Around this time of year, April showers tend to become a topic of conversation. In southeastern Pennsylvania, we set umbrellas, rain jackets and comfortable boots by the door, braving the wet weather that becomes so common. But at Dansko, we see rain as something entirely different—as a way to power our toilets. Glamorous, right?
How does rain power our toilets, you may ask? The process starts with copper rain chains (shown in the photo below). Instead of traditional gutters, we use our rain chains to transport water from our vegetated roof to a 10,000-gallon holding tank. The tank, then, sends water to a pump room, which filters and cleans water in preparation for its next big job. These jobs range from flushing toilets to watering plants, and work to eliminate dependence on our local watershed. What starts as a nuisance suddenly becomes a lifeline.
While we realize that not everybody uses rain chains, we believe that everybody can conserve water. How, you may ask (once again)? By following these suggestions—or by researching others that work for your lifestyle! In honor of Earth Day 2014, we gathered five straightforward methods for conserving water in your home:
1. Set up a gardening rain barrel: Purchase a rain barrel from your neighborhood hardware store. When you would normally use water from a hose, place a watering can under the barrel instead!
2. Review the landscaping in your yard: Thoughtful landscaping can instantly help your water conservation efforts. Consider sticking to native plants that don’t require watering, and be sure to use mulch and compost to retain water and prevent erosion.
3. Clean your neighborhood catch basins: At times, trash and other debris can clog your local catch basin. Help out your neighbors—and help water flow with ease—by removing the clutter!
4. Start a compost pile: By composting leftovers instead of sending them down the garbage disposal, you conserve water and reduce septic tank problems. Over time, eliminate the use of your disposal all together.
5. Replace your old toilet: Out-dated toilets use significantly more water than newer, more efficient models. It might be time to add a toilet to your shopping list!
We invite you to join us in protecting the environment, one rain drop at a time!