Thursday, August 16, 2007

Love your Plumber

Our kitchen faucet was leaking up a storm. The faucet was old and apparently the type that has a tendency to leak. It did so for months. We didn’t want to call a plumber. We wanted to do it ourselves. We checked the Internet for guidance. The instructions were cryptic. I felt horrible about the water wasted so we put a container underneath to collect the water to use on our garden. We waited for some plumber to magically appear.

Finally, a miracle. The handle of our ancient faucet in the bathroom broke off. We had to do something. Nothing like aesthetics to motivate one to act. A young man from Canadian Tire assured me that it was very easy to install new faucets. I bought two – one for the bathroom and a sure-fire non-leak one for the kitchen.

After half an hour in plumbing hell, we called a plumber. I’ve never been so thrilled to pay for an overpriced service in my life.

Now our faucet doesn’t leak. And a good thing too. Here’s why. Our dripping tap wasted 55 liters of water per day. That adds up to about 20,000 per year.

Happily, we were able to capture that water for our garden. We still keep the container in the sink to collect water that we run to wash food, wash hands and the like. It’s still good on the garden.

Here are some more water conservation tips:

Toilets are ridiculous gobblers of fresh water. Depending on your toilet, you could be flushing six to 20 liters each time you use the toilet.
  • Check how many liters your toilet uses (should be listed between the seat and tank). Newer models use 6 liters. If you own your home, think about investing in a newer toilet, as well as dual flushing. Take advantage of the rebates out there. Our toilet uses 13 liters per flush. A new toilet is definitely on the horizon.
  • For the time being, place a toilet tank dam or weighted plastic bottle in the tank.
  • Don’t flush so much.
  • Take care of that leaky toilet. If it’s running, you are wasting 2,800 liters per month. To find out if it’s leaking, put a small amount of food colouring in the tank. If in 20 minutes there’s colour in the bowl, time to call a plumber.

I know I’ve covered this before, but it’s always good to remind:

  • Use low-flow shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.
  • Shower more than bathe. Reduce your shower time.
  • Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  • Run dishwashers and washing machines only when they are full.
  • Get a water barrel to capture water when it rains.
  • Don’t run the hose when washing your car. Use a bucket, and a hose only for a quick rinse.
  • Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Water your lawn when it needs it. To determine if it does, step on your grass. If it springs back you don’t need to water it.

One more tip – drink your water from the tap, not from the bottle. Chemicals from the plastic leach into the water, and we should resist the habit of paying for water. Besides, most bottles end up in landfills despite the fact that they can be recycled.

In the News

Water Levels in 3 Great Lakes Dip Far Below Normal
In case you need incentive to conserve your water.

Big talk, little action
Talking about Canada’s Premiers and climate change

Congestion takes its toll: Is it time we started charging drivers to take their cars into the city?

Other News

Green Bloggers

Ecoshock Radio

Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

BBC – The Greenroom

New York Times – Environment


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