usage in Project Home
summer of 2007, North Carolina and certainly Chatham County,
experienced a severe drought. Even though we are conservationist
minded and consider ourselves to be careful about not
wasting water, we decided to analyze exactly where it
was used and how we could conserve even more.
have the Energy Star® Maytag Neptune front-loader washing machine.
It uses less water and electricity and is able to handle a larger
load at a time than most standard washing machines and certainly all
We use the "max extract" feature to remove as much excess
water as possible so the clothes dry quickly on our clothes rack or
outdoor line (as you see, we have a dryer but use it only for fluffing
or in last minute urgent dry situations. With the max extract feature,
it cuts the drying time to approx 15 minutes for a standard load -
the old dryer took over an hour).
did you know the washing machine extra rinse cycle uses
15 gallons of water just by itself? This was quite a shock.
We've eliminated using that cycle and now add less detergent
and a cup of baking soda - the latter helps get clothes
cleaner and adds a natural fabric softener too.
also use cleaning, laundry and personal care products in
our home with NO bleach, NO ammonia, NO Formaldehyde, NO
Parabens, NO abrasives, NO triclosan, NO phthalates, NO
phosphates. The power of laundry detergent using natural
surfactants to remove the dirt. Protects our clothes, our
skin and the environment.
The dishwasher was next, which is also an Energy Star® appliance.
The light load feature only uses 6 gallons of water. You can't
wash a full load in the sink with that amount of water.
have a dual shower head, of which one is a hand-held with a switch
to turn off after soaping up - like a military shower. This took
our shower water use from 15 gallons down to 5 gallons - even
for a woman when I wash my shoulder length hair!
We have low flush toilets - they say "1.5 gallons" but
in fact use 1.75 gallons per flush, even though it has been properly
filled to manufactures water mark. Using less than that mark,
it often takes 2 flushes. We adhere to the yellow-mellow rule
for daily flushing.
overall we have reduced our monthly water use from 3,800 gallons
to under 2,900. These are consistent numbers, based on almost
2 years of monitoring. We have overnight guests for several
nights a month and large dinner parties at least bi-weekly.
Our goal for this year is to add a big cistern (approx 5,000
gallons+) which will be used for all the garden/landscape
watering and flushing the toilets.
a year we can then report the water use difference that will
Project Home Intro