Thursday, April 11, 2013

Counting Down to Earth Day 2013: 4.11.13

Yesterday’s tip was: Repurpose something old instead of buying something new.

Do you know what the objects are?

The answer ?: A Pair of Repurposed Shower Heads

We replaced these shower heads, durable objects of chrome and brass, not because they failed to work, but because they WASTED WATER. They likely date from 1929, when bathrooms were first installed in our post-Civil War row house. We soon discovered that they used so much water that two simultaneous showers would totally drain the 30 gallon oil-fired hot water heater! 

My husband recognized their potential as candlesticks. We shined them up with a little Bon Ami, turned them on end, tightened them up where they swivel, and added an elegant pair of deep red beeswax candles for the upcoming winter holidays. 

More importantly, we replaced them with low-flow shower heads


According to million people lack access to clean water — more than-2 1/2 times the population of the United States. also reports that 3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease.

What can you do in your own home to preserve this precious resource?
  • First, the EPA suggests that you shower rather than bathe, and that you limit your shower to 5 minutes. The EPA states that a full bathtub requires 70 gallons of water, but a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons (depending on the shower head).
  • Second, install a water efficient shower head. Search for low flow shower head, and you will get an astounding nearly 12,000 results, including a simple device in the $4 price range. You can find a number of options in any home improvement store. has an excellent resource page for guiding you in your selection. 

For more tips on Using Water Efficiently, check out this page from the EPA and this one from Most of these ideas are very easy to implement.

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of, click here. This organization has a high ranking on Charity Navigator. Another group  working to bring clean, safe drinking water to developing countries is, which also has an excellent Charity Navigator Rating

Come back tomorrow for a new tip as we count down to Earth Day on April 22.

Love Your Mother (Earth). Pass it on. Together we can make a difference. Yes, we can!

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