Switching gears slightly, the conversation of this post is dedicated to up cycling water. How do we take the water we use and re-use it to create something of quality, specifically while living in an apartment. Climate Progress has blogged extensively on California’s drought, its climate impacts and solutions. This is the scenario myself and millions of people live with. Attempting to live inline with my sustainable ethic, apartment living has forced me to become creative with my water use in the spirit of not wanting to waste a precious resource.
Water conservation has become routine, becoming an ingredient that make specific parts of my life blossom, like my flowers and patio garden. Peeking out my front door you’ll see beautifully constructed redwood garden boxes, growing, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, drought tolerant herbs, and a salsa garden that spices up my culinary creations. Caring for my garden is gratifying, however the watering is a challenge. The challenge is one I place on myself, because most apartment complexes pay for the water, which perpetuates an attitude of its free, so why worry about its conservation. Several tenants have stated emphatical, their disinterest in conserving water, going about life using it as if in endless supply. While I wont make this a political posting, I’ll say at some point politics will step in when excessive water use is statical applied to rental increases.
Scattered though out my apartment are houseplants and ferns which need watering twice a week. When I include the patio garden of edibles and herbs, the need for watering becomes constant.
How do I conserve
1) Each morning I make an important cup of coffee via my french press (favorite staple). Cleaning a press can be challenge, since coffee grounds are not meant for the disposal. I could scape them out and toss in rubbish, but that’s waste full. Each time the press gets rinsed, the outside plants get watered with the coffee grounds, which benefit the soil, however this cannot be done every day because grounds are acidic for the soil. Plants get a rotating feed and watering and the off days the ground go in to my apartment compost.
2) This one might be a bit extreme some folks, smilingly I say, it’ll make for close quarters. While showering I leave a watering pail in the tub, designing an elementary catchment and grey water system. This is the simplest way to water plants using a grey water. Since I use all natural and chemical free product, there is no worry of poisoning my beloved plants. The one flaw in my system is the lack of catchment in the shower. But it’s still a simple way of using grey water and not retrofitting anything permanent, especially since living in an apartment makes that difficult.
You may be asking what this has to with up cycling and what am I repurposing. My plants are my are benefiting generously from my repurposing water. Water is a natural resource that gets wasted on daily basis. If I added up all the gallons of water conserved and reused, I’d respectfully say it’s about 100 gallons a month. Imagine this on an exponential level, the per apartment, per gallon savings could make a dent in the water loss to water save ratio.
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