Most of the time it’s greener to do things the old fashioned way: by yourself. But every rule has its exceptions. The next time your car is looking dirty take it to a professional car wash. Commercial car washes require 45 gallons of water per car, while the average for a do-it-yourself job is 80 to 140.
Posts Tagged ‘zero water’
Earth Friendly Car Wash
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Local Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation Measures
Friday, October 9th, 2009
Do you live in Los Angeles? If so, you’re lucky enough to benefit from all the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) energy efficiency and water conservation measures. They’re all great for the environment, but many are good for your pockets, too.
The LADWP offers a “Save Water—Save a Buck” rebate program to encourage water conservation efforts. You can receive rebates for high efficiency plumbing fixtures, landscaping equipment, HVAC equipment, and more. The LADWP also offers free water-saving aerators that can reduce your water usage to 1-1.5 gpm in your bathroom and kitchen faucets.
Los Angeles is suffering through one of the driest years on record, and 80% of LA’s water is imported. Due to the ongoing drought, the LADWP has instituted more extreme water conservation, and wasteful water use is now prohibited. Please water your lawns before 9AM or after 4PM, and only on Mondays and Thursdays. And if you do not find water offered to you at a restaurant, just ask. They’ll be happy to give you a glass.
LivingHomes has its own philosophy for reducing water and energy, as part of our larger “Six Zeros of Sustainability”. All LivingHomes include low-flow and Energy Star appliances and they come graywater-ready allowing you to reclaim water from your sinks, baths, dishwasher, and washing machine for irrigation. In addition, we work with you to integrate native landscaping (drought-tolerant for areas where that’s an issue) and cisterns that capture your rainwater.
The LADWP is also focusing on energy efficiency. The “New Construction Program” promotes sustainable, energy efficient buildings through incentives based on performance or prescriptive measures. Rebates are available for qualifying Energy Star products, refrigerators, air conditioners, windows, and washers under the biggest rebate program ever in Los Angeles. The city also offers free compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and refrigerator recycling.
LADWP will also assess and install energy efficient lighting equipment in local small businesses. The “Commercial Lighting Efficiency Offer” (CLEO) provides rebates to non-residential customers for a wide variety of lighting improvements. Rebates are also available for efficient chillers, refrigeration, and other measures that exceed Title 24 and standard practice. The “Trees Program” even provides 15 shade trees to businesses that complete an on-line workshop. To learn which programs you qualify for, visit the LADWP.
A LivingHome also aims for Zero Energy through the installation of energy-efficient heating, lighting, appliances, windows, and insulation and a photovoltaic system that produces energy from sunlight.
Don’t live in LA? Many of these programs are not unique to Los Angeles. Check out the websites of your local government and utility providers to see what programs are available to you.
Emergency Gray Water Usage Adopted in California
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
As an emergency drought measure, California has adopted gray water usage! Starting on August 4, 2009, code changes allow for simpler, more inexpensive gray water systems in residences. Clothes washer and one single-fixture systems no longer require local building permits for use in single-family and two-family dwellings.
Gray water is washwater left over from dishwashing, showers, sinks, and laundry that can be repurposed for landscape irrigation. A three bedroom home typically generates 160 gallons of gray water per day. That’s 58,400 gallons each year! With the newly approved systems, a family could divert about 22,000 gallons of water each year just by diverting gray water from their laundry. Using gray water for irrigation lowers fresh water use, limits strain on septic tanks and sewage systems, reclaims wasted nutrients, encourages plant growth, and more. Gray water recycling is also very safe.
In the first LivingHome in Santa Monica, CA, ground-level landscaping is watered with gray water from the showers, tubs, bathroom sinks, and clothes washer, via a subterranean irrigation system. The system was the first of its kind to be permitted in Los Angeles County. Hopefully, with these changes, they will become a lot more common!