As promised, I'm delivering, and I have to tell you I could have gone on for pages. I started out thinking it was going to be tough to find enough things you can do in 10 minutes that don't take any tools or expensive purchases to complete. I was very wrong. These are all simple things that you and even your young children can do (most of them), so teach them the right way while they are young, and they'll lead us to the promised (green) land when they are older.
Done drinking an iced drink? Don't dump the ice; use it to water a plant, bush or tree, as shown here. If you're drinking water, go ahead and put the ice in the bird bath or dog dish.
Collect shower water in a bucket while the water warms up. Use it for pets, plants, mopping or clean up after a dirty job outside.
When you return from a picnic or day at the beach with a cooler still full of ice and melted water, use it or save it for the car wash later.
This is a no-brainer we don't think of: Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, scrubbing hands, washing your face; you get the idea.
Check your automatic sprinklers for strays--those sprinkler heads that somehow end up watering the street or sidewalk aren't doing the grass much good.
Not a new idea, but we sometimes forget: Use a spray nozzle when washing the car. Better yet, use the spray nozzle AND wash the car on the grass, so the run off waters the grass.
Wash the dog in the grass, preferably somewhere that the grass needs extra water.
Add faucet aerators to all faucets.
Insulate your hot water heater and the pipes leading out of it. Surprisingly, you CAN do this in about 10 minutes, once you've picked up the insulating wrap, duct tape and foam tubing to do it with.
Bathe your young children together; they'll enjoy it and get cleaner while they're having fun playing in the water.
When replacing plants, choose those which need less water.
Do outdoor planting in Spring and Fall when less water is needed to establish them.
Use one glass a day per family member for drinking; you'll do less dish washing.
Wash produce in a pan of water, rather than under a running faucet. Reuse this water on plants.
Start a compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal. This saves lots of water and will make nice, rich soil for planting.
Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full.
Rinse clean dishes in a sink full of water, rather than under a running faucet.
...and I could go on and on!
Special thanks to Water Use it Wisely and Ideal Bite for many of these ideas. If you're ready to put some real effort into this goal, I highly suggest you go to Water Use it Wisely and click on your geographical region for a complete list of things that apply specifically to your area, including the more adventurous topics like replacing plumbing fixtures with low-water use ones, and other such fun. More power to you if you're this ambitious.
Tomorrow on Fun Food Friday, I'll announce the drawing for a free Chicobag to one lucky reader who left a comment. Since my blog is so new, most of my comments have come to my personal e-mail, but thank you to those of you who have commented using the purple COMMENT links at the bottom of each post. I appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback. Keep them coming, as I'll be giving another shopping bag away on September 1. This time, only comments that are posted on the site using the purple COMMENT links will count.
Many of your ideas and suggestions are in the works, including the comparisons that were voted for in my mini-poll earlier in the month. Soon I will be reporting on our milk comparisons, and with Labor Day cookouts coming up, the all-important American hotdog goes Organic. At least a week before Labor Day, I'll let you know which brands my testers found to be the most tasty.
Also, tomorrow I'll begin a 5-part, money-saving series on how to make 3 meals for your family with one Organic Hen. Stop in tomorrow for the shopping list and join me next week when we get cooking.