The Green Report

There are a number of ways to conserve water, and they all start with you.

This month severe thunderstorms have moved through Dunwoody and across the South. According to weather.com we have had a good amount of precipitation during January 2013, and during times like this, people may forget the importance of water conservation. We are, in fact, still in a drought.

The Dunwoody Sustainability Commission continues the 2013 Living and Learning initiative with this month’s topic: ways to conserve water.

Here are some ideas for water conservation at your home:

• Installing low-flow showerheads, taps, faucets, and toilets can save between 3 and 7 gallons per minute, and reduce water used per flush by 30 percent.

• While brushing your teeth, shaving, washing your hands, or rinsing dishes or vegetables don’t leave water running. This saves gallons!

• Repair dripping taps and leaking toilets. A faucet drip or invisible leak in the toilet can waste up to 15 gallons of water per day.

• Wash only full loads in both the dishwasher and washing machine.

• Use only phosphate-free detergents for dishes and laundry to better protect our water supply.

• Mulch on your garden helps the soil stay moist and reduces weeds. Apply mulch no more than 3 inches deep and make an open space around stems and trunks to protect plants from fungus.

• Xeriscaping: Plant native trees, shrubs, and flowers that thrive in your area. These plants can thrive in normal rainfall. Look for a nursery near you that specializes in native plants, or take advantage of native plant sales at Dunwoody Nature Center and Dunwoody Community Garden. Practice composting

• Set up a rain barrel this spring. Rain barrels can help conserve water, save money on water bills, and reduce pollution by reducing storm water runoff. Water collected in the rain barrel would normally flow off the roof or through roof gutters and downspouts, and into streets and storm drains. Rain barrels are inexpensive, easy to install, and easy to operate and maintain. The water captured in a rain barrel can be diverted into a garden or stored to water plants when needed.

The city of Dunwoody and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeepers are hosting rain-barrel workshops on Febr. 12 and March 6 at 6 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall. The fee ($10) covers materials and a take home rain barrel. To register for this popular event, call Rebecca Keefer, 678-382-6811.

The public is invited to attend Dunwoody Sustainability Commission meetings and input is invited at the end of each meeting. The Commission meets the second Thursday of every month at 7:45 a.m. in the City Council Chambers, 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, GA 30346. The commission members are appointed by the Dunwoody City Council. For more information about the Sustainability Commission, visit the city website at dunwoodyga.gov

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