Conserving Water When Prepping Thanksgiving Dinner

Photo Courtesy Of: plainvillefarms.com

Photo Courtesy Of: plainvillefarms.com

When you think of Thanksgiving dinner, what comes to mind? A big turkey or ham as the main course? Accent dishes such as stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and deviled eggs? Do you ponder what you’re thankful for at this moment in your life?

However you picture your Thanksgiving dinner and how you plan to celebrate it, one thing can be certain: there are a lot of ways to waste water while preparing your meal. Water conservation is important in everyday meal prep, however, it is especially important when preparing large meals. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent wasting water by doing things a little bit different:

Tips for:

Preparing dinner:

  • Defrost your main course in the fridge rather than using the cold water soak method. Make sure to consult the packaging to determine how long you will need to defrost before it is ready to be prepared and cooked
  • When making mashed potatoes, use the twice-baked method instead of boiling them to ensure that they are soft enough to mash
  • When preparing your food you might need to wash your hands in between dishes such as turkey and mashed potatoes. When washing your hands, eliminate water waste by turning off water in between lathering hands and rinsing them

Beverages:

  • Instead of automatically serving each person their own glass of water, only serve water to those who ask. This prevents water waste in case guests don’t want their water or don’t finish it. This also means one less dirty glass to wash

Washing dishes:

  • When hand-washing dishes, don’t fill up the sink basin with water. Instead, get your sponge or cloth sudsy and scrub your dishes one by one and set them aside. When all dishes have been scrubbed, begin to rinse one by one

          Thanksgiving is a very special holiday for many reasons and it’s a great day to spend with family and loved ones. Celebrate joyously, but celebrate sustainably!

Can you think of any other ways to conserve water when preparing meals? Comment below, we’d love to hear feedback!

For more information on the current state of the drought and water conservation, visit the blog of NRDC’s Tracy Quinn here!

By Kimberly Dallmann, GMC Writer

Coco’s Bakery Restaurant Conserves Water

Cocos water

Washing unused cups of water is more wasteful than you think. Not everyone who dines at restaurants is there to drink water. Restaurants in California should not bring a glass to their guests unless they request it.

Water Conservation Tips

Here are some water conservation tips recently shared by National Geographic:

Toilets, Taps, Showers, Laundry, and Dishes

  • If you use a low-flow showerhead, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower.

    Green Media Creations

    Green Media Creations

  • Every time you shave minutes off your use of hot water, you also save energy and keep dollars in your pocket.Green Media Creations
  • It takes about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub, so showers are generally the more water-efficient way to bathe.
  • All of those flushes can add up to nearly 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick.
  • Nearly 22% of indoor home water use comes from doing laundry. Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size.
  • Dishwashing is a relatively small part of your water footprint—less than 2% of indoor use—but there are always ways to conserve. Using a machine is actually more water efficient than hand washing, especially if you run full loads.

Industry—Apparel, Home Furnishings, Electronics, and Paper

  • It takes about 100 gallons of water to grow and process a single pound of cotton, and the average American goes through about 35 pounds of new cotton material each year. Do you really need that additional T-shirt?
  • One of the best ways to conserve water is to buy recycled goods, and to recycle your stuff when you’re done with it. Or, stick to buying only what you really need.
  • Recycling a pound of paper, less than the weight of your average newspaper, saves about 3.5 gallons of water. Buying recycled paper products saves water too, as it takes about six gallons of water to produce a dollar worth of paper.

Electricity, Fuel Economy, and Airline Travel

Green Media Creations

Green Media Creations

  • The water footprint of your per-day electricity use is based on state averages. If you use alternative energies such as wind and solar, your footprint could be less. (The use of biofuels, however, if they are heavily irrigated, could be another story.) You would also get points, or a footprint reduction, for using energy-star appliances and taking other energy-efficiency measures.
  • Washing a car uses about 150 gallons of water, so by washing less frequently you can cut back your water use.
  • A gallon of gasoline takes nearly 13 gallons of water to produce. Combine your errands, car pool to work, or take public transportation to reduce both your energy and water use.

Yard and Pools

  • Nearly 60% of a person’s household water footprint can go toward lawn and garden maintenance.
  • The average pool takes 22,000 gallons of water to fill, and if you don’t cover it, hundreds of gallons of water per month can be lost due to evaporation.
  • Conserve Your Water by GMC
  • Conserve Your Water by GMC

Full Article on National Geographic Website

California Drought!

While some agencies won’t proclaim it, everyone else is shouting it. California is in a drought! Recent sprinkles which have landed on your car won’t be enough to make up for the past dry periods. So, be conscientious and try to conserve. Every little bit does help. And, we can all do our share, one drop at a time. Check out this video on what could happen if we don’t start to conserve. For more videos on how to potentially save water by working on your irrigation system at home go to http://www.greenmediacreations.com/howtovideos.html

Making the Right Changes

Image

 An excerpt from WaterWise Consulting’s newsletter – Oct 1, 2013:

Now that winter is here and the weather has cooled, our plants require less water. Have you modified your watering schedules or irrigation controllers? It’s time to do so. Typically, this is the time where we forget to adjust our watering times for the new season. We tend to leave our sprinklers on summer settings all year ’round. This is not good because we could potentially be wasting thousands of gallons of water.