Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives

Tips for Greener Photography: Water Conservation

By Dawn Tacker

200912we_GP_logo.gif

Winter is a great season to take the time to make your home or retail studio space more efficient. Consider extending that efficiency to your conservation habits. Water covers more than 70% of the earth's surface, but by 2025 more than half of the world’s population will be facing water-based vulnerability. Although most photographers don't use water as part of their manufacturing process anymore, we all continue to consume water in our daily lives and buy water-intensive products, electronics and other supplies. In this article we are going to focus on tips to help do your part to conserve this precious resource in your daily life. Stay tuned for our next article on conserving water in your professional life. Here are some tips to help do your part to conserve this precious resource.

First, track your water usage. You can’t tell if you’re using less water unless you’re aware of how much you’re using in the first place! Second, set water conservation goals. Challenge yourself, your studio, and your family to reduce consumption by 10% to 20% each year. Implement policies that will help meet your conservation goals.

Here are some specific ways to reduce your water consumption.

Indoors:

• Check for and repair plumbing leaks on a regular basis. Fixing leaky faucets, for example, can save 20 gallons of water per day.
• Toilets are the largest water users inside your home. Replace old toilets with ultra-low flush models and save up to 14,000 gallons of water per year!
• Washing machines are the second largest water user in your home. Use a high efficiency front-loading washing machine for your laundry; these use one-third less water than top loaders.
• Run only full loads in dishwashers and washing machines.
• Install a low-flow showerhead, and take shorter showers.
• Install low-flow aerators on your faucets.
• Turn off the water when washing dishes, brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.
• Check to ensure that your water pressure is set between 40 and 60 psi.
• Consider using a water re-catchment system.

Read more ideas for conserving water indoors at H2OUSE.

Outdoors:

• Water landscaping in the evening, early morning or at night to minimize evaporation.
• Check for and eliminate run-off and overspray from your irrigation system; doing so can save up to 15 gallons each time you water!
• Use a drip irrigation system to increase the efficiency of your watering; this can save 15 gallons every time you water.
• Harvest rainwater to use it for multiple purposes (more ideas at harvesth2o.com)
• Plant drought-resistant plants in your yard.
• Put a layer of mulch around your landscaping to reduce evaporation; this can save 20-30 gallons each time you water.
• Use brooms and spot cleaning instead of wet mopping your floors and walkways; doing so can save eight to 18 gallons per minute!
• Water only as much as your plants need.

For more tips, visit Greener Photography. Check back for more tips for conserving water in your business.

Dawn Tacker of Eos Photography is a portrait photographer based in drought-plagued Southern California.