Monday, October 8, 2018

Reduce Your Water Waste Footprint this Fall

As temperatures drop, utility bills rise. Not only do most people start turning on their heat this time of year, they also use more water.

According to Move.org, the average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day, enough to fill a six-person hot tub. That’s a lot of water – which translates into a big water bill.

This fall, save water (and money!) with these simple tips:


Limiting Waste in the Bathroom

On brisk fall mornings, you may be tempted to spend a few extra minutes hiding from the cold in your warm shower. Those extra minutes can waste 5 to 10 gallons of water. In the best-case scenario, cut your shower time down. If that’s not an option, hack your shower by purchasing a low flow showerhead that uses less water per minute.

Leaky faucets can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. Suddenly, that annoying little drip doesn’t seem so little anymore. Vow to check each faucet in your home for sneaky leaks and have them fixed promptly (or do it yourself).

When you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face it may seem easiest to let the water run, but those extra seconds and minutes add up to gallons upon gallons of wasted water. Instead, turn the faucet off until you absolutely need it.

Toilets are the top water waster in a home, but they don’t have to be. If you’re able, purchasing a water efficient toilet is a great way to cut back on unneeded water usage. Cheaper solutions include toilet banks, toilet tank damns, or fill cycle diverters.


Water Waste in the Kitchen

Though it may seem counterintuitive, washing dishes by hand uses much more water than opting for the dishwasher – especially high-efficiency models. If you must hand wash your dishes, make sure you’re turning off the water as you do.

Nothing tastes quite as refreshing as an ice-cold glass of water. However, running the sink until the water cools down wastes lots of H20. Instead, store bottles of drinking water in the fridge (reusable bottles – not disposable), and reach for one when thirsty.

Out in the Yard

Your yard and landscaping are the first thing people see when visiting your home, so keeping them green, clean, and pristine are probably at the top of your priority list. However, cooler temps and increased rainfall in the fall months means plants and grass need less watering. Put away your sprinkler until next summer. Also, use a broom instead of a water hose when cleaning off your driveway, sidewalks, and garage.

In the Laundry Room

Clean clothes are a must, but wasting water is not. Avoid using the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 50 gallons for the extra rinse. And try to only wash clothes when you’ve got a full load. If your load is smaller, adjust the water setting accordingly.

Consider purchasing a high-efficiency washing machine, which uses substantially less water – as low as 7 gallons per load!

All Around Your Home

Insulating your water pipes is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce heat loss and save water in the process, since you won’t have to wait as long for the water to heat up.


Recycling water may seem silly, but it’s an effective way to reduce your water footprint and save money on your energy bill. Collect rainwater and use it to water plants. Use the cold water that runs while you wait for it to heat up to flush the toilet (known as a bucket flush). Stubborn dirty dishes? Soak them in water leftover from cleaning previous (less stubborn) dishes.


This fall, make water conservation a priority in your home with these super-simple and effective tips. Small steps lead to big savings!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

3 Ways To Remind Yourself To Drink More Water

You already know that drinking water is great for you. Staying hydrated can help you fight off sickness, improve your circulation and boost your energy.

It shouldn’t be a chore, but sometimes, it can be easy to forget. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to remind yourself to drink more water throughout the day.


Make it a Habit

Place a glass near your bed and sip it right away when you wake up in the morning. Or, drink a glass right after you get out of the shower. Fill up a cup every time you pass the water fountain at work. An act as simple as leaving out a glass of water may be the visual cue you need to help you remember. Building drinking water into your daily routine will make it feel like a no-brainer.

Track Your Intake

When you treat it like a game, it can be a lot more fun. Plus, tracking your actual intake can be a wake-up call if you’ve never been aware just how little water you’ve been drinking.

Download a free smartphone app to set daily reminders and alarms and mark off when you’ve finished a glass. Or, buy your own water bottle and bring it with you everywhere, marking timely goals right on the bottle with tape or a label maker. Either way, seeing your progress visually can be a fun way to cheer yourself on.

Make it Taste Even Better!

Tap water tastes great. But if you’re not used to drinking plain water all day, it can seem like a difficult adjustment. Luckily, it’s easy to add healthful flavors to your water by dropping fruits, vegetables or herbs into a pitcher.

