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Welcome back for another episode of 1000 Ways Green. This one will feel a bit more like season 1 did. I’m going to talk to you about a few things about clean water and sanitation and then jump into your three green challenges.
Clean water info: Water Stress levels or the ability to have enough clean water to drink levels are growing worldwide with numbers as high as 75% in places in Asia or 100% in northern Africa. This means that all reusable water in the area is being used. This means that to meet the needs of both people and crop growth they are pulling from non-renewable sources and further warming the planet or not everyone is getting enough water to drink and are dying due to it. While most of the US is in a better place than much of the world, much of the west and especially southwest are at a high water stress level and are quickly emptying aquifers or underground lakes extremely quickly based on our levels of use and drought brought on at least partially due to climate change. At this rate “1.6 billion people will lack safely managed drinking water, 2.8 billion people will lack safely managed sanitation, and 1.9 billion people will lack basic hand hygiene facilities in 2030”. We need to take action to help decrease those numbers and so I’m asking you to take on one of these challenges this week.
Mint Green Challenge: Take shorter showers. Each minute we shower uses between 2 and 5 gallons of water. So make it your challenge this week to reduce your shower time by 30 to 60 seconds and save that gallon to two for those in need. If you have trouble doing that, because like me some days that feels like your only few moments of solace in your life then you should at least buy a low flow shower head to install in your shower. You can also install low flow faucet heads on your sinks that can decrease the amount of water coming from there by up to 50%. I’ll have links to both of these in the show notes (at the bottom of the page), some of these can also change color based on the temperature of your water, letting you know when to get into your shower or warning your small kids when the water is too hot to touch.. What is great about both of these options is that by using less water, you’ll also have a smaller water bill each month.
Shamrock Green Challenge: Connected to our Mint Green Challenge is leaving a bucket in your shower so while you’re waiting for it to heat up you can capture that water to use for other things. Most people use this water to water their house plants or feed their pets, but you could also use it for cooking and other things too. This one is a little harder because you have to remember to take out the heavy container and go use it for those other purposes and then go put it back each time.
Forest Green Challenge: This one is only tricky up front based on the toilets you have. Every toilet requires enough water in its tank to flush with enough force. So for this challenge you can slowly “ease the plunger in” or just shove it in but may have to back it out a bit. So, what are you actually going to do? Two things; Take the cover of your toilet tank(s) and 1. find the valve that adjusts the height of your water shut off mechanism, also called the balltap or float valve. It is basically the big balloon-like thing inside of your tank. If you follow that back along the tube connecting it, there should be something you can spin. By spinning that you can lower that balloon and decrease the amount of water that sits in your tank and that is used each flush. The second thing you can do is to find bricks or large rocks and put those into your toilet tank, thereby also taking up space that would otherwise be holding water and decreasing the amount that is used per flush. If you have an effective toilet both of these will work and you’ll be in good shape. If you suddenly find you need to use your plunger far more than you used to, you may want to back off a bit on one of them until that gets better.
That’s almost it for this week, it is time to spin for our gift card winner so we are going to hop over to our random name generator for everyone that entered the contest.
Also We are going to skip a week or so because there is a special climate day coming up in about 2 weeks, so I’m going to release the next episode on that day instead, so stay tuned.
As always stay green and be seen.
Links from the episode: