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Springtime Tips for Conserving Water

rain conservationWelcome, springtime!  Our days in New England have yet to warm up, but I know that the warmer weather will be right around the corner.  Soon, my days will be filled with watering our garden, filling up the kiddie pool, and collecting raindrops in our rain barrell.  It got me thinking of water consumption habits and ways that we can conserve water in the spring.  Here are some quick tips:

1.  Setup a rain harvesting system and make the best of those April showers.  The benefits to rain collecting are numerous and compelling.  You can buy a system or make your own.  You may even find a rain collecting workshop near you.  We made our system at an event at our local Whole Foods Market by upcycling plastic barrels.  

2.  If you have a kiddle pool in the yard, reuse that water to water your garden.

3.  Keep a bucket in your bathroom and collect the water from when your shower water is heating up.  You can reuse that water for your yard or garden.  This is especially a good idea if you live in an area where you don't get rain in the spring and summer.

4.  When planning your garden, take water into consideration.  If you live in a dry climate, don't plant things that need frequent watering.   Find information on native plants at Grow Native!

5.  Be mindful of your sprinklers.  Timed sprinklers can be great, but they can also be very wasteful - how frequently do you pass a house on a rainy day and the automatic sprinklers are sprinkling away?  Check the forecast and adjust the timers accordingly.  If you're considering a bigger project, forget about the sprinklers and go for drip irrigation.  

6.  Using mulch in your garden will help you conserve water.  Mulch can capture moisture and keep your soil cooler. Make sure your soil is moist before putting the mulch down. 

7.  Water your garden in the morning when temperatures are cooler.

8.  Water your garden with water consumption in mind. The Guardian says that watering a little bit and frequently isn't as effective because "the water does not penetrate deep into the ground and encourages plants to develop roots near the soil's surface. " A good soak less frequently can be more effective.

*This was originally posted on April 4, 2012*