Health experts also say that you can count your morning coffee or tea into your daily water count. That’s because they still hydrate you, despite their diuretic effect.

If drinking water all day still seems tough, feel free to ease into it. You can do this by making yourself a one-for-one promise: for every cup of juice or soda you drink, you’ll drink one glass of water. The glasses will add up before you know it.


Looking for more reasons to add water into your day? Visit our website to learn more.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bottled Water and Plastic Straw Alternatives

As the world relies more and more heavily on plastics, so too the evidence stacks up against using them.

BPA-free does not mean healthy. A healthy alternative to bottled water and plastic straws are sustainable and reusable options. Here are some inspirational ideas and products you can use as alternatives to wasteful, unhealthy plastic.


Glass Reusable Water Bottles

There are many advantages to using a glass water bottle. They are dishwasher safe, can be completely sanitized therefore less likely to grow bacteria or mold, they are made of a natural material healthy for you to use, and result in pure tasting water.

Metal Reusable Water Bottles

Another alternative for reusable water bottles is metal options like stainless steel and aluminum. These bottles are very durable and easy to clean. Some even come with metal straw options. If you are in the market for one, check out this great guide on the difference between stainless steel and aluminum reusable water bottles.

Reusable Straws

There are a multitude of reusable straws on the market. Want ones with a bend like plastic straws? Get these stainless steel CoCo straws. Want clear straws so you can tell if they are completely clean before reuse? Buy StrawGrace handmade glass straws.Need ones that are extra long to fit your favorite reusable cup or bottle? Buy these SipWell stainless steel ones. All these materials are dishwasher safe and make cleaning easy with mini straw brushes.


There are many eco-friendly options out there like biodegradable cups and bamboo straws. However, to be the most ecologically responsible and still drink your fill of water every day, choose metal or glass options when searching for your next water bottle. Consider ditching plastic straws and buying reusable ones that set a new trend.

As the world uses less plastic, perhaps we can mend the pollution done to the oceans and earth.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Mystery to Monument: The Devil’s Kettle Water Foundation


In Judge C.R. Magney State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior lives a fascinating geological mystery: The Devil’s Kettle.

The Devil’s Kettle is part rock formation, part waterfall, and complete conundrum. The Brule River runs until it hits the rocks at the top of a waterfall, then it splits in two. The right fork cascades down like a typical waterfall and the left fork appears to vanish into a large hole below. Then… it disappears. There’s no apparent entrance back into the river for the water that plunges into the kettle. It’s been called the Waterfall to Nowhere.
Image by aaronHwarren via Flickr

Visitors and scientists attempted to solve the mystery of where the water entering the Devil’s Kettle ends up for years. Some tossed in ping-pong balls, branches, and – legend has it – a car to see where they rejoin the river downstream. For a long time, no one could figure it out – the objects just kept disappearing.

That is, until last year when two scientists – a retired professor and a hydrologist – measured the water volume of the Brule River right before it plunges down the falls and again at the bottom. The results? The volume is nearly identical, leading them to believe that the exit to the Devil’s Kettle is a short distance away, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

If you’re looking to test your own theories, by tossing in a handful of leaves or nearby branch, be prepared for a bit of a hike. Getting to Devil’s Kettle is about a 2.5 miles round trip, but there are plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the scenery along the way. In our opinion, it’s totally worth it to see one of the coolest water formations in the state!

Looking for other fun water facts and mysteries? Follow us on Facebook and check out our other blogs.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Foods To Keep You Hydrated This Summer


While drinking water is still the best way to stay hydrated, there are some foods that can help you because they consist mostly of water. During the hot summer days, consider munching on some of these hydrating foods!

Watermelon

Is it any surprise this is the first on the list? Consisting of 92 percent water, this melon lives up to its name. Even at room temperature, watermelon is refreshing like a cool glass of water. Even though watermelon is mostly made of water, the rest is low in calories and dense in nutrients and antioxidants. Read about the powerful benefits of water in this article on healthline.com.

Cucumber

Consisting of 95 percent water, cucumbers are a great hydrating food! shape.com claims cucumbers sooth skin irritations with vitamin C and caffeic acid. Cucumbers can also help you lose weight being low in calories while still making you feel full! This vegetables is a watery winner!


Zucchini

Similar to cucumbers, zucchini consists of about 95 percent water! This food is great to add to salads, main dishes, sides, and to eat plain with dip - even made into noodles! Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. It is healthy for you and hydrating for your body.

Strawberries

These deliciously nutritious berries are 91 percent water. Plus, strawberries love the hot summer months, getting sweeter the hotter it is when they ripen. Their dark red color hints at their densely packed nutrients. Strawberries are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.


Lettuce

At 96 percent water, lettuce is the wettest food on our list of hydrating foods! Lettuce provides a lot of water, but also folate and fiber. These nutrients are specifically important for pregnant women. Plus lettuce is high in vitamins A and K. Choose a salad for lunch and your body will thank you!

While many fruits and vegetables are incredibly hydrating, these five foods top the list! Keep your body hydrated, healthy, and happy by choosing to eat watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, zucchini, and lettuce more often this summer!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Conserving Water At The Best Waterparks In Minnesota


As the weather warms in Minnesota, you might be interested in visiting a water park. Popular public opinion is that water parks are a vast waste of water, but the reality is that water parks take water conservation very seriously.

Here are a few great water parks to visit in Minnesota this summer!

Three Bears Water Park

An indoor water park like Three Bears Water Park in Brainerd is a great choice. Without humidity, evaporation, and other environmental factors that prevent the water park’s efficiency, indoor water parks can recycle approximately 98% of their water! This particular water park is especially great for younger children with 3 slides that they can ride themselves!

As part of Holiday Inn Express, you can even make a weekend of it staying overnight and enjoying complimentary breakfast.

Bunker Beach Water Park

Voted the best water park in Minnesota by WCCO in 2017, Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids features unique experiences to interact with water. The huge pool creates 3-foot waves to make you feel like you are in the ocean! They also have six slides and multiple pools among their numerous attractions.

A large water park like Bunker Beach can accommodate thousands on visitors on a hot day. A water park option prevents consumption from all those guests who might otherwise be cooling off in their backyard pools and sprinklers.

Redwood Falls Aquatic Center

If you are in the southwest part of the state, visit the highly reviewed Redwood Falls Aquatic Center. This low-key water park is extremely family friendly and has reasonably priced daily rates. Cool off on their zero-depth entry pool, plunge and diving areas, as well as large lap pools. A well-maintained park like this one conserves water by reducing splash out and designing efficient deck wash down. Read about industry innovations for water park filters and recycling water here.


Enjoy your summer days splashing at the water park without the worry of water consumption. While water parks might use a lot of water to initially fill, their dedication to the recycling of water and the masses they serve make it worth it!

For more information about water conservation - and the best ways to cool off this summer - visit the AWWA Minnesota section on Facebook.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Water Volunteering Opportunities in Minnesota

Sometimes making the changes to conserve water in our everyday lives simply is not enough. Sometimes we want to make a bigger impact to help protect our natural waters.


Get involved by volunteering with these organizations in Minnesota which focus on water conservation.


Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP)

A lot of volunteer opportunities to protect water involve collecting samples so that scientists can study and monitor changes. The wetland areas of Minnesota have a volunteer program called WHEP that does just that. Volunteers attend a training workshop and are given clear direction on what to do. A commit of just 20-40 hours through the whole summer is needed to collect the needed samples.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)

The MPCA accepts volunteers to help monitor the ice in their area throughout the state. The formulation and break-up of ice is an important milestone for a lake each year. Knowing as much information about this as possible helps to understand climate change and human influence on the health of Minnesota’s lakes. The lake ice reporting program is currently seeking more volunteers and could really use you! Click here to join in and help stop climate change.


Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

If you are interested in biology, this is the volunteer opportunity for you. FMR seeks volunteers to collect samples of small stream-dwelling bugs to track the health of the rivers that flow into the Mississippi. This is done in the Rice Creek Watershed District and is called the Stream Health Evaluation Program. Signing up means you are committing to spend 35-40 hours volunteering, mostly in the fall. You train with professional scientists to be a part of an important study to keep our streams healthy! Learn more here.


Besides these amazing volunteering opportunities, there are other ways to get involved. Click here to learn even more about how to protect Minnesota’s waters by volunteering in the community.