By Lorie Ham
According to a recent article on CNN’s website, more than 95 percent of the West is in some level of drought, with nearly two-thirds in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst categories. As we find ourselves once again in a drought on much of the West Coast, what can we do to make a difference? Most towns have watering schedules, so sticking to those are a good first step, but what else can we do?
“One thing we have implemented is to use the washing machine water on our lawn,” shares Jerry Linscheid, Chief Executive Officer at Mennonite Aid Plan/Mennonite Insurance Services.
Mennonite Insurance board member Janine Bergdahl suggests that we don’t need to flush the toilet after each use. You can also put in low flow toilets that use less water.
Board member LeAnne Quenzer has a number of things that her family does to conserve water. “We put in all drought-tolerant plants with drip line only in our large front yard this year. Drip line circles the two trees in front also.” She also keeps a basin in the utility sink in their laundry room and the water from washing hands and rinsing items off is collected in the basin. They use that collected water, and water from leftover water cups, to water their plants.
Most of us are familiar with ideas like not running the water while you brush your teeth and taking shorter showers, but you can also place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water, and that too can be used to water plants. On Love Your Landscape.org, you can find more tips on conserving water in your yard and garden. Their tips include obvious things like eliminating leaks, along with things we may not have thought of like mowing high, which helps shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation. An article from 2015 on the ABC News website provides some more creative tips like spray-painting your lawn.
A simple Google search will bring you even more interesting and unique ideas. At a time like this, we all need to do what we can. Do you have an interesting tip to share? If so, we would love it if you would share with us on our Facebook page.