Stocking Stuffers

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – December 21, 2011 – Comment

How’s your holiday shopping going?   I expect, like me, you’re still looking for that perfect water conservation-themed gift for a loved one.  With this in mind, I thought I’d take a moment to pass on some tried and true environmentally-friendly stocking stuffers that you may wish to consider.

For starters, I find that nothing says, “I love you,” quite like a water-efficient showerhead.  Look for the “WaterSense” label in leading home supply stores.   According to the U.S. EPA, the average household could save more than 2,300 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads.  If every household in the United States installed water-efficient showerheads, we could save more than $1.5 billion in water utility bills and more than 250 billion gallons of water annually, which could supply more than 2.5 million U.S. homes with their water needs for a year.

A water efficient toilet is a little heavy for a stocking stuffer, but does make for a special gift under the tree!  Certainly one that the family will be talking about for years to come!  As an alternative, why not place a bottle of food dye in your “green” stocking?  That way, your loved ones can at least check for leaks in the existing toilet.  They’ll place dye in the tank, wait a half hour or so, and If the dye is visible in the bowl, they’ll know there’s a leak that needs to be addressed (likely an inexpensive new toilet “flapper” is needed).  Better still, a new holiday tradition is born!

Finally, let your family look ahead to spring, and top off the stocking with a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller.  The controller serves as a thermostat for lawn sprinkler systems, telling the sprinkler when to turn on and off based on actual local weather readings.  Again according to the EPA, residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. Experts estimate that as much as 50% of this water is wasted due to overwatering caused by inefficiencies in irrigation methods and systems.

Hang a green stocking with care this year, and happy holidays!