Thursday, August 09, 2012

2nd Use Of Water

This week's Change the World Wednesday's Challenge:
This week conserve water by not wasting it. Consider every drop which typically gets poured down the drain and find creative uses for it. Examine your water use and see where, and how, you can make improvements.
Water is something that can often be used a 2nd time before discarding. My favorite 2nd use of water involves coffee. We love our French Press! but getting the grounds out of the bottom is a pain, unless you fill the pot half-full of water and give it a good stir. Now you can just pour the grounds out easily -- but WAIT! DON'T POUR THEM DOWN THE DRAIN! Inside, pour them on the garden. Plants LOVE coffee grounds (and slugs hate them!) I have been feeding our Passion Vine and tomatoes coffee grounds all summer, and they are taking off like rockets!

We also have a limited amount of reuse of rainwater, via a very nice rainbarrel that my father-in-law gave us when we bought this house. I was planning on building a stand and hooking it up to a downspout, but waited too long; by the time I was ready to go, it was full of water ... and VERY HEAVY. I resolved to put that project off until the barrel was empty.
Coffee-Poured Tomatoes
Reuse Rinse Water!
Now that the barrel has been emptied into the garden, I'm delaying mounting the barrel because a bigger opportunity has come along. Since we are "fortuante" enough to live in an area that has a runoff problem, the city is encouraging us to install cisterns and a rain garden. The general idea is taht it's cheaper for the city to encourage 1,000 homeowners to install 500 gallons of cistern, than to build a 500,000 gallon retention pond somewhere ... for one thing, each homeowner donates the land and also gives the water in the cistern a 2nd use before it goes away. Also each solution can be specialized to the particular need of the neighborhood, instead of some larger, less agile solution. We're in the middle of planning, but this sort of thing is a wonderful public-private partnership and I hope to be posting more about our progress soon.


Small Footprints said...

Wow ... just one more reason to love Seattle! :-) It's a total win-win ... I wish more cities would work with the public for everyone's best interest!

I knew that my plants love coffee grounds (and leftover coffee) but I didn't know that it repelled slugs. I have an area that is getting eaten up by the little critters so ... my next pot of grounds is heading to that area. Thanks Rewinn!

Small Footprints said...

On a slightly different subject ... I have given you an award:
Thank you for all you do to promote green living!