According to the national ASPCA, approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. This number doesn’t even include the wildlife that shelters like the Dane County Humane Society take in each year. All of these animals require a lot of TLC (tender loving care) to get healthy enough to hopefully get adopted or released back into the wild. In addition to a substantial need for people to adopt animals or donate funds, Dane County Humane Society also needs many supplies in order to provide the best care possible to the animals that come through their facilities. This is where you come in.
The Dane County Humane Society has a regularly updated wishlist of items available on their website: https://www.giveshelter.org/wish-list.html. Consider organizing a shelter supply drive at your local community center, school, office, etc. or perhaps next time you are at the grocery store or pet store, consider picking up some ‘Doggies Delights’, ‘Feline Fancies’, or ‘Wildlife Wants’ as included in the list. Through your donation, you will be supporting the Dane County Humane Society in making big changes in the lives of the animals they care for. For more information about the Dane County Humane Society, visit their website: https://www.giveshelter.org/.
Recently we have addressed things going down our storm drains and their connection to our lakes along with the link between energy and water conservation. Today we are adding one more topic relating to healthy water. A lot of people do not realize that putting hazardous materials down the drain or toilet can have harmful effects on the environment, our health and can cause costly repairs to home sewer systems, as well as city systems.
Even though an item says “flushable” Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District recommends throwing these items away instead. Another option, when possible would be to use reusable items that can be washed instead of thrown away or flushed. Examples: cloth cleaning rags, cloth napkins, reusable shopping bags. If you have items you are not sure how to dispose of or which things should not be flushed this helpful flyer will be able to answer questions as well as provide locations to take special items for proper disposal. You can also visit http://www.madswer.org or call 608-222-1201.
Did you know that when you use water, you’re using electricity as well? In this area, most of the water that flows from your faucet and fills your toilet is supplied by city wells. These wells are maintained and operated by local Utility companies that pump and transport water to your home. Powering the wells has a cost which is paid by the Utility companies and then passed on to customers through utility bills.
By conserving water we are not only helping ensure a healthy water supply but we are also contributing to energy conservation. Here are a couple indoor efforts you can take to save water, energy and money.
A first step is to make sure that none of your indoor fixtures are leaking water. “For example, a leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water everyday. As little as one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year,” says Kristofer Canto, City of Fitchburg Sustainability Intern. Not only does this add unnecessary costs to your utility bill it is also using energy. A few places to check for leaks around your home include faucets, shower heads, washers, toilets and irrigation connections. One way to see if you need to check more thoroughly for leaks is (if possible) look at your water meter when you know none of your water using items are on. If the dial is turning, water is still being used.
Another step to take is to purchase WaterSense labeled products. This will help increase the efficiency of your household fixtures. “Installing a WaterSense labeled aerator for your kitchen or bathroom faucet is one of the most cost effective ways to save water and will increase the faucet’s efficiency by 30 percent,” states Kristofer Canto, City of Fitchburg Sustainability Intern. (Generally, aerators can be found for under $10.00 at your local hardware store.)
Installing an efficient toilet can provide equal performance while saving around 20 percent more water. Look for a WaterSense labeled toilet and it could save another $90 annually on a water utility bill and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet (based on a family of four). And if saving money on your utility bill isn’t enough of an incentive, the City of Fitchburg and the Madison Water Utility are offering Toilet Replacement Rebates! People can get up to $100 towards their new toilet if they replace older, less efficient toilets with a High Efficiency Toilet (HET) model. The HET toilets use on average 1.28 gallons of water per flush compared to some of the older models that use around 6 gallons per flush. That’s a big difference!
For additional details about the City of Fitchburg rebate visit: http://www.fitchburgwi.gov/departments/cityHall/publicWorks/PermitsApplications.php
For more details on the Madison Water Utility Program rebate visit: https://www.cityofmadison.com/water/inTheHome/toiletRebate.cfm
Don’t live in Madison or Fitchburg? Try contacting your local Utility company to see what types of rebates they may offer. You never know!
image source: thedailygreen.com