Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, July 4, 2008

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Award



Last week a local shop owner won the conservation award of the month at Clay and Limestone.

Here's her story.

She lives on the Cumberland River in a house that is not connected to city water, nor does she have a well. Instead, she uses rain water that is collected from roof runoff into her cistern for non-potable household use.* When she showers, she has a bucket that catches the shower water. That water is then used first to wash the floors before it is finally used to water her potted plants.

Now that's conservation with a capital C. Have you run into a neighbor or a friend who is a 3-R practioner?

Enjoy the Fourth and be safe out there.

Gail






*non drinking water

29 comments:

  1. I am hearing of more and more gardeners in our area who are reusing their household water. They have not gone to this extreme - yet. I have tried to swear off of plastic bags, and get the strangest looks from cashiers when I say I don't need one, or that I brought my own bag. It is getting so I feel guilty if I can't find another use for a scrap of paper.

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  2. I have no neighbor like that but when I was a child the man up the street lived in a house that was about 15' x 15' with no running water and an outhouse. Now we all need six thousand square feet to live! Not me, small house but big garden and Tucker says he would love to smell your cat hair! Son too busy? You can just stay here! LOL Tell him I know where there are a lot of adelgids for him to study and we will follow him on a field trip!

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  3. les,

    Keep up the good work..every thing we do matters. Some countries have banned plastic bags. Will the US?

    I do have canvas bags and also some strange materialed ones that whole foods sells!

    Gail

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  4. Hi Gail, A cistern would be great, but we have to have some rain first! Maybe this weekend they say. I have those bags that I take to the store, three weird material ones and one insulated for cold stuff. It works great. I use the self check out and the clerk has to allow the weight of the bags before I begin scanning. I can pack the way I want too. The bagger guys at the person check out can't get the hang of loading those bags for some reason. They are all retired gentlemen, bless their hearts. I do keep a pitcher under the kitchen sink to catch the water when I wash my hands for the umpteenth time after gardening and use it to water the potted plants out the front door. Very convenient and helps remind me to water them too. We seldom use that door. We recycle what they take here and take the rest to Knoxville which takes everything! But there is so much more we could be doing. Especially waterwise. Happy 4th!

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  5. Yup, she is definitely a recycler!

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  6. Tina,

    She sure is! That's why I am recognizing her!

    Gail

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  7. layanee,

    I never knew anyone who showed any concern for the environment as a child in urban St Louis! The 60's and 70's educated me. This woman is probably in her late 60's and is living a different life then most of us....did I say she runs a used bookshop? The 3R's!


    Son is entertaining the girlfriend's parents this weekend! They are heading to Bristol for the display etc...may already be there!
    He isn't researching the adelgids right now but some kind of invasives on beaches and other sites. He mentions ticks a lot....still want to go? When he and I talk I will get him to commit to a time...it would be a delight to meet you and Tucker!...and the garden!

    gail

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  8. Frances, I have been saying the same thing what good are two more rain barrels going to do if we don't get rain! I have lost a tree, a three year old Juneberry...a very nice Amelanchier. I am saddened that I missed watering it.

    Groceries...all the plastic that the grocery stores push! Inevitably I forget the bags...then I feel guilty using paper. Now I am thinking of making a no use plastic water bottles pledge with the Sierra Club. That may be a tough one to honor 100% when on the road.

    Happy 4th to you, too.

    Gail

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  9. Happy 4th Gail!
    Now that's what I call conservation! Hats off to this enterprising woman, because even though we are very frugal with the water, we can't match that!

    We usually use the canvas bags to shop and do take the plastic bags back for recycling, but still hate having to get them in some stores. We do ask for the paper ones once in a while, because that's the way the local recycling program wants all the paper, junk mail and paperboard in ... so we ask for them to recycle them. I consider that a good deal. :-)

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  10. IVG,

    Oh to be better at this green thing...Have you caught the new TV station with all the green shows. Some great ideas and tours of beautiful homes! But so very expensive! How many wealthy retired millionaire ceo's whom decide after decades of living the good non-green life to build multi-million dollar green homes can one watch? Ok, they occasionally show a regular homeowner.

    I do like those canvas bags!

    Gail

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  11. I have been working harder to practice the three R's, but I don't think I could ever go as far as this woman! Running water is one of life's necessities for me. But I would love to have some rain barrels.

