Outdoors

  • Use a broom instead of your hose to remove debris from your driveway or sidewalk. 
  • Bathe your pets outdoors in areas that need water. 
  • Install a shut-off nozzle on your water hose; a garden hose left running can waste up to 20 litres per minute. 
  • Direct downspouts towards shrubs and trees in your garden. 
  • Use mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation. 
  • Install rainwater collection barrels or other rainwater harvesting system that can be used when watering outdoor plants, and keep a composter on hand to divert fruit, veggie and garden scraps from landfill, making your own fertilizer while you’re at it.
  • Choose sprinklers that use large drops instead of a fine spray or mist. 
  • Water trees slowly, deeply and infrequently to encourage deep rooting. A slow drip for an hour once a week should be sufficient for most trees.
  • When washing your car, use a bucket of water or a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle instead of letting the hose run.

Drip Irrigation System

  • A drip irrigation system placed on or below ground level, reduces water losses due to run-off and evaporation in comparison to conventional sprinkler systems.
  • Use drip-line irrigation to water trees and shrubs instead of watering by hose.

Lawn Care

  • Water your lawn and gardens once a week. 
  • Follow an odd-even watering schedule. 
  • Water in the morning or late evening to avoid evaporation during the heat of the day. 
  • When watering your lawn, ensure the spray does not reach your sidewalk or driveway. 
  • Allow your grass to grow at least two inches high to shade roots and promote water retention in the soil.

Lighting

  • Installing solar-powered outdoor pathway lights is one of the easiest ways to use solar energy at home.

Native Plants and Grasses

  • Switch from thirsty, exotic grasses to hardy native varieties, and limit lawns to social and play areas. Revamp your garden and stock it with native plants. Also, consider drought tolerant plants.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Native trees and shrubs need less water than grass. Because their roots are deeper, they often do not need watering. They also provide privacy, shading and pleasure.

Waste Reduction and Recycling

  • With a backyard composter and garden, you can put most of your food wastes to good work where they belong - back into the land.