Category Archives: water conservation

end semester review: Sustainable Me

This post rounds out the completion of a semester’s project.  To bo honest, participating in a blog has gone completely against my nature: I am a very private person, so much so that I do not even commonly use facebook. I am uncomfortable with the notion that these electronic logs will exist long after we pass away, and that the words and thoughts expressed in them can take on a life of their own.

That being said, particpating in SustainableMe has served a purpose: there is much I have learned from my fellow bloggers about little and big changes one can make in life in an effort to make the world more sustainable.

For me, the has coincided with what we have been learning in tandem with our Merchandising class- my userstanding of the concept of sustianablity has gone from basic to analytical. Initially, the word “sustainability” applied only to the environment, but as we proceeded with our lessons, I cam to understand the economic and social aspects as well.

English: Sustainability chart

English: Sustainability chart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That said, I did not accomplish all I had planned to achieve.  I still have a number of “outstanding” agenda points to take care of, such as:

Dansk: Glødepærer med med forskellige fatninge...

Dansk: Glødepærer med med forskellige fatninger: E10, E14 og E27. De to sidstnævnte er købt i Danmark. E10 er en 40 watts glødepære fra Kina og den er svær at finde i Danmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.) Properly dispose of my “hazardous waste” recyclables- I have been hording batteries and light bulbs to take to the Richardson Hazardous Waste Recycling Center, the pile keeps growing, but I simply have not been able to make it out of my routine to take the stuff there. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel- Finals are almost over! Ya Hoo!




Česky: Pitná voda - kohoutek Español: Agua potable

Česky: Pitná voda – kohoutek Español: Agua potable (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.) Water Conservation– my guest bathroom faucet has a slight drip, which falls back into the sink. It has been driving me nuts, even more so as we have discusses all the water issues throught this learning, and has become a real point of contention between my spouse and myself (he does not see it as a problem, as the water drips back into the sink basin, and our water bills are low). Again- I will steahily have to attack this issue when the time allows- get a few repairmen in, to evaluate the costs of repair, and get some estimates.  As we learned with many “corporations”, sometimes the only way to sell sustainabity improvements is based on a “cost/benefit” analysis, which is what I am going to have to perform for my very frugal husband!



I feel particularly proud that this project has moved me into a course fo action: for example, joining my child’s elementary school Green Acres Garden board in an effort to launch their school garden and sustainable food program. This will evolve over time, and as the kids are very young, should have lasting impacts until they reach middle school.  It will also give me the chance to learn how to “operationalize” sustainability in the “public works” realm- dealing with multiple stakeholders: school boards, governance bodies, and small companies from which we will be soliciting support, and families.

Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing (Photo credit: BrianCSmith)

God bless you all and have a wonderful “sustainable” holiday season!

Water-efficient Irrigation

Drip Irrigation

Water-Efficient Irrigation

This is an area which I’d really like to explore as part of how to adapt to the worsening drought.

According to Autodesk’s sustainability research, water-efficient irrigation reduces water use by avoiding evaporation, and avoiding over-watering.

“Avoiding evaporation can be done by delivering water more directly to the soil, or by delivering larger water droplets so they will not evaporate so easily, or by timing irrigation to avoid hot sunny times of day that cause more evaporation”

“Delivering water to the soil can be done by “micro irrigation” or drip irrigation. Micro irrigation is where irrigation nozzles are very near to the ground, but more numerous to make up for the lack of range ofeach nozzle. Drip irrigation does not spray water, but drips it from holes in a pipe that lies on the ground or underground, to avoid evaporation entirely”

Drip irrigation hose

“Drip irrigation is 90% efficient in delivering water where it is needed, while sprinkler irrigation is generally only 63% efficient. Avoiding over-watering can be done by not irrigating when it rains, having sensors in the ground shut off irrigation when the soil has enough moisture, or having evapotranspiration sensors shut off irrigation when plants are losing less moisture to the air. Micro irrigation and drip irrigation can also avoid over-watering by being more precise about delivering the right amount of water to different locations.”

There are also free online training classes offered at Texas Smartscape which explore which plants (natives and succulents) do best in this environment as compared to others, and how to save yourself money on your water bills.