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  12. rose,

    I'm with you, running water is a necessity not a luxury...speaking of water, I am thinking about taking the Sierra Clubs's pledge to stop buying bottled water, it might be harder to give up then I think.

    Rain barrels are good, now if it would rain more!

    gail

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  13. Those are some great ideas! I haven't brought a bucket in the shower yet but I do save water from rinsing dishes. I kept a couple of old plastic containers under the sink and filled them up with the old bathwater. I used them on the ornamental plants. If there was grease in the water I didn't use it. I also collected water from my 2 year old daughter's baths. That probably help many of my plants through the drought last summer!

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  14. Dave,

    Every drop we save is good....and your two year old learns about the environment and water conservtion. Cool.

    Gail

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  15. My mother in law pumps water from the lake they live on. Flowers love it!

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  16. Gail, I just left an award for you on my last post. I know you just received a different award recently, so do with this one as you wish.

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  17. Hi, Gail, I'm new to your blog through Rose. Love this post! We keep a bucket in the shower, and when it has collected enough use it to flush the toilet, which is right next to the shower, so it's handy. Probably saves us five gallons a day or so. We also use the canvas (or whatever) bags at the store, and the clerks tell me more and more people are doing it. Went back to line drying clothes this summer too, which I actually like. There are so many little things we can all do, and most of them not hard at all.

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  18. Skeeter,

    I want your MIL's lake! Or at least a nice pond with a handyman. If you notice a theme here ...it's true I need a handyman. I am letting the universe know this every chance I get!

    Back to you! That is cool that she can pump the water up to her garden? Does the state of Georgia know about her lake...they are looking for some water!

    Gail

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  19. Rose,

    You dear! Thank you for your kindness...I did what you wrote about me ...Thank you! and I want you to know...I think you are pretty terrific.

    gail

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  20. joyce,

    Welcome to Clay and Limestone. Isn't Rose a dear!

    Glad you like the post...I found the Conservation Pledge and wanted to use it and when I heard my shopkeeper's water conservation story I knew she deserved an award.

    I am really impressed by your conservation steps! Seriously...I love that people care about our natural resources and you deserve the award, too!

    Thank you for the reminder! I have been meaning to rehang my clothes line! Don't you love the smell of sheets and pillow cases that have been outside to dry? The smell is a nice memory journey to my childhood!

    gail

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  21. Wow, how wonderful! What a wonderful way to use natural resources. I don't know if I could go to those extremes to conservative, but I do applaud her for being so resourceful. I really do hate all the plastic that everything is wrapped in. It would be nice if everyone was more into recycling and helping the environment.

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  22. I'm trying to be better at conservation, but haven't done so well with the water. We are getting so much rain right now, but every year won't be like this one, so I should still be developing better habits for when that next dry year happens.

    I also do curbside recycling.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  23. Gail, if we could bring that VA lake water back to GA in our truck, we would! Another pop up storm went right around us this afternoon. Could hear the thunder but no rain on my gardens! sniff...

    I am so lucky to have a handyman. I cannot tell you how much money he has saved us over the years. I am pretty handy too but not a man. LOL...

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  24. Rose,

    I meant to say, I read what you wrote about me! I need to edit better!~ Again thank you,

    gail

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  25. dp,

    These past few days I've begun keeping the kitchen wash water for some gray water watering. A hose connected under the sink that ran outside would be great! Carrying the dish pan full of water is messy, but I am committed to being more conservation oriented! You're right if we all did just a little it would help in a big way.

    gail

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  26. Carol,

    The water thing is a hard one for me. We grew up thinking there was an endless supply of everything...I do believe it is encoded in our USA genetic makeup! I am committed to working on conserving water...now maybe I can work on getting a cistern.

    I love curbside recycling and despair when I see the trash cans full of recycling materials when we have the service. It's so easy...put it in the recycling can...pull it to the street, but people don't want to take the time.

    Gail

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  27. Skeeter,

    We jest but you know that there are trucks loading up water in a nearby creek almost every day. It's the chemical lawn trucks and not a farmer or gardener looking for water.

    Your MIL is indeed fortunate to have a lake....for lots of reasons, not just for her flowers.


    gail

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  28. Oh, how sad, The Rain washed out their entire weekend of activities at the lake to include the parade and fireworks. :(

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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