Global News

Saving Water - One Home At a Time

“Preservation of our natural resources should be one of our foremost duties.  The natural resources that we consume is the wealth that need to be transferred to coming generations. If we mindlessly exploit the resources, we won’t be able to leave anything for our grandchildren.”- Amma

Dharmista and her husband Guru Dutt are an essential part of the M. A. Center community, and very active in the GreenFriends project. Here is the story of how they worked on reducing water waste without compromising on the necessities or cutting down healthy trees.. Hope that some of us will be inspired to incorporate this into our homes and lives.

“ This past summer I started thinking about grey water because my husband is an avid gardener and we have a lot of plants on our property. I wondered how we could possibly water them all with all the drought restrictions? We have 22 fruit trees, many roses, and a huge vegetable garden! The thought kept coming - Amma says, "every drop of water is important.”

I attended a talk on grey water and realized we were throwing away hundreds of gallons a month down the sewer, which could be brought to good use. We couldn’t find anyone at that point to install grey water for a reasonable cost, so we decided to hand carry all of the water we used out to the garden in bucket, bins and wagons!  It was kind of an “abhishekam” daily to Mother Nature.

This was great because it gave me a real experience of how much water we waste. Our “water saving” washer puts out about 20 gallons of waste per load. With a change to the right kind of soap, and channeling the washer hose into large plastic bins we were toting our several wagon loads to dump on our fruit trees. We even saved our shower water in buckets and dishwater in bins to water everything in our garden except for the root vegetables.

Finally at the end of the summer we got really tired of carrying water and hired a man to install a very simple grey water system for a very reasonable fee. The best news is that I actually like doing the dishes and laundry now because I know our trees are getting watered.

We also said goodbye to our front lawn and planted native plants instead. Did you know that the water company gives a rebate for doing this? We covered the lawn with cardboard and mulch in one work party in the late spring. Then we let it “bake” all summer in the heat to kill the grass. In November we had another fun workday and planted about 100 native plants right before the rains.

Every day I look out our front window at the beauty of flowering plants that take very little water. And how the bees and hummingbirds are having a great celebration in our new garden!"

by Dharmishta