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Eco Briefs: Save the Earth One Drop of Water at a Time

As part of our month long blog series, Eco-Briefs, celebrating April as Earth Month, Aveda let American Salon in on their top water conserving secrets. Take these tips and integrate them into your salons, and even your home! —Aja Edwards

WATER USE: Turn off water when not in use (e.g. between cleansing and conditioning hair) and when rinsing color use the following steps to save water:

1.    Rinse with water.

2.    Turn water off.

3.    Emulsify for 1 minute.

4.    Rinse again.

Save Water through... CONSERVING ELECTRICITY: Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of traditional electricity that we use takes about two gallons of fresh water to make. Conserving electricity and opting for renewable energy reduces your CO2 footprint and saves water, too.

EATING YOUR VEGGIES: Did you know it takes up to 5,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat? Enjoy a veggie meal at least once a week or more and use less water at the same time!

SKIPPING THE BOTTLE: It takes three times as much water to make a plastic bottle as it does to fill it with water.  Plus only about 23 percent of plastic water bottles in the U.S. are recycled, which leaves about two million tons of bottles pouring into landfills every year.

GETTING FIDO INVOLVED: When you give your pet fresh water, don’t pour the old water down the drain. Water the trees or shrubs with it so they can have a drink, too.

REDUCING RUNOFF: In the U.S. runoff has become a leading source of impairment to surveyed lakes, rivers and estuaries.

TAKE YOUR OWN STEPS Use less water in your home and yard to prevent waste water and pollution due to runoff with these suggestions.

  1. Sweep driveways and sidewalks, rather than hosing them down
  2. Use pesticides sparingly—if at all—and compost leaves and yard clippings for use as natural fertilizer in your garden or yard.
  3. Pick up—and properly dispose of—pet waste, trash and other debris in your neighborhood; street gutters and storm drains often run directly into lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands.
  4. Keep your car clean and green: choose a professional car wash that recycles its water; promptly repair auto leaks; and recycle used motor oil—a single quart that seeps into groundwater can pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water.
  5. Properly recycle electronics, appliances, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), silver batteries and paint to keep toxic pollutants out of your water.

OUTDOORS:

It’s estimated that watering lawns and gardens account for about 30% of a household’s total water use, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. You can cut outdoor water use significantly by replacing some or all of your lawn with native plants and ground cover, which are adapted to thrive on rainwater alone. Re-seed the remaining lawn with drought-resistant grass suited for your climate. Place mulch around flowers and trees to help the soil stay cool and retain water. Save more water by collecting rainwater and using it for your plants. Just put a barrel under your gutter’s down spout and watch it fill up.

THE BASICS:

  • Calculate your water footprint at H2O Conserve.
  • Schedule a water audit or survey for your home to identify opportunities for conservation.
  • Install low-flow aerators (1.0 gpm) and low-flow showerheads (2.5 gpm or less) to cut water use by more than 40%. Toolbase Services, “Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures”
  • Look for the WaterSense label when purchasing faucets and toilets and when looking for landscape services
  • Run your clothes/towel washer and dishwasher only when full to save up to 1,000 gallons a month. Water—Use It Wisely, Indoor Tips  

Eco Briefs is an American Salon month-long blog series of Earth-friendly tips, tricks and news to celebrate April as Earth Month.

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