This week’s blog post is written by Caroline Cummings, WCO intern and someone who’s not sure how to dress for 30-degree mornings and 65-degree afternoons.
The transition from winter to spring in the southeast is always…interesting. The weather is unpredictable to say the least, considering this time two weeks ago it was heavily snowing yet last week it was in the 70s. In Athens, we are “blessed” with the opportunity to experience all seasons in a short amount of time—in as little as two weeks if we’re “lucky.” It can be hard to keep up with all these fluctuations, so here are some tips on how to conserve and appreciate water in every season!
- Winterize your outdoor pipes: wrap in insulation to keep outdoor pipes from bursting when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Drip faucets: this may seem counter-intuitive, but by keeping faucets lightly dripping through the coldest hours, you can prevent bursting of pipes which can waste up to TWO bathtubs full of water!
- Insulate hot water pipes: this will help keep pipes warmer and allow showers and sinks to produce hot water faster, saving many gallons of water. This will also help winterize these pipes and prevent bursts.
- PLAY in the snow!
- Prioritize outdoor watering needs: take time to figure out which areas of your yard (depending on what is planted there) will need the most watering. Focus your water usage on these areas and let natural rainfall take care of the rest!
- Weed gardens: as weed populations begin to grow with the rain and warmer weather of spring, make sure to manage them by weeding your gardens. This will prevent the weeds from stealing water away from your other plants.
- Capture and recycle rainwater: using rain barrels (can be bought at Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon, etc): capture all the excess rain to use for future plant watering or car washes.
- Use your creativity to decorate your rain barrel: they aren’t just functional pieces of equipment, but artwork for your home!
- Wait until the cooler hours to water lawn: to prevent water loss from evaporation, water your lawns and gardens during the cooler morning hours. This will also help prevent fungal growth that may occur at dusk and throughout the night.
- Drink from reusable bottle: we are bound to get thirsty in the hotter months. Every time you use a reusable bottle, you can help save the 3 liters of water that it takes to make a 1 liter disposable bottle.
- Use a soaker hose/sprinkler wand instead of standard hose: particular hose attachments can help distribute water more efficiently and help prevent loss from mist, runoff, and evaporation.
- Go swimming, rafting or kayaking: get outdoors and cool off with some fun water-related activities!
- Be aware of plant water needs: as the temperatures begin to drop, the water needs of your plants drop with them.
- Do laundry only when the load is full: as you start to wear more layers, be sure to only do laundry when you have enough clothes to make a full load. One load requires around 30 gallons of water so make sure to use them wisely.
- Sweep with a broom, not a hose: as the leaves begin to fall, keep your driveways and paths clear by using brooms to sweep up the leaves instead of spraying off with a hose.
- Hike to nearby waterfalls and enjoy the view: check out this link! Georgia Waterfall Hikes