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Nine Tips to Save Water this Summer

Global warming is changing the Earth’s weather patterns. The extremes of weather that we’re accustomed to are pulling away from each other. Floods are sweeping through new areas of the country, wildfires are rampaging through neighborhoods, and droughts are drying up once fertile lands. Amidst all this climate turbulence it is important that each of us does all we can to conserve and protect our water sources this summer—whether that’s a well, a spring, or a resovoir. Here are nine ways that you can save water this summer and protect the resource we all need—and need to share. Beginner: 1. Wash your car at home rather than at a car wash. (It takes about 70 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of gasoline.) 2. “If it’s yellow let it mellow. It it’s brown, flush it down.” 3. Store drinking water in a jug in the refrigerator, rather than waiting for the tap to run cold. (This will also help your refrigerator stay down in temperature! See this video tip.) Enthusiast: 4. If you have an old toilet, you can reduce the amount of water it uses by putting a “displacement device” in the tank. Using small plastic bottles filled with water works well. (Over a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water you use in your home is used to flush the toilets.) 5.  While waiting for your sink water to run hot, collect the cold and use it on your plants and garden. 6. Garbage disposals use a considerable amount of water. Start composting—put the vegetable peelings in your compost bin. Pro: 7. Use a rain barrel to collect the rainwater from your roof, rather than wasting treated drinking water on your garden. Some water companies either provide them free or at a reduced price. You can also build your own. 8.  Build up your garden’s soil by using plenty of manure and compost. This will increase its ability to retain moisture—reducing the need for watering. 9. Hand-wash your laundry. If you have more tips, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear them.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Save the Planet

Tired of watching people spend so much time thinking up big solutions to big problems that it has a paralyzing effect on taking action? If you’re like author Courtney White, the answer is yes. That’s why in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, he takes readers on a journey to show how low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions […] Read More..

Beyond the War on Invasive Species – Review in Permaculture Design Magazine

This review was originally published in Permaculture Design, Issue #97, “Life on the Edge,” Fall 2015; www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.com Look in the Mirror Review by Peter Bane For its extensive scholarship, clear voice, and impassioned, hopeful message, this book is a joy to read—a slim but beautifully written teaching text which uses permaculture and ecosystem science as a lens for viewing the […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..
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