As founder and executive director of Cool the Earth, Carleen Cullen knows it is important to “walk the walk” at home. She and her family have solar panels on their rooftop, drive an electric vehicle that is 100% powered by the sun, and had reduced their indoor water use. In fact, their water use was below average in every month—except for summertime. Carleen described their summer water bill as “our guilty secret.”
But not anymore. Carleen and her family recognized that the culprit behind their high summer water use was what was going on outdoors. Keeping their yard and garden green was making their household less green. As part of a yard renovation, they got rid of their lawn and installed artificial grass (made partly from recycled product), replaced high-water-use plants with California native drought-tolerant ones, and abandoned their old irrigation system in favor of a new drip system. Carleen also asked her kids to stop washing the car with the hose and switched to a waterless car wash method.
When Carleen opened their most recent water bill, she found for the first time that they were below average in the summer. Her family’s consumption went from 25,000 gallons last year to just under 15,000 gallons for the same period this year. By saving water they are saving energy, and as an added bonus they are saving money, too—their “guilty secret” summer bill plunged from $367 to just $100!
Are you an MMWD customer with a conservation success story to share? Tell us in the comments below, or email us and we may share your story on our blog.