Save money and natural resources!
Water saving tips
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth and lathering your hands. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save up to eight gallons of water per day (the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute) which equals 240 gallons a month. Letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.
- Only run your clothes and dish washers with full loads.
- Take short showers (lasting about five minutes) or baths. Showers conserve more water than baths only if they are short and/or you have a low flow shower head.
- Install low flow shower heads and toilets as well as faucet aerators. You can also place a full water bottle or similar item in the tank of your toilet to displace water so that not as much is wasted during each use. A four-minute shower can use up to 30 gallons of water. Installing low-flow shower heads, restrictors, or aerators can cut the usage in half.
- Construct a rain garden in your yard with native perennials that will collect storm water runoff, filter out pollutants, and recharge the ground water.
Lawn watering tips
- Water during the cool part of the day, early morning hours (4 am to 10 am) are best. Avoid the middle of the day when it is hot and sunny to prevent burning the grass.
- Water one inch per week (including rain) to maintain a healthy lawn.
- Avoid peak water-use hours (4-10 p.m.). Do not water overnight, as it can promote disease and affect the health of your lawn.
- Check the soil condition two to six inches below the surface to determine the soil moisture.
- To decide if grass needs water, walk on it. If you leave foot prints, it is time to water.
- A good soaking once or twice a week is better than watering every day. The soil should dry between watering to allow deep root growth, making the grass more drought tolerant.
- Mow grass to a height of 2 ½ to 3 inches. Taller grass shades the grass roots and the soil surface, preventing water loss.
- Use sprinklers that spray low, large drops.
- Use hand held soakers for small trees, shrubs and plants.
- Use automatic shut-off nozzles on hoses and fix leaky hoses.
Lawn watering restrictions
Odd/Even lawn watering restrictions are in effect May 1 through September 30, every year. Residents with even-numbered addresses may water on even-numbered days; odd-numbered addresses may water on odd-numbered days.
Energy saving tips
Have the Home Energy Squad visit your home.
- Turn room lights off even when a room is going to be empty for just a few minutes. Lights consume about 20% of all the energy used in the United States.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR label. If every Brooklyn Park household changed one incandescent light bulb to a CFL, it would save enough energy to provide 15 homes in the city with electricity for a month.
- Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 11 billion kilowatt hours totaling $935 million per year could be saved through monitor power management. This amount is enough energy to power over one million households for a year, it could reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to that of 1.5 million cars or by planting 2.5 million acres of trees.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Wash clothes and dishes in cold water when acceptable, and only do full loads.
- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
- Unplugged is the new off. Vampire power is the power your electrical devices use when they are plugged in but turned off or in standby mode. Major culprits: computers, chargers for cell phones or other electronics and television sets. Avoid the drain of vampire power by unplugging chargers and other electronics when not in use.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players as well as small appliances, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer. This could save up to $180 annually in home heating and cooling costs. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an active energy conservation program can reduce up to 30% of energy consumption.
Residents can get a rebate on water efficient irrigation system controllers and home appliances.