Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cooling off in the summer... less is more

Find this article at C-ville Weekly newsstands, online, or right here!

Who doesn’t remember splashing in a sky-blue plastic wading pool, flopping onto a vinyl yellow slip n’ slide, or running through the sprinklers? Nothing beats the hot summer sun like the cold splash of water. But can we have fun without all the plastic paraphernalia and water waste? Here are Betty’s secrets.
Mother Nature: Wait for a summer rain to play.
Share: Join a community pool instead of purchasing your own plastic pool or splash equipment.
Two birds: If you absolutely need to water the garden or your flowers or a brown patch of grass, turn on the sprinkler but avoid the hottest hours of the day: post-lunch to 4pm.
Save the leftovers: Use plastic milk jugs with their tops removed, recycled yogurt containers or big buckets, placing them to catch the water. See how much you can collect.
Awareness raising: Americans uses 100 gallons of water a day compared to much of the world consuming 31 gallons or less per day. So each summer our family celebrates “water week.”
We track our water use, using online water calculators. There’s one that takes less than 10 minutes at This tool from Siemens and Facebook shows your water use compared to other friends AND to other countries.
We borrow water books from the local library (check out our fave: A Drop of Water by Walter Wick). We study where our water comes from. And we play in the rivers and lakes. Naturally, water-saving actions arise and we have fun doing it.
Increasing drought conditions and our local water plan controversy help us realize that there is no resource more precious than water. So let’s use it wisely!