Wednesday, March 28, 2007

6 Ways to Save Water in 2007 by Ray Dobson

We all use more water than we realize. Every day, without thinking about it, we waste gallons of water--and wind up paying for it in our water bills. If saving water in 2007 is one of your New Years resolutions, you've come to the right place. Here are six tips for how to save water in the New Year.

Don't run the water constantly when washing dishes. Instead, scrub the dishes with a sponge or scrub brush, then turn the water on and rinse. Then shut it off. Kitchen sinks waste upwards of 2 to 3 gallons a minute--and you don't need that much water to get your dishes clean.

Careful how you wash your produce. To wash fruits and vegetables, fill a bowl half-full and use it to rinse them off. Don't rinse them under the sink. Anytime you run your tap and most of the water goes down the drain, you're wasting water and probably could do whatever you're doing more efficiently without running the water constantly.

Don't run the water while you're shaving, brushing your teeth, or washing your hands. The same principles apply here--you don't need that water on constantly. Do your washing up, and then run the water to rinse. You're not even using that running water when you're brushing your teeth--so don't let it flow down the drain.

Don't run water to make it cold. Ready for a nice, cold glass of water? Don't turn your faucet on and then wait for the water to run cold. Instead, keep a pitcher of water in your fridge. That way, your water is always cold and ready to drink--and you don't waste any water getting it that way.

Take more showers. In most cases, you'll use less water in a shower than in a bath. Don't believe it? Next time you take a shower, plug the drain and see how much water accumulates. Usually, it'll be a lot less than you'd use to fill a bathtub. If it's equal or more, you should take shorter showers. You can also buy water-saving showerheads.

Plug the drain in your bath. If you must take baths, plug the drain before turning the water on. Also, when the water starts to get cooler, don't drain the tub partway and then turn on the hot water again--get out of the tub. You'll save 10 to 15 gallons of water a minute if you do.

Don't wash small loads. If you have a washing machine--or even if you go to the Laundromat--don't put laundry in unless you can wash a full load. To save even more water, use the shortest cycle. Your clothes will get just as clean, and you'll save about 1,000 gallons in a month.

Buy water-saving appliances. You can find water-conserving washing machines, dishwashers, and more at hardware stores--ask the salespeople to show you the most water-efficient machines.

Check for a leaky toilet. Toilet leaks cause a lot of water waste--and most people don't even realize they have a leaky toilet. To check yours, just put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, your flush valve is leaking. Getting this fixed can save you gallons of water per year.

Your toilet isn't a wastebasket. Many people throw tissues, dental floss, or other bathroom garbage in the toilet and dispose of it with a flush. Don't make that mistake. It wastes water needlessly, and your garbage is just as gone if you throw it in the bin.

Water at the right times. Water your outdoor plants before 7 in the morning or after 5 at night. This will keep your water from evaporating under the sun before it soaks into the soil.

Put your sprinklers in the right place. Many people place sprinklers in a place where part of the flow hits a sidewalk or paved driveway. This is a huge waste of water over time. Instead, make sure your sprinkler jets are hitting ground all the way 'round.

Use a rain barrel. Put a barrel or other watertight container under your gutters to catch rainwater. You can then use this water on your garden and plants without taxing your water bill.

Saving water is a worthy goal for 2007--and once you get into the habit of conserving water, these tasks are surprisingly easy to do. In most cases, people don't notice that they're using less water once they've gotten into a few simple water-saving habits--until they see the difference in their water bill, that is.

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The effects of Solar Energy by Rolf Rasmusson

Solar Energy

With all the talk regarding solar energy for many years its time has finally come. The gradual invitable delpletion of natural resources has made alternative sources an absolute must. It's now a matter of time and we'll determine the eventual new leader. Much expensise and resources is now being spent to find the best natural resource such as solar energy.

While many potential sources are possible, research into all the avenues will eventually surface with the most viable option for our use. Presently we are using a number of various resources to create heat, electricity and desalination of seawater. Renewable energy has the sun as it's primary source which is not depletable. Approxiametly 30% of our enery resources come from the sun.

Most of our enconomic resources and time are spend developing our resources in the area's of wind power, water power, solar energy, biofuel, liquid biofuel, solid biomass and geothermal. Naturally these all have their pro's and cons. The biggest concern is pollution that comes directly the materials, industrial processes and construction equipment used to create them. The side effects can be pollution and waste that will impact our environment.

We also we need to consider other key issues of environmental impacts, aesthetics and habitat hazards, land usage, proximity to demand, availability, reliability, longevity along with energy input verses output. Other possibilities such as fossil fuels and nuclear power have their own positive and negatives and are not as viable. The resources for our use are many, the challenge is not if we have alternates to use but which ones and in what order.

The U.S. currently relies heavily on coal, oil, and natural gas for its energy. Fossil fuels are nonrenewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally-damaging to retrieve. In contrast, renewable energy resources -- such as wind and solar energy -- are constantly replenished and will never run out.

Renewable energy is important because of the benefits it provides. It is believed that the major element in the learning and discovery process definitely will be and is solar energy.

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