requirement for employers. It also includes access to restrooms just so you know.

Lizzie asks…

How Many Folks Live in the Georgia?

Drought areas? What are you doing to help conserve water?
You are right Mickmel! Let me ask the same but include all of the drought stricken areas in the Southeast. And what are you doing to help conserve water?

admin answers:

We recapture rinse water from the washer for watering plants. Wash water can be used to flush toilets.

We keep buckets in the shower to capture water as it warms, and to capture splash.

We also keep a container in the sink to catch water from hand washing, vegetable rinsing, etc. When it’s full it goes into a bucket for future use.

Every unused drop of water or ice from a glass goes into the bucket, as does coffee, rinse water from the coffee pot, when freshening pet water bowls, etc. It’s a great way to capture many gallons of water for landscape use.

A rain barrel can capture 55 gallons of water in a very minor rain event. Don’t want to buy a rain barrel? A trash can or rubbermaid-type tubs will yield an amazing amount of water.

During this last rain event, I captured water in a wheelbarrow (great for wheeling to needy plants) and caught water in various containers on the driveway, especially the water that was pouring off of the cars. Every bit of that is going on needy plants.

Not many years ago the average water use per person was less than 50 gallons per day. Check your water bill and calculate how many gallons you’re using.

Sandy asks…

What is the most environmental way to dispose of food waste?

I know that composting food scraps is really the best option, environmentally, but it’s not really an option for me. We are in a drought where I live, and are trying to conserve water. But I’m also trying to reduce the amount of garbage I send to landfills. So, am I better off putting food waste in the garbage or through the disposal?

admin answers:

If you have to choose between garbage (landfill) and disposal (down the sink), the sink is probably better since the bacteria in the septic tank or at the waste water treatment facility will “eat” the food. That’s technically “recycling.” At the landfill, it will sit for who knows how long underground, very slowly rotting.

Depending on the size of your household (and thus the amount of food waste you generate), using earthworms in a process known as “vermicomposting” can be very easy. My parents did this with a bin in their garage, I’ve known college students that did it with a bin in their apartment or on a balcony, etc. The worms compost the scraps much faster than just a simple compost bin. And if you have a small garden or landscaping around your house, you then have great soil amendment that will actually help the soil hold more water – great for drought! Or you could even sell the compost or give it away to friends & neighbors. I’ve included a great website that provides useful info on vermicomposting.

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