Water in our area comes from streams and aquifers. Every gallon you use means one less for fish, and one less gallon in our underground reserve for future generations. So use less! Here's how.
Fix Leaks: Slow leaks in toilets, pipes and faucets can cost a home thousands of gallons of water or more per year. Fix leaks with plumbers tape or hire a local plumber to assist with larger projects.
Use Only What You Need: Remember to turn off the water when you don't need it, for instance when brushing teeth, shaving or washing dishes. Make sure to run dishwasher or washing machine loads only when they are full.
In the Shower: Get yourself over to one of our local hardware stores and buy a low flow shower head. They'll run you around $20 to $30 and help you save water at rates of 25 to 60 percent.
Wrap Your Pipes: Cut down the time you run the tap waiting for hot water by wrapping your pipes with cheap foam cylinders that are easy to install.
Pay Attention to Toilets: Toilets are the single biggest water user in the home, somewhere around 35 percent of water usage per day. Adding bricks or filled water bottles to the tank will reduce the amount of water flushed. But, if you can afford it, buying a low-flow toilet can cut your home water consumption by around 25 percent.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency and American Water Works Association
Maybe it’s something in the water, or the upholstery of our Subaru Outbacks that makes Central Oregonians so environmentally conscious, a fact that’s readily apparent in our recycling rates (almost 45 percent of our waste is now repurposed) and our embrace of solar power. (We’re home to half a dozen installers and recently added two of the biggest solar systems in state at Bend Broadband’s data center and Facebook’s new server farm in Prineville.)
Whatever the reason, sustainability isn’t just a way of life in Bend -- it’s an industry that includes everything from small windpower producers like Redmond’s Abney Electrix to a people-powered cycle pub in Bend. This year’s Green Issue is a snapshot of how Central Oregon is putting itself on the forefront of the sustainability movement both individually and collectively. While there are dozens of interesting examples of how entrepreneurs, public agencies and private citizens are blazing a green trail, we’ve narrowed our focus to seven projects that show how Central Oregonians are putting their values into practice; examples range from a multimillion dollar community forest project to a natural soap making business. Read it, share it and then recycle it. (EF)