We’re hitting that point in the summer where both parents and lawns may be crying out for help. Can water be the answer?
Parents: You’ve been wrangling your kids since June, and you may be running out of ideas. You’ve done camps, classes, playdates, arts, crafts, and board game marathons, and now you just want to send the little darlings outside to play on their own. Do you break out the hose and sprinkler?
Lawns: Depending on where you live and the kind of weather you’ve had, your lawn might be looking kind of sad and brownish these days. Do you break out the hose and sprinkler?
If you’re like us and consider water sustainability a top priority, you may think twice about using the hose and sprinkler—whether it’s to entertain your kids or nourish your lawn. But you can do it without feeling guilty, as long as you use water the right way, at the right times of day.
Let the watery fun begin!
Sustainable Soaking for Kids
When it’s hot, kids love water. Swimming in it, jumping into it, splashing it on each other…it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re getting wet. As an environmentally conscious parent, however, you should know how to let your kids have their fun without wasting too much water.
Letting them play in the sprinkler in the middle of the afternoon, for instance, is not a very sustainable choice. Running a typical sprinkler off a standard garden hose uses more than 1,000 gallons of water an hour—and, on a hot day, a lot of that will evaporate before it does your lawn any good. Hooking up the hose to one of those slippery-slide things uses just as much water.
Here are a few ways to let your kids get wet and wild while using much less water.
- A kiddie pool usually holds about 250 gallons.
- Squirt guns and blasters get kids almost as wet as the sprinkler while using a lot less water.
- Water balloons hold only about a quart apiece, so your whole neighborhood could have a water balloon fight using less than 100 gallons.
- Giant sponges can also get kids pretty wet, and they’re safe for even the little ones to throw around.
- Slippery Twister is exactly what it sounds like—a standard Twister mat soaked from the hose. Not recommended for adult hips, knees, and shoulders!
Sustainable Watering for Lawns
It’s natural for lawns to go dormant in the hotter, drier months. Some homeowners are glad to see this, since they don’t have to mow the lawn as often, but others try to keep their grass as green as they can for as long as they can.
Can you keep your grass green in August without wasting water? Yes—but you should follow these best practices to make sure you get the most out of every drop.
- Water in the early morning, as noted above, so more water gets into the soil before evaporating.
- Finish watering before sunset if you have to water later in the day. Watering after dark leaves your grass damp and susceptible to disease.
- Don’t water too quickly. If you apply water too fast for the soil to absorb, it runs off without nourishing your grass. Use a sprinkler with lower water volume—or, better yet, a soaker hose—to slow the water down.
- Don’t water every day. Watering a little every day keeps grass roots shallow and weak. You’re better off applying higher volumes of water three days a week, which encourages deeper, stronger roots.
- Don’t water too much. The ideal is to water just enough to soak the roots while losing as little as possible to runoff or evaporation. If you see puddles, you’re probably overdoing it.
These guidelines may vary based on a number of factors, including where you live, your soil type, and which varieties of grass you have. Ask your local garden store for more specific tips on how to most effectively water your lawn.
Saving Water is in Our DNA
Since William Elvis Sloan introduced the first modern flushometer in 1906, Sloan has helped millions of public and private facilities save billions of gallons of water. Today, our water-saving restroom technologies are specified by commercial architects, designers, and engineers worldwide who make sustainability a top priority.
As far as we’re concerned, it's always a good time of year to save water. We hope these tips help you enjoy the rest of your summer!
Want ideas for making your next commercial restroom project healthier and more sustainable? Contact Sloan!
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