With all the Earth Day reminders on reducing your carbon footprint you might feel a bit overwhelmed as to how to make a 360-degree turn in a matter of days. Many of you have worked diligently to make sustainable changes in your surrounding environment. Then again, there are your family and friends who have no clue as to what to do and your nagging them has only gotten you removed from any future family outings.
- Replace food in kitchen with organic, whole foods.
- Replace plastic cooking utensils with wood or bamboo.
- Replace Teflon and aluminum cookware.
- Switch to nontoxic cleansers.
- Safely dispose of toxic cleansers.
- Install a water filter.
Months 4-6: Your Body
- Replace formaldehyde-treated linens with organic.
- Replace dry cleaning with laundering.
- Replace commercial wash detergents with eco-products.
- Replace skin care products with natural, organic products.
- Avoid using “disposable” products of all kinds.
Months 7-9: Your Home
- Replace toxic carpets with renewable wood or bamboo.
- Dispose of toxic pesticides for natural repellents.
- Purchase an air purifier.
- Replace pressboard furniture with renewable wood pieces.
- Use alternative building materials for renovation projects.
- Use low VOC paints in place of toxic brands.
Months 10-12: Your Energy Use
- Drive your car less and walk, ride a bike, or share rides.
- Keep your car tuned and/or buy a hybrid.
- Wash your laundry with cold water.
- Insulate your home to cut down on energy use.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Replace commercial batteries with rechargeable batteries.
Over the course of a year you can make a dramatic difference in the quality of your health, your home environment, and the impact your actions have on the Earth. The eco-green movement in America has spawned creative alternative ways to replace standard toxic products with safe and renewable ones. Feel free to fit these suggestions to what you can do each month, but remind yourself to make changes one step at a time and it will all get done.
To further reduce your carbon footprint, or more specifically, your ‘water footprint‘, you should conserve water wherever possible. If you don’t have any water-saving measures in place, we would also recommend a step-by-step approach to saving water too. First start by changing your water habits and follow easy water saving tips in the home. Next, pass on these water saving tips to friends and family. At work, lead by example with your water saving habits- many of these habits will save money too. Once you have changed your water habits for the good, see how your water bill has reduced and start thinking of installing water saving devices in your home. A very good place to start is to replace your toilet flushing mechanism with a Water Rhapsody Multi-Flush system. The inexpensive Multi-Flush simply replaces the existing flushing mechanism in the cistern. The Multi-Flush is totally user-controlled and only flushes as long as the lever is held down. Next, consider all that grey water that is sent to the sewers; gray water is a wasted resource that is very good for landscape irrigation or for reusing for toilet flushing. Water Rhapsody’s grey water irrigation system diverts water from your bath, shower, hand washing basins and laundry to a tank that automatically activates the garden sprinkler. If you are using eco-friendly laundry detergents, laundry water is perfectly safe for your garden. Our Second Movement greywater system is an option for toilet flushing if you don’t have a garden to irrigate. If you have a swimming pool, seriously consider installing our affordable Poolside Tank; this simple and effective system re-uses pool backwash water so that none of it enters the environment (chlorinated water is surprisingly toxic to plants and animals, especially aquatic organisms). The Poolside Tank also saves hundreds of litres of water that would normally be wasted during the backwashing process. To save even more water at the pool follow water saving tips for your swimming pool. Many houses have roofs suitable for rooftop rainwater harvesting. Water Rhapsody’s Grand Opus rain water harvesting system collects rain water from you roof and diverts it to water tanks (see Why Harvest the Rain?). The water storage tanks integrate with your existing mains or borehole water supply so that if the rainwater is depleted, the system automatically switches to the alternative water supply. All our water systems are designed to operate with minimal user intervention and very low maintenance requirements. See our product demo for a simple demonstration of how each product works.