Articles in: Water Conservation

Top Water Saving Devices at The Home Depot

Posted by: on October 4th, 2012 | One Comment

Molly and Bob

Saving water is important for the planet and it’s good for your pocketbook. The Home Depot carries a whole array of water saving devices and products that carry the EPA’s WaterSense® label. It doesn’t take a huge investment, or even exceptional plumbing skills to start saving a considerable amount of water in your home.

We asked guest contributor Molly Mollner to give us her top picks for water saving products available in the aisles of her local Home Depot store. She writes blog posts for H2Oscore, a start up company focused on water conservation. 

I recently visited the North Shore Milwaukee Home Depot (store #4912) to find water conserving products that would substantially lower my water bill, and if at all possible … require the installation skills of a fifth grader.

I met Home Depot associate Bob in the plumbing department. He escorted me right to some of Home Depot’s top water saving products.

Researching water efficiency (at H2Oscore, our go-to resource is the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s Home Water Works Calculator) taught me that the first place to look for water savings is in your yard. In fact, an American Water Works Association (AWWA) study in twelve U.S. cities found that nearly 59% of all residential water use occurs outdoors.

 

Graph showing average daily water use per capita

Image by The Home Depot with information from Alliance for Water Efficiency

 

Luckily, my yard doesn’t require much watering, but if it did, you would find me tossing in an inexpensive rain sensor that automatically prevents me from overwatering.

The AWWA graph above clearly tells me that if I want to reduce my indoor water use I’d better focus on making sure my toilet, showerheads, and faucets are as efficient as possible (a new clothes washer is a bit out of my college student budget right now – plus, isn’t laundry supposed to be done at your parent’s place anyways!).

Here’s the wisdom I can pass on:

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With Energy Star Appliances, The Savings Add Up

Posted by: on September 12th, 2012 | Make A Comment

 

Energy Star Savings Stacks Up

A typical U.S. household can save over one-third on their energy bill with ENERGY STAR. That’s definitely impressive, but imagine if every appliance purchased in the U.S. this year was certified. As you can see from the graphic above, the environmental and monetary benefits stack up pretty high.

We bring you these numbers just in time for our Great American Fix Up event, which includes great ideas and deals for energy savings, like an insulation calculator and lower prices on items like weatherstripping. There are also bright ideas for getting your home ready for the fall, unique indoor paint projects, ways to make your home safer and more secure and much more. New projects will be unveiled throughout the Fix-Up, so go ahead and roll up your sleeves.

Editor’s Note: In the above graphic, appliances include ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer, dishwasher and refrigerator.

Vigoro Drought Tolerant Plants

Posted by: on August 7th, 2012 | Make A Comment

 

See how Summer Survivors, Vigoro’s drought tolerant plants, can help you keep your landscape, garden and container brimming with color throughout the dog days of summer. These plants are available exclusively at Home Depot stores.

Plants selected for Vigoro’s Summer Survivors series have been bred to withstand the withering summer heat and perform beautifully under the most extreme temperatures.

In this video, hosted by Home Depot Forum associates Grow2Girl and BostonRoots, you will see zinnias, pentas, geraniums and flowering vinca – just a few of the many regionally based plant varieties featured in our Summer Survivor series of drought tolerant plants.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

Walking the (Virtual) Aisles: Delta H2Okinetic Showerheads

Posted by: on July 12th, 2012 | 3 Comments

A Delta H2Okinetic Showerhead

 

Taking a shower should be more than just a daily cleansing. A really great shower– especially with a shower massage– can be a spiritual experience.

Delta H2Okinetic™  Showerheads, which are available on homedepot.com and at select Home Depot stores, make that spiritual experience happen—all because of some very special features.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DELTA H2Okinetic Showerheads

The Drops are Sculpted Into a Wave, Giving the Feeling of More Water
Internal chips in the showerheads sculpt the water into a unique wave pattern, actually giving the feeling of more water despite using less. (They use about two gallons per minute, earning them WaterSense certification.) This patented H2Okinetic Technology is a bit of magic that actually helps the environment. It’s “making waves” everywhere.

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Gardening Q&A: How To Water Plants (Yes, There Is A Better Way)

Posted by: on July 2nd, 2012 | 2 Comments

Plants and lawns get thirsty on hot summer days, but there’s more to watering than you might think.


Q: Is it better to water my flowers and vegetables in the morning or evening?

Submitted by reader Rayginamad on The Home Depot’s Garden Club Community Forums.

A: Watering seems so simple, right?

You just grab the hose, aim, and spray for a couple of minutes.

But there really is a better way to deliver that refreshing drink of water plants and lawns need. Ideally, you should water in the morning, so the heat of the day helps evaporate any moisture from the foliage before nightfall. Many plant diseases thrive in damp, warm conditions, so you don’t want your leaves to stay wet after the sun goes down.

That said, sometimes you have to water late in the day, especially if you come home and find your plants are wilted. Go ahead and water them close to the roots, so they’ll revive (we hope). Your garden needs about one inch of water a week. If it doesn’t rain, put out a sprinkler or set up an irrigation system. Add a timer to your system, and your plants will be covered, even if you forget.

To make sure you’re giving your plants that vital inch, put a water gauge under your sprinkler or hose. Don’t have one? Use a clean, empty cat food or tuna fish can. When it catches an inch of water in it, you’re done. It’s better to water deeply and regularly, than lightly. Light waterings encourage roots to form near the surface of the soil, where they dry out faster. Make sure you keep your plants mulched, too, so the soil stays cooler and evaporation is reduced. Water is a precious natural resource, and mulching can really help. This really isn’t complicated, but knowing a few tips can really help you learn how to water plants more efficiently and economically.

