According to the Environmental Protection Agency, less than 1% of the earth’s water is deemed suitable for drinking water. About 97% is ocean or sea water, thus containing salt, and the other 2% is frozen.

Rarely do we think of water as a finite resource, yet much of the world doesn’t have access to clean, safe drinking water at all – about 780 million people.

Now, during National Drinking Water Week, we have an opportunity to reinforce or develop new habits designed to avoid wasting water.  Here are several ideas from the professionals at Connor Plumbing:

In the Home

  • Replace regular faucets, shower heads, and even toilets with water-efficient low-flow models.
  • Shorten the length of your shower to 5 minutes, or as close to it as possible. And turn the water off while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Certain chemicals in household cleaners are harmful to aquatic life. Check with your local recycling facility on proper disposal. Better yet, make your own natural and safe DIY cleaners.

In the Yard

  • Put out a rain barrel to catch rain water, then use it to water your lawn or garden.
  • Plant flowers and shrubbery that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep or watering to thrive.
  • Let the grass grow a little longer. It will shade the soil which will keep more water in, and in turn, require less watering.

On the Go

  • When you see litter, pick it up so it doesn’t end up in streams, lakes, and rivers.
  • Talk to your boss about ways you can conserve water at work.
  • Instead of pouring unfinished water from a bottle down the drain, use it to water a plant or pour it in your pet’s water bowl.

At Connor Plumbing, we offer several water conservation products, complete with our professional installation services.  For more information about our low-flow toilets, low-flow faucets, and other water conservation ideas, contact us today.

Cleaning your home can be a pretty dirty job, but somebody has to do it. And, chances are, that somebody is you.

On those appointed days and times, chances are you find yourself – almost automatically – opening the designated closet or cabinet and grab the window and glass cleaner, the toilet cleaner, the tile and grout cleaner, the all-purpose cleaner (that you recently discovered isn’t really all-purpose at all), the floor cleaner, and all the rest.

Freeze frame!  As in, what if you only had to reach for one or two bottles? And what if those bottles contained cleaning ingredients that were completely safe to use around your children and pets? No, we’re not talking about some new commercial cleaner that claims to do it all “for the low-low price of $74 dollars an ounce.” We’re talking about vinegar.

That’s right, vinegar – either on its own or mixed with one or two inexpensive items – can help you thoroughly and safely clean most surfaces in your home.  Here are 10 great examples:

  • Equal parts water and vinegar can clean and shine windows and mirrors, stainless steel and chrome, kitchen counters (not granite), greasy stoves, along with the inside and outside of your refrigerator.
  • Remove stubborn stains from aluminum pots and pans by soaking them in one part vinegar and one part boiling water.
  • Clean un-waxed wood paneling with a solution of ¼ cup olive oil, 2 cups warm water, and ½ cup white vinegar.
  • Add a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water for an all-natural, no-wax vinyl or linoleum floor cleaner.
  • Clean your tile floors with a solution of equal parts distilled vinegar, alcohol, and warm water, plus a few drops of your favorite dishwashing liquid.
  • Eliminate odors naturally with a clean spray bottle filled with 1 cup vinegar, 3 cups water, and a squeeze of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit juice.
  • Remove stubborn coffee and tea stains from cups and coffee pots by gently scrubbing with an equal mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Just don’t forget to rinse.
  • Soften laundry naturally by adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • Clean washable air conditioning filters in a basin or tub filled with equal parts water and vinegar. Soak for several hours, then air dry.
  • Use vinegar instead of bleach or anti-bacterial sprays to kill germs on hard surfaces. Spray undiluted vinegar on doorknobs and wipe dry, and fill a basin with a 50/50 water-vinegar solution and soak plastic toys. If the toys have stickers that you do not want to remove, spray them with the mixture instead, then wipe dry.

Oh yeah, you can still cook with it, too.  So how about you:  has the green living bug bitten you and you’re looking to do more.  Contact Connor Plumbing today, because on the plumbing side of things, there’s plenty we can do to help.

March 22, 2104 is World Water Day, the purpose of which is to call widespread attention to the distinct lack of water and energy third world countries.

According to the United Nations official World Water Day web site:  “Worldwide, 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity, 768 million people lack access to improved water sources and 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation.”

Here in Beaumont and throughout Jefferson County, World Water Day should serve as a reminder on just how blessed we are to have an abundance of both clean water and energy.  The occasion also should remind us that we can always do more to conserve all or our natural resources..

So, from the green plumbing professionals at Connor Plumbing, here are a few ways you can make water and energy conservation part of your everyday life:

  • Don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth.
  • Use your dishwasher more frequently, but always with a full load.  You consume less water running your dishwasher than you do washing the same number of dishes, glasses, etc., by hand.
  • Don’t overwater your garden or lawn.  In fact, water them less frequently, but give them a good deep soaking each time.
  • Have a leaky faucet?  The time to fix it is now before the problem gets worse and any more water is needlessly wasted.
  • Install dimmer switches in more locations in your home to cut back on electricity while still having all the light you need for any given task or occasion.
  • Unplug appliances, like your toaster, when not in use.  Even though they’re not on, they’re still drawing power.
  • Turn your computer equipment off at night.  In addition to saving electricity, your equipment will last longer.

At Connor Plumbing, we’re always interested in hearing what our customers are doing to creatively conserve water and energy.  So if you have an idea or two worth sharing, contact us by email so we can feature your family’s unique and effective conservation measures in a future blog.


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