The message for everyone to live green has been well promoted, but what does it mean?
The message is usually coupled with the marketing of “green” products for consumers. Living green starts with more consideration to the resources that all of us share. Everyone can learn to be more efficient with what is needed, without real sacrifice. Efficiency will lead to less waste while still having everything we need to run our homes. You don’t have to buy products to start living green. You can start by giving attention to what is being consumed in your home. Lets take a look at water.
The first step in being green is to stop wasted water in your home. This effort can begin with focusing attention on common trouble spots. What is the potential loss from a toilet that is stuck open? A flush tank toilet that fills at a rate of 1/2 gallon per minute will run 720 gallons down the drain everyday. Some toilets can run as much as double that amount, if stuck open. In addition to the wasted water, a running toilet can waste the capacity of your water softener. This will lead to poor water quality, wasted salt, and use of more chemical cleaners on fixtures.
It is very important to pay attention to the toilet mechanisms in your home. Make sure you check the toilets in your home that are not used frequently. Bathrooms located in areas that don’t get much use can easily be overlooked. Make sure that the flapper is seating properly, and that the level control is shutting off the water completely when full.
Toilet tank maintenance is also important. Most everyone would like to believe that items in our home are maintenance free. While some items might be maintenance free, toilets are not. Flush type tanks hold water in the open air. It is important that you keep this tank clean. Doing so will also help in keeping it working properly. You can add a ½ cup of bleach to the back of a toilet. After flushing the toilet, add the bleach just after the flapper seats. This will keep the bleach from running down the drain. After letting the bleach sit for about an hour, scrub the waterline with a small brush. This will break up the bacteria growth. An alternative to bleach would be white vinegar used in the same method. This is a good time to inspect the flapper in the bottom of the tank. A flapper valve that doesn’t seal can lead to a large amount of wasted water. It is a good idea to always keep a spare on hand. Replace an existing flapper at anytime that you identify a problem. Replacing the flapper is a cheap fix to stop wasted water.
Make sure that other water-using items in your home are shutting off properly. A good example would be a humidifier that is installed on your furnace. A humidifier can stick open leading to large losses of water. You want to make sure that your RO drinking water system is designed with a shut-off, and that it is working properly. Always make sure that outside spigots are shut off, and that hoses are removed before freezing temperatures set in.
So, the first step to living green is paying attention to what is consumed in your home. After taking steps to eliminate waste you can examine more efficient products. One example is the high efficiency water softener. Did you know that Aqua Systems has softeners that function on less than half the amount of water and salt as older systems? Our current technology provides soft water at a fraction of the resources needed to operate than older models. You don’t have to give up water quality for efficiency. Water softeners have always been a green product. With soft water you use less energy to heat water, and it can eliminate harsh cleaning products required to clean up hard water. Green living starts with eliminating wasted water, and can be completed by upgrading to a high efficiency water softening systems.