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SHAKE and FOLD! Are you a practitioner of conservation?

(From The ASSOCIATED: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore Sustainability TIPS Newsletter, June 2012)

Shocking statisticsA recent issue of National Geographic reports that only 1% of the world’s water is both fresh and accessible.
In the big picture, fresh water is a precious and finite resource.

WHY CONSERVE

Marylanders have access to an abundance of water much of the time, and we’re accustomed to having water available at the twist
of a faucet. U.S. citizens use approximately 205 billion gallons of water a day for household, industrial, and agricultural uses.
Unlike the dry western areas of the country, in this area we often overlook the importance of conserving water. It's important to
remember that water conservation is not just for times of water shortage. Conserving water reduces wear and tear on major
infrastructure such as water and wastewater treatment plants and the distribution systems that deliver water to consumers, and
can postpone or eliminate the need for making major investments in new infrastructure. As our population continues to grow,
demands on our precious water resources increase. In order to ensure adequate water resources for our future needs, we must put
conservation measures into effect now. Conserving water is simple and inexpensive!

The numbers add up!

You can find more ways to conserve on this fact sheet from the Maryland Department of the Environment. Here are some quick tips:

INDOORS

Find and fix leaks:Fixing leaks saves an average of 10 gallons per day per household!

Replace old toilets: WaterSense models saves an average household* almost 30 gallons per day, up to $260 a year!

Upgrade washers:saves an average household* 27 gallons per day. Also saves energy and uses less detergent!

*Based on a four-person household.

OUTDOORS

Right plant, right place:Match plants to the conditions in your yard – if plants are well-suited to their place in your yard, you won’t need to water so much.**

Cultivate your soil:Add compost and mulch to your beds to slow the weeds and hold water near plant roots, where it’s needed.**

Reduce water waste: Drip irrigation systems avoid shooting water up into the air, where much of it evaporates, and to the roots, where the plants need it.**

** Water savings vary depending on the size and design of your landscape.

How to save billions: Be a conservation practitioner in less than a minute!

A fellow colleague shared this fascinating and entertaining video about how to conserve resources when drying your hands. After watching this short 4 minute video, all you’ll have to remember is “Shake and Fold”. Will you join in this effort? We already have several practitioners in our buildings!

TED Talk: How to use ONE paper towel: http://davidwarlick.com/vidaday/?p=577

Bottle versus Tap – the facts!

For those of us looking to save money (and who isn’t, these days?), drinking tap water instead of bottled water is the smart choice. Bottled water costs up to 1,000% more than tap water. Add to that the environmental cost of the plastic, manufacturing, distribution and disposal of those bottles and we think you’ll agree: with tap water as clean and tasty as ours, why not save money and be green at the same time?

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