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Earth Day Everyday: 10 Easy Ways to Conserve Water and Energy

We’re always game for trying new ways to conserve energy and water at home, but Earth Day has us feeling extra inspired! In the spirit of eco-friendliness, we put together some water-saving tips and clever ways to cut back on energy consumption. Put these conservation methods into practice for the rest of the year, and you could see some serious results!

There Are So Many Easy Ways to Conserve Our Natural Resources!

Saving on your utility bills while doing your part to help save the earth? That’s a major win-win. These innovative ways to conserve water and energy at home are worth making a regular habit!

solar powered garden pathway lights summerwinds arizona

Get Solar-Powered Lights for the Yard

One of the most effortless ways to conserve energy is by making the switch to solar lights. Electric outdoor lighting can drain so much energy, especially if you tend to forget to turn them off at night! Grab some solar-powered stake lights to illuminate the garden, and hang some solar string lights around the patio to create a lovely ambient glow; no electricity required.

charcoal barbecue summerwinds arizona

Cook Outside

Instead of using an electric oven that heats up your house, use a propane or charcoal grill outside! This will save energy while also keeping your house cooler, resulting in less need for A/C. There are also lots of delicious recipes that don’t require cooking, especially when you’ve got a garden bursting with fresh vegetables and fruits! There’s a cornucopia of garden recipes in our blog archives if you need a little inspiration.

Water Your Lawn Less Often, But More Deeply

If you water a little bit every day, you’re going to end up wasting a ton! That moisture will just sit on the surface of the ground and immediately evaporate from the sun. That won’t do much good for your lawn or your utility bill! Instead, wait as long as you can between watering, but make sure to water deeply, so it all soaks in.

Skip a few days after a heavy rainfall. Keep in mind that plants in containers still need to be watered more frequently than garden beds because the heat evaporates their moisture much faster.

irrigation system sprinkler head summerwinds arizona

Do All Your Watering In the Morning

Water your lawn and garden when the ground is cooler. The moisture will soak in and help insulate your plants’ roots from the hot sun, and it won’t evaporate as quickly. Thus, you won’t have to water as often! Even if you’re not really a morning person, it’s not too difficult to get out there with the watering can for a couple of minutes while your coffee is brewing or to set your sprinkler system to water your lawn before you might be up!

Always Keep Your Watering Can By The Sink

There are so many little tasks at the sink that require us to waste water. Rinsing veggies in the colander? Rinse them over the watering can! Need a cup of hot water? Let the tap run into your watering can while you wait for it to heat up. It’s best to let your water sit out before watering anyhow. It helps to evaporate the minerals and fluoride additives so they don’t build up in the soil.

person watering flowers with watering can summerwinds arizona

Water Your Garden With a Can, Not the Hose

We were shocked to discover that this simple switch is one of the most effective ways to conserve water as a gardener! Studies show that people who water their garden with a hose waste 50% more water than those who use the watering can! You can still use the hose to fill your can, so you don’t have to run back and forth from the hose repeatedly. Especially large gardens might necessitate using a hose, but if you can avoid it and stick to the watering can, that’s a best-case scenario! Watering tip: plants are best watered directly at their roots. Watering plants from above leaves excess water on leaves and petals versus in the ground where the plants need it most!

Plant Drought-Tolerant, Native Plants

Plants that have naturally adapted to living in Arizona are much more low-maintenance. This is one of the best ways to conserve water at home! While it may be tempting to plant all sorts of exotic tropicals in your yard at home, they come from a humid environment with tons of rain. Keeping them happy in the dry Southwestern desert requires a whole lotta H2O! Planting native plants that thrive with little water will end up saving money and considerable effort as well!

Chinese Elm Tree - view from beneath

Plant a Shade Tree

Adding a shade tree to your landscape can make a big difference to the temperatures in and around your home. Strategically placed shade trees can help lower utility bills, provide much needed shade for wildlife, and help protect sensitive vegetation from the hot afternoon sun. 

collage of native plants and flowers summerwinds arizona

Go Grass-Free

Keeping a lawn thoroughly hydrated consumes a lot of water and a lot of time too. It’s no surprise some folks have gotten tired of it and have jumped on the grass-free bandwagon! There are so many alternatives to a grass lawn that use less water and need far less upkeep. Plus, the high-phosphorus fertilizers that we use to keep our lawns lush can contaminate waterways if they’re used too much, so going grass-free can also help to protect lakes and rivers!

Reduce Your Overall A/C Consumption

There are numerous ways you can help keep your home cooler in summer:

  • Our favorite way—plant a shade tree before things heat up so it has time to establish a strong root system. Plus, this can double as a great Arbor Day activity!
  • Take advantage of blinds or curtains to shade your east and west windows and help reduce the cooling load.
  • Use ceiling fans to help keep room temperatures cooler and the air inside your home circulating.
  • Wait to use heat-generating appliances until it’s evening.
  • Install smart thermostats that have features such as eco and away. It can help regulate the temperature of your home, and it can be controlled from your smartphone!
  • Buy a high efficiency A/C Unit.
  • Keep your windows closed when you’re using your A/C.
  • Shade your A/C unit to help increase its efficiency.
  • Install awnings or screens on your home’s south-facing windows

drying clothes on the line outside summerwinds arizona

Wash Your Clothes On the Cold Rinse Cycle, and Hang Dry

Washing on the cold cycle is one of the most effortless ways to conserve energy at home—it’s just a matter of pressing a different button on the machine! If you’re worried your laundry won’t get clean enough, there are several detergents that are made to work on the cold setting. Hang drying your clothes is another smart conservation hack. If you’re worried it’s too dusty outside to hang them out there, you can just put them on hangers and use a drying rack or put them up on the shower rod.

Small changes make a big difference! If you’re looking for other ways to conserve resources at home and make your gardening more eco-conscious, visit one of our SummerWinds locations. We have an amazing selection of organic, chemical-free, and wildlife-friendly products in-store. Have a happy Earth Day!

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