While you’re at it, why not get some extra mileage out of that water? Next time you put out a sprinkler, let the kids run through it. Just remind them not to stomp on the tomatoes!

 

A lot of great questions come in on our extremely informative online Gardening Forum. Go see for yourself right now, and while you’re at it, post a question or two. Our gardening experts are there waiting to answer whatever you can throw at them. Who knows? Your question might be featured right here on the Apron in Gardening Q&A.

 

 

Drought-Tolerant Plants, Trendy Succulents at Home Depot

Posted by: on May 23rd, 2012 | One Comment

There’s rising interest these days in growing drought resistant plants, which is exactly why The Home Depot is expanding its line of drought tolerant plants to more stores. If you haven’t already, you should soon be seeing more of these hardy varieties, including more than 75 types of trendy, mod succulents, in Home Depot Garden Centers across the southern United States.

These Home Depot exclusives are in the Smart Planet line, launched in 2010 by Altman Plants. The company’s mission was to create the most ecological plants possible. Altman Plants Vice President Erin McCarthy explains in the video below how the new drought resistant varieties were developed, and what Altman does to continue fostering a healthy planet even after the plants are sold.

 

There’s no standard definition of “drought-tolerant”, but Altman Plants estimates that the Smart Planet line uses between 30 and 70 percent less water, depending on the area of the country and climate, than non-drought resistant varieties. Many of the perennials and shrubs that Smart Planet carries are unique hybrids created for their water saving properties. And many of the succulents, which have been hogging the spotlight in the design and gardening world of late, have been grown for a while but are enjoying a revival.

“People like to make ecological decisions,” said McCarthy, “Sometimes they just don’t know how.” She hopes that the expansion of the drought-resistant line will give customers an easy, approachable way to conserve a precious resource.

Want to be a part of the water-saving solution? Whether you are ripping out your entire yard to plant smarter or just potting for the first time, read on. 

Succulents 101

Smart Planet Horticulturist Bob Reidmuller provided us with some tips for creating a visually appealing, easy-to-keep succulent garden at home:

An Echeveria succulent

An Echeveria succulent. Credit: Altman Plants

 

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Lawn Care: Are You Drowning Your Lawn?

Posted by: on May 12th, 2012 | 16 Comments

Getting to have it both ways is a rare luxury. When it comes to your yard, though, taking steps toward a healthier lawn can also contribute to the health of your community.

According to Gary Grabow, an extension specialist at North Carolina State University, “There’s anecdotal evidence that people put 50 to 100 percent too much water on their lawns.” That excess irrigation damages lawns in the process. Over-watered grass may develop shallower roots – or worse, disease.

sprinkler on lush, green lawn

Know when to say when

 

That’s good to know, not just for the health of your lawn, but also for the good of the local environment. In recent years, many states and urban areas have faced rapidly decreasing water supplies. A 2005 study using data compiled from NASA and Landsat satellites estimates that Americans devote three times as much land to lawns as to the production of corn. Considering that as much as half of the average household water consumption goes toward outdoor irrigation, all that lawn-space adds up to a veritable deluge during the spring and summer lawn season, with much of it simply going to waste. And runoff from over-watered lawn spills into nearby bodies of water, sometimes spreading disease to local wildlife.

It may, however, by possible to stem that tide. Watering efficiently means not only lower bills and a better yard for you, but also a more ready supply of water for the rest of us.

If you’ve already kicked off your annual routine, start by gauging how much water you’re applying to your yard each time you water it. Before you turn on your sprinklers, strategically place open-mouthed containers with straight sides around the yard to catch a portion of the water. Very few lawn irrigation systems dispense water evenly across a landscape, so it’s important to get samples from different areas in the yard.

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Earth Day: Live Green. Save Green.

Posted by: on April 22nd, 2012 | One Comment

Earth Day is a celebration of our environment and a day to reflect on our individual impact on the world around us.  We all hear the messages: Replacing old light bulbs to CFL’s or LED bulbs can save huge amounts of energy let alone money and so on and so on.  But how many of us are really taking action?

Many folks think that in order to make a difference it will cost them a ton of money or they will have to settle for a lesser quality product or the effort they put in won’t make much of a difference.  That’s simply not true anymore.

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Using Drought Tolerant Perennials in Your Container Herb Garden

Posted by: on April 18th, 2012 | 4 Comments

Drought tolerant perennials in a window box

 

Here’s a DIY container herb garden project that will set you up with a fairly low maintenance little garden that should come back each spring, and last for years to come. Plus, it will use less water than other herb gardens, which is great for water conservation.

The key is using drought tolerant perennials.

In the window box shown above, I used lavender, rosemary and sage (from left to right); these three herbs always play nice together because they all like well-drained soil and full sun.

To get started, you’ll need:

1 window box with a coco liner
1 lavender plant
1 rosemary plant
2 small sage plants (or 1 large sage plant)
potting soil
Shake ‘n Feed (optional)

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Water and Drought Tips

Posted by: on April 17th, 2012 | Make A Comment

Nothing protects your lawn from the blazing sun during the warm months like encouraging the growth of deep, drought-resistant roots now. It’s only through proper watering techniques that your grass and garden stands a chance to beat the heat and remain healthy all season long.

There are many ways to prevent drought and this video breaks them down for you. It gives a thorough rundown on watering tips that will help you stay one step ahead of those high temperatures. It’s important to consider things such as the amount of water your lawn needs, the best time to water it, tips on how to tell if it needs more water, and the consequences of allowing your grass to dry out. The video also offers helpful tips on how to properly take care of ornamental plants. For lawn and plant care supplies such as fertilizers and weed control, visit us at homedepot.com. You can also get lawn care advice from our expert associates on the How-To Community Forum.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.