saving water

What New Projects Are You Planning For The New Year?

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By Lina Younes

As 2012 comes to an end and 2013 is about to begin, I would like to share some thoughts with you for the new year. I don’t want to call them New Year Resolutions because those don’t seem to survive longer than the month of January.  So, how about talking about healthier choices,  or even green projects? Essentially, I’m thinking about actions that will lead to a healthier lifestyle on the personal level and for the Planet as a whole.

  • How about dedicating more time to the important things in life such as family and friends? We often get so tied up with work and rushing from place to place that we often forget to really value those who mean the most to us in our daily lives.
  • Let’s enjoy the great outdoors!  We don’t have to live in a wide open space to enjoy nature.  So, how about get away from those electronics that seem to dominate our lives for a moment? Take a walk, visit a local park or do some gardening.
  • Let’s take the clutter out of our life! Look around you. Do you really need to keep all those things at home or in the office that you never use?  We have a great website with useful tips as what you can do at home, on the go, in the office, or at school to practice the three R’s: Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling!
  • How about saving one of our most valuable resources—water? Simple steps like closing the faucet while you brush your teeth or taking shorter showers can go a long way to conserving water.
  • How about saving energy? It’s as easy as turning off the light when you leave the room. Simple steps will allow you to save money and protect the environment.
  • Want more suggestions on how you can protect our natural resources and engage others in environmental protection in your community? I recommend our Website www.epa.gov/pick5 that has numerous tips on how you can adopt a greener lifestyle today and everyday of the year.

As the saying goes, our actions speak louder than words. Let’s lead by example so that our children may also learn how to be healthier and better environmental stewards for years to come.  And finally I would like to wish you a happy New Year!

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Summer Tips: Saving Water Around the Home

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By Lina Younes

While we often call Earth the “water planet” because 70% of its surface is covered by water, less than 1% of that precious resource is available for human use. Given the lower than average rainfall in the US and many places around the globe this summer, many of us are looking at ways to save water.

Did you know that the average family of four in the United States uses about 400 gallons of water a day as part of their daily routine? About 70 percent of that water is used inside the home during daily activities like taking a shower, brushing our teeth, going to the bathroom, cooking, washing clothes, etc. So what can we do to use our water more efficiently?

Well, here are several green tips for saving water in and around the home:

  • One of the first things we should do is to repair any leaks around the home.  Did you know that the average American household can waste over 10,000 gallons of water every year from leaking toilets, dripping faucets, or other leaks in pipes at home and in the garden?
  • Turn the faucet off while brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Take short showers instead of baths
  • Use the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded!
  • Instead of rinsing dishes first, just scrape the food off plates when loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Another suggestion that helps to save water and reduce waste—take food wastes to make compost instead of using the garbage disposal.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry and make the appropriate water selection according to the load size
  • Get water efficient appliances (dishwasher, clothes washer, showerheads, toilets, etc.) with the WaterSense label.  These are 20 percent more water efficient than other traditional products on the market.
  • In the garden, don’t overwater your plants and lawn.
  • Water the plants in the early morning before 7 am to reduce evaporation.
  • Check your garden hose for leaks. Close the water faucet when not in use.
  • When landscaping, choose native plants that are appropriate for your region. Not only will they use less water, but they are more resistant to pests and diseases.

Hope these tips are useful. Are you doing anything special to save water at home this summer?

About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, www.epa.gov/espanol